Review: The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

Publication Date: January 1, 2010
 
Synopsis:
Wes Moore grew up on streets where drugs and crime were around every corner. He had brushes with the law, faced family troubles, struggled with his education, and exasperated his mother to no end.
Here’s the catch: He’s not the only Wes Moore who lived that life. In fact, there was another Wes Moore who lived not too far from him. Both grew up in similar environments and lived similar childhood lives, but one of them grew up to be a convicted murderer, while the other became an Army veteran and Rhodes Scholar.
Why did their lives turn out so differently?

Rating: 4 stars

Thoughts:
I had to read this for school. This was the one thing I had to get done before starting my first semester of my freshman year of college. Did I do that? Nope. I finished this a week or so after the semester started. No one tell my teachers.

For the most part, I did enjoy the book. I found it easy to read and interesting, though it would sometimes take me while to tell which Wes Moore I was reading about.

The author did a good job of switching between the two lives, telling the story as well as he could. The parallels were very interesting to read about and I liked seeing how things were starting to come together closer to the end of the book.

There isn’t much to say about the plot because this is both an autobiography and a biography at the same time, and while there are many interesting events that happen, this isn’t like a fiction book where there is constant action. I enjoyed watching how the two stories unfolded and I was able to get through it quite quickly despite how long it took me to finish the book.

The one thing I will say about this is that the author never actually answers the question of why their lives turn out so differently. He makes a few guesses and gives us some stuff that would allow the reader to make their own conclusion, but it really doesn’t answer the original question. I think that the author could have done a better job of that, or at least giving his own opinion of why their lives turned out so differently in the end, rather than just ending the book and not going back to that question.

Character(s):
I don’t actually have anything to say about either Wes Moore, not really. They were both interesting people to read about and I can say that I felt for both of them when I read their stories. However, I can’t say that either of them really impacted me in any way.

 

Overall:
4 stars. I wouldn’t really recommend this to anyone in particular. I think it addresses some interesting points, but there isn’t anything special about this book that requires you to go pick it up.

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