“The most spectacular rise can only come after you fall.”
The Most Unlikely Champion by Vera Koo is an inspiring autobiography about redefining gender roles and never giving up regardless of what life may throw your way. It follows both Vera’s personal and professional life, and how they intertwine to shape the person she becomes, paying close attention to her growth as a professional shooter.
Right off the bat, what left an impression is the fact it’s narrated not only by Vera Koo but also by Justin Pahl – a writer hired to help tell her story. I find that quite an interesting and unusual choice, not just because it isn’t normally the case, but because of the underlying meaning it could possibly convey – that Vera Koo isn’t brave enough to bare her soul on her own.
And maybe I’m looking too deeply, but that possible meaning it’s what stood out the most to me. Vera Koo is an outstanding person – she’s the world’s best female Action Pistol shooter; she’s a successful businesswoman. And she managed to rise up after losing her first son. Yet, quite possibly, she still feels that way. It shows just how complex and obscure the human soul can be.
The second thing which stood out to me and which I liked the most, despite all of the book’s incredible lessons, is the late age Vera starts training and competing – in her late 40s. As someone who’s been deemed too old for competitive dancing multiple times, I find this small detail incredibly soothing and encouraging. If Vera can achieve her goals way past what’s considered an acceptable age to do so, so can I.
The only thing I disliked is the frequent use of terminology. Even though I understand it’s inevitable due to the book’s nature, it still made reading it a bit daunting. It left me feeling like I didn’t fully understand a portion of the book.
Still, I give it solid 3 out of 4 stars. I take a star off due to the reason mentioned above. However, I don’t give it less because I enjoyed reading it. Vera Koo is truly an amazing person, someone you truly wish you knew and had in your life. She’s someone who may carry the entire world’s problems on her shoulders and yet, you’ll never know it. She’s someone who’s managed to keep her kindness and compassion intact, despite life showing her anything but that.
I deem it professionally edited; I didn’t notice any typos, spelling or grammar errors. There’s no profanity or erotic content.
I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading memoirs about one’s growth, be it personal or professional, and to anyone who needs a lesson in self-confidence and turning one’s tragedies into victories. Vera Koo covers both fronts, quite successfully at that.
Online Book Club Review by booklover_77, Published Mar 18, 2020.