Official Review: The Most Unlikely Champion by Vera Koo

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NadineTimes10
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Official Review: The Most Unlikely Champion by Vera Koo

Post by NadineTimes10 »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Most Unlikely Champion" by Vera Koo.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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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
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Juju15
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Post by Juju15 »

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(:
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

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!
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Post by Nyambura Githui »

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

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

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.
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Post by Andrew_Urciel »

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.
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Post by ElizaBeth Adams »

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.
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Post by 8amaseter »

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.
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Post by Basmeen »

Vera koo's memoirs is quite fascinating, motivating as well. Moving towards our goal without considering sh*t about others thought is the attitude needed to achieve the goal. May be she became the example for that belief.
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Post by Mr Benji »

A book on "motivation" will surely be an interesting read indeed.

It will be interesting to learn one or two things about Chinese culture.

Thank for such well-written review.
Books are lovely.
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Post by NadineTimes10 »

ElizaBeth Adams wrote: 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.
I'm sorry I'm seeing your comment so late. I just realized today that I didn't get any emails alerting me to everyone's replies. :D

I also believe that one can forgive someone else whether or not the person is repentant, and that forgiveness is a release for the person who forgives. :)

But I also agree that (if the goal is to remain involved in and to heal a relationship from the inside out, instead of walking away for the sake of one's emotional and mental health) the offender should be held accountable in order to rebuild trust, and unfortunately, that's what was missing in this story for me. No need for the betrayer to truly change or to stop betraying, while the weight is all on the victim to forgive and to, well, keep letting the betrayals slide and to find a way to live with it.

That aspect of the memoir really bothered me, to say the least. But I had to remember I was born into a totally different culture from the one the author was born into, and my whole frame of reference concerning what's acceptable and unacceptable in relationships may be completely different from hers or other people from her culture. While I personally downgraded the book because I strongly disagree with and wouldn't recommend certain choices the author made, I didn't officially downgrade the book on account of my personal, ideological disagreement. :) Wasn't an easy decision for me!
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Post by Maconstewart »

Nice review! I have read this book and am fascinated by Koo. This memoir is a great motivation for anyone, especially females, who are looking to challenge themselves and go beyond their comfort level.
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Post by Authentic Voice »

i have read through Vera Koo's memoirs and i love her great resilience, persistence and discipline. her value for the family is indeed remarkable. Nice review!
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Post by Larisa Hristova »

Vera Koo's inspiring example is worthy of emulation. The memoirs are written clearly and very frankly. The impression is one of a modest and humble personality, without unnecessary vanity or prejudice. And the insight that you can turn pain into a motivating factor for success is downright amazing. The review is very good. Only, I disagree with the reviewer's personal and, in my opinion, misspoken approach to overcoming betrayal. Koo's way of forgiving mistakes when they can be corrected is worth forgiving.
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