The following book review by David Isaji gives Vera Koo’s memoir, “The Most Unlikely Champion,” a four star rating. David notes that he admires that even through all of Vera’s trying times, she did not back down from achieving her goals.

The Most Unlikely Champion is a thought-provoking memoir authored by Vera Koo. She shares with us how she managed to conquer a male-dominated sport. It is not common that we get to see someone become one of the best in something they choose to pursue later in life. Vera Koo started his journey in the sport of shooting when she was 40 years old and became one of the best in it.

Vera was born in Hong Kong, but she moved to San Francisco with her family when she was 12 years old. Her family upheld traditional Chinese values that are patriarchal. They prioritized the needs of men, while the women’s roles revolved around taking care of the family. It was less likely for her to excel in anything outside her home. Despite all that, she chose to design her path. She ventured into competitive shooting. Vera faced many challenges on her way to success. She had to deal with hostile in-laws and the death of family members. When things started shaping up, she was severely injured and couldn’t do much for several months. On top of all of that, her husband cheated on her. It is safe to say that nothing could stop her from being a champion.

The most appealing thing about this story is the theme of perseverance. Not many people can go through what the author went through and still push through without giving up. Vera Koo’s response to the many storms of adversity in her life taught me a valuable lesson; When you set a goal, don’t back down until you achieve it. She did not back down. She set her goals and worked with laser focus to achieve them. Through her historical rise in the world of shooting, she clung to her faith in God. She refused to let others determine her purpose in this world. Vera went against all odds and stamped her name in a sport dominated by men. Everything about her story is motivational.

With the help of Pahl, a debut author, Vera Koo tells a story with no conviction. She does not blame anyone for anything that happened in her life. Vera chose to focus on the positive and tried to find lessons in every predicament. Even when her son died, she still chose to stay positive. She went through pain and betrayal, but she still loved unconditionally. Vera Koo is a true example of a strong and empowered woman.

There is nothing I disliked about this book. It was well written and exceptionally edited. The author used simple language that is easy to comprehend. I did not find any grammatical errors while reading it. It would be selfish if I don’t give this book a perfect rating. I give it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Anyone who loves stories of people overcoming adversity will enjoy reading this book.

This review was originally published at


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