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172 Hours on the Moon

172 Hours on the Moon is a YA sci-fi novel by Johan Harstad.

In 2019, NASA has decided to return to the moon.

And this time they’re using a worldwide lottery to pick three everyday teens to join trained astronauts on this amazing journey. It creates a huge media buzz and millions upon millions of teens enter – looking for an experience to last a lifetime.

Mia from Norway has no interest in going to the moon, but she does want her band to become famous and successful – and this would be an opportunity to get the word out to hundreds of news outlets.

Midori from Japan sees the lottery as a way to get out of the restrained life of her country and find freedom somewhere else. She plans on never going home again – maybe traveling to America.

Antoine from France is desperate to get over his broken heart and sees the contest as not only a way to distract him, but maybe a chance for Simone to see him on TV so much that she’ll remember that she once loved him…

They all have their own reasons for entering – but when they win and actually go up to the moon, they’re going to find out there is a lot more going on here than research.

Something happened the last time NASA went to the moon, something that has been kept secret for decades…

Something’s waiting for them…

I thought the premise of 172 Hours on the Moon sounded really exciting. Sadly, this is one of biggest disappointments of the year for me…

Before I go into detail on my opinion, I want to stress that is only MY opinion – you may love 172 Hours on the Moon, and I want you to find out for yourself!!!

However, for me - I was really surprised how long it was taking to actually get to the moon. We’re given an unexpectedly dull introduction to each of the three characters (each of which will eventually win the trip to the moon) and I was not becoming attached or invested in any of them. I always hate to be negative, but I honestly was feeling lackluster. 172 Hours on the Moon is translated from the original Norwegian, so perhaps something is lost in translation, or maybe it’s just me.

Also, I was puzzled as to the logic of why NASA would hold a universal lottery, instead of just a national one, since from the beginning there seemed to shady motives for doing the launch anyway. After all, if a bunch of teens from other countries get killed or hurt, wouldn’t that cause BAD international relations? The illogic of that bugged me.

By the time we finally get the launch, after seemingly skipping all the more possibly interesting moments - such as the media blitz, maybe some jealousy, suspicion with the trip, or at least more ominous scenes - my expectations were so lowered that the awkward tone of the novel was barely registering anymore.

The last third of the book was a bit more frightening and finally had some suspense – but even then it felt rushed and kind of ridiculous. And I really didn’t like the end. It felt both cliché and disrespectful to readers.

Again, I know that each book takes a lot of work to complete – and writing unenthusiastic reviews certainly aren’t my favorite thing to do. But I also want to be honest. And this is how I honestly felt.

Hopefully, I made you curious enough to give it a shot yourself – because if you can enjoy it, well… I’m happy for you! Every book deserves a little love, after all.

Sadly, that love is just not coming from me.


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