Official Review: The Most Unlikely Champion by Vera Koo

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 355
Joined: 01 Apr 2015, 23:28
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... 3844">John Nielson Had a Daughter</a>
Currently Reading: Les Miserables
Bookshelf Size: 95
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Most Unlikely Champion by Vera Koo

Official Review: The Most Unlikely Champion by Vera Koo

Post by NadineTimes10 » 12 Apr 2019, 21:10

[Following is an official review of "The Most Unlikely Champion" by Vera Koo.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Born in Hong Kong, Vera Koo immigrated to the United States with her family when she was twelve years old. Her parents brought her up under traditional, conservative Chinese values, many of which are framed by patriarchy. In light of the tradition in which she was raised, it was less than likely that Koo would ever become a notable contender in a male-dominated sport. Even so, Koo tells of her rise in competitive sport shooting in her memoir, The Most Unlikely Champion, with the assistance of writer Justin Pahl.

A key point of irony in the author’s story is that she was once afraid of guns. Because she reasoned that the improper use of guns makes them hazardous, she faced her fear by enrolling in a firearm safety course. In the following years, she would eventually become one of the most accomplished shooters in the world of sport shooting.

The memoir develops through split timelines, going back and forth between the author’s distant and more recent past. In alternating chapters, the progressive description of a critical challenge in Koo’s competitive shooting career anchors the flow of the narrative. The author conveys how her goal-oriented focus and her faith in God have helped her to excel in a sport where many other competitors did not take her seriously at first.

The author weaves a great deal about her personal life into the memoir. She gives the reader a close look at the successes in her family as well as the adversity she and her loved ones have endured. Through even the heartbreaking aspects of her story, Koo shows how she has used internal pain to drive her forward.

Now, when an author communicates a story with the help of another writer, it can be unclear whether certain weaknesses in the writing stem from the author or from the writer. In this account, the writer sometimes overuses a particular adverb or repeats the same bits of information in a way that feels more redundant than enlightening. However, the issue does not detract from the memoir’s overall quality. The general presentation is professional, with only a few errors in the whole book.

Yet, my main point of concern with the memoir is ideological. The author addresses the sensitive subject of a betrayal in one of her close relationships. While she expresses the importance of personal healing as a victim, she does not emphasize the need for a violator to truly repent of his or her betrayal and to change his or her behavior. This example could conflict with the needs or principles of readers who have experienced, or who are currently in, relationships with abusive or dysfunctional individuals. Still, what is considered acceptable or unacceptable behavior in a relationship differs according to one’s culture and values. Because my concern is ideological and not technical, I have chosen not to downgrade the memoir because of it.

For its clear and polished delivery and its motivating message about accomplishing one’s goals, I give The Most Unlikely Champion a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I’d recommend it to fans of Christian memoirs. However, I would not recommend it to readers who may be looking for inspiration or advice about handling damaged personal relationships.

The Most Unlikely Champion
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like NadineTimes10's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Posts: 9
Joined: 03 Apr 2019, 13:10
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 11
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks by Morton E Tavel, MD

Post by Juju15 » 14 Apr 2019, 09:18

I really enjoy reading memoirs and this one looks very interesting and full of emotions. I think it is also a good thing she spoke about her betrayal and how she managed to go through it, I think it can inspire people, whatever their background is. Very nice review(:

User avatar
Stephanie Elizabeth
Posts: 264
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 15:41
Currently Reading: Adrift
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks by Morton E Tavel, MD

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 14 Apr 2019, 10:55

Great review! The cover and title are what got me to take a look at this book. I figured it had something to do with a young person doing something amazing, but I never would have guessed that it was about a girl who becomes a champion shooter! What an interesting choice.

It sounds like you really enjoyed reading and reviewing this book!

User avatar
Nyambura Githui
Posts: 120
Joined: 22 Nov 2017, 13:38
2018 Reading Goal: 7
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 128
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 12
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: MY FRIEND Marilyn by Christopher Lentz

Post by Nyambura Githui » 14 Apr 2019, 13:40

I love stories about women who succeed in a male dominated area. I'll totally add it to my list. Good review.

Posts: 2282
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 37
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: Orope the white snake
Bookshelf Size: 220
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Scary Spring: Our Polio Fright of 1955 by C.A. Hartnell

Post by kdstrack » 14 Apr 2019, 18:49

Overcome your fears, and no one can stop you. This sounds inspiring. Thanks for the recommendation.

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 7680
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: Scorched
Bookshelf Size: 266
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Vigilatus by Brenda Heller and Jimmy Adams

Post by kandscreeley » 14 Apr 2019, 19:05

Koo sounds quite fascinating. I'm really curious about the sport shooting. I'm not in the mood for a memoir at the moment, but I will keep it in mind. Thanks.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 14 Apr 2019, 22:00
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Andrew_Urciel » 14 Apr 2019, 22:07

Official Review: The most Unlikely Champion by Vera Koo is a very good book. It describes that no one can stop you from being a champion but yourself. Don’t be a follower be a leader. But when your on a team it’s not just you it’s a full team win. Don’t ever get down on yourself for everyone saying your not a champion, prove them wrong and do it. Work Hard, Grind Hard, and it will show for the result.

User avatar
ElizaBeth Adams
Posts: 83
Joined: 26 Feb 2019, 08:22
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 40
Currently Reading: Adrift
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Sigfried’s Smelly Socks! by Len Foley

Post by ElizaBeth Adams » 15 Apr 2019, 07:44

I am intrigued by this woman's story. This is one I would like to check out. I admire her courage and willingness to face her fears by paricipating in sport shooting, and also her commitment to healing after being betrayed. I am a firm believer that one can forgive a person whether or not the person is repentant. It doesn't mean that the one who has committed the offense shouldn't be held accountable, or that you have to trust them. Choosing to forgive, helps the victim release bitterness and move forward and heal. I do believe repentance and change in behavior should be demonstrated in order to re-build trust.

Posts: 36
Joined: 06 Apr 2019, 05:48
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 6

Post by 8amaseter » 15 Apr 2019, 10:53

Good memoirs teach others lessons of life. In this book, one can learn from the author, virtues like believe in self's abilities and forgiveness. They contributed to her status in the male dominated sport.

Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”