Moses and his cousin Charlie were best friends, wisecracking pranksters, unstoppable forces of teenage energy―until the night they became accidental arsonists and set in motion a chain of events that left Moses alone, guilt-stricken, and most likely trapped in his dead-end town. Then Moses gets a lucky break: the chance to volunteer as a camp counselor for week and prove that the incident at the bowling alley should be expunged from his record. And since a criminal record and enrollment at Duke are mutually exclusive, he’s determined to get through his community service and get on with his life. But tragedy seems to follow him wherever he goes, and this time, it might just stop him in his tracks.
I am going to admit that I would have never picked up this book if I wasn’t provided a free copy to review. And that would have been a huge mistake on my end. This book was an amazing coming of age story. I was beyond impressed with the content in this book. There were so many subjects approached, with some being more obvious than others. One of the best things about this book was the past and present aspect of it. We were not given Moses’ full backstory when we meet him just a glimpse of who he is. Reading this way allows the reader to see how the present is truly affecting outlook on the past. Each issue faced was followed up with a memory but they seemed to be different in tone as the time progressed. I truly enjoyed the atmosphere this book took on. In a “troubled teen” book, the expectation is usually angry and self loathing. This was the complete opposite of that. It was such a relief to read a book where the “court mandated troubled teen” isn’t exactly angry at the world. This book went beyond what I anticipated. This truly makes it more relatable to anyone, but especially to the targeted audience of teens.
I am going to concentrate on Moses for the character section of my review. What an amazing main character. As I stated earlier, Moses wasn’t an angry teen. A prank went horribly wrong creating a devastating aftermath. As we go through Moses’ story, we see that he and his cousin, Charlie, were known pranksters in the town. However, Moses wasn’t the typical teen that you would expect - neglectful parents, bad upbringing, or horrible at school. Moses had a loving family with them being very supportive. He was great at school with attempting to apply to Duke for college. Again, this was a nice change and made the character so much more relatable. The counselor at a camp, the troubled teen - these are ideas have been done before. The bad kid realizes that there is more to the world, but with Moses, it’s different. Since he wasn’t exactly a typical troubled teen we say different struggles. Charlie was his other half and now he had to learn to live without him. He makes friends easily and becomes attached to some of the campers. We really see the good in him and how one mistake doesn’t dictate your life. Moses was a great character for this story and I truly believe he will be able to reach out to a number of different teens.
Overall, Unstoppable Moses by Tyler James Smith was an amazing coming of age book. This book had a great story that will be able to connect to a lot of teens. Moses was an amazing main character that becomes instantly relatable. I highly recommend this book to those who are fans of John Green - this is a book that will move its readers.
I had the pleasure of doing the audio for this book and I absolutely adored the narration. Graham Halstead did an amazing job portraying Moses' story. One of the things I really liked about his narration was how he made Moses' sound. While Moses is a teenager he did not make him sound too young or too old. In my review of the book, I mentioned that how the past memories tones seemed to change as we progressed the story. Halstead did a great job of really emphasizing the change of voice to indicate the change of tone. When Moses' was hurting or frustrated, Halstead made you aware of it. His voice acting truly enhanced the story written.