Review by f-trot99 -- The Most Unlikely Champion

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f-trot99
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Review by f-trot99 -- The Most Unlikely Champion

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[Following is a volunteer review of "The Most Unlikely Champion" by Vera Koo.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Most Unlikely Champion is a book written as a memoir of the life of Vera Koo, a Chinese-American woman who made a name for herself in a male-dominated sport. She was born in China but when she was 12 years old her parents moved to America in search of better opportunities. Her parents were quite traditional and raised all their children as such. Her parents weren't perfect, they had their problems - most of which were typical of traditional Chinese culture. Because her mother often told Vera, not hatefully but as a form of love, that she lacked physical beauty and that she needed to develop her inner beauty, she grew up feeling inferior.

Living in America she fell in love with Carlos, as she described him, a baby-faced Chinese man not much taller than her who was very kind and wise beyond his years. After dating him for about 4 years they got married and raised a family of 3 children - could have been 4 but unfortunately tragedy struck. Her husband was very active so Vera, acting on her mother's advice, kept him company whether it was hiking, horseback riding or windsurfing (with great effort on her part) no matter how unskilled she was.

Throughout her life, especially during her life as a married woman, Vera had to overcome some very difficult situations. Aside from insecurity and loss, she's had to overcome abuse from her father-in-law, financial hardship, betrayal twice and 2 very serious, life-threatening injuries. All these experiences, she said, helped shaped her into the champion that she became. She attributes her success to her faith in God, hardwork and life experiences.

This book is inspirational and quite motivating; the title suits it very well. Vera didn't start sport shooting with the goal of becoming a champion but instead took it as a form of therapy later on in her forties. Even when she had significantly improved her skills her goal wasn't to beat anyone, she just wanted to see how good she could get if she took her skills more seriously. In the book she said repeatedly that her goal was not to win but to perform her absolute best. I also admired the way she did not belittle her role as mother and wife even as she advanced to the top. I give this book 3 out of 4 stars.

However, I did not like the way the book was arranged in terms of events timeline. There was so much jumping back and forth between past and near present events that I sometimes lost track of which point in time the author was talking about. Overall it was nicely written with very few errors and no profanity. The jargon was not excessive and it did not make any part boring for me. There were no adult scenes so this book is suitable for younger readers.

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The Most Unlikely Champion
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