This compilation of reviews from Online Book Club was first published at Women’s Outdoor News, and has been reprinted with permission.

Vera Koo’s first book, her memoir, is titled “The Most Unlikely Champion.” This book is an easy read, and tells an incredible tale of a woman who immigrated to the United States from China at a young age. Vera explains her life story, and spares no details – no matter how intimate or challenging.

There are quite a few reviews of Vera’s memoir that exist online, including those found on our own website. The site is another great source for “The Most Unlikely Champion” reviews. We’ve selected a few that we feel echo our feelings about this piece of literature: an inspiring tale, told by a brave woman who overcame tremendous odds to become a champion. Read on to see portions of these posts, written by other people who rate this book four out of four stars.

Book Review: Inspiring on Another Level

This review by Nouria el saftaw was originally published at Online Book Club on August 21st, 2021.

The Most Unlikely Champion is a memoir written by Vera Koo. In this book, she talks about how she became an amazing competition shooter and how she won many prizes. Vera Koo also talks about her life struggles and how she overcame them and continued to achieve incredible successes in the shooting world. She’s also one of the top female shooters in the shooting world and a national and world titleholder in action pistol shooting. If you’re interested in Vera Koo’s life and want to know more about her astonishing achievements; read this book and you definitely won’t regret it.

This book was inspiring on another level. Vera Koo’s story was a soul-touching one. She had definitely gone through so much and still didn’t give up. Achieving so many things although she has endured multiple hardships in her life. Her story was quite captivating and kept me hooked wanting to know more about her life. One of the most heartbreaking things she has gone through is her son’s death, and this was definitely a hurtful part of the book to me. The story wasn’t only about not giving up on her shooting journey, but in life in general.

1R by Shun Chu Vera Koo orange shirt
(Shun Chu photo)

There isn’t a single thing I didn’t enjoy about the book, I think it’s ideal all the way through. The author indicated true forms of strength in the hardships she faced, and that truly was inspiring and motivational, her journey in shooting was nothing less. Furthermore, getting inside a world where her abilities mostly would be underestimated and doubted and still choosing to do so is amazing. I liked that the author included pictures of her. It was quite nice seeing the woman whose story I was reading.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The book was exceptionally well-edited and impressive from head to toe. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about starting a journey in shooting. Also I recommend it to anyone who wants to get greatly inspired and learn more about Vera Koo’s life.

Read the full review at

Review: Success in the Face of Great Odds

This review by Victoria Muthyoi was originally published at Online Book Club on September 4th, 2021.

Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds. The latter epitomizes the life of an immigrant born in Hong Kong, a mother of 4 and certainly the most unlikely champion, Vera Koo.

The Most Unlikely Champion is a story of determination in the face of great odds. Vera, whose culture taught her that a woman’s place is to serve her family and her household and nothing more, takes interest in Action pistol shooting sport, a sport that is dominated by men. As it is to be expected, she faces a great deal of challenges and setbacks. For instance, she has to shoot alone while training because the other shooters couldn’t believe she was a shooter too. The men in the field discriminate against her and in turn she has to work harder than everyone else. Vera also gets a spiral fracture of her right tibia and fibula while preparing for the Bianchi cup competitions. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it helped her learn critical lessons that she would later use in her practice for the shooting competition. Did she win the Bianchi cup? Find out!

NRA Women Vera Koo Bianchi Cup Events feature
Vera Koo Aimpoint scope on Bianchi Cup gun

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It didn’t have any error and it also posses a message of hope that failure and setbacks are not fatal. It also sets clear that anybody can succeed in the face of great odds if they are willing to put in the effort. I recommend it to fans of Christian memoirs, as it will renew their faith in God as they go through life struggles, and to women who were raised in cultures that believe men are always better than them. Vera portrays so well in her book that what a man can do, a woman can do better.

Read the full review at

Review: A Tale of Bravery

This review by Etini Willie was originally published at Online Book Club on May 27th, 2022.

The book, The Most Unlikely Champion, is an autobiography of the author, Vera Koo, as she relays her life experiences and foray into the world of Sports Shooting where she left an imprint and achieved remarkable feats. Sports Shooting started as a pastime for the author but in the midst of deep personal crisis, she found her peace toeing that path. Vera, a Chinese-American defied many odds in her lifetime to get to the peak of Sports Shooting. A tale of a woman venturing into a traditionally male dominated profession, the odds were already against her from the onset. This was aggravated by her petite physique which was an anomaly for a sport shooter, Vera rose beyond the limitations and achieved tremendous success in the sport while also proving that a woman can break barriers in the seemingly male dominated profession.

Vera Koo Justin Pahl The Most Unlikely Champion feature
The Most Unlikely Champion by Vera Koo with Justin Pahl

This book is a tale of bravery, persistence, belief, determination and hard work. I admire Vera a whole lot because she is an embodiment of all the virtues listed above. I love how she achieves great feats by setting small achievable goals at a time before aiming higher. This is portrayed in the book when she started her shooting class. At first, she aimed to be the best female shooter in the class, done with that, she aimed higher to become the overall best shooter in the class. One step at a time, she got everything she achieved in Sports Shooting. I also love Vera’s ability to rise above life’s challenges. The loss of her son, the loss of her brother, the shakes in her marriage and financial challenges were enough setbacks for her to roll over and give up. She never did though, but with every setback, she found strength to achieve great things. Vera is a perfect model of a hardworking and supportive wife. She had to clean 120 doors a day to help keep their business afloat in times of crisis and bankruptcy. This is highly admirable.

The book is an excellent book. It is written in simple and direct language. It is professionally edited as I could not find typos or grammatical errors in the course of reading the book. I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. I give this rating because I found so many things to learn from the book. I have learnt that as humans, we should always be deliberate about the course of our lives and not rely on fate and luck.

Read the full “Review: A Tale of Bravery” here, at

Additional Online Book Club Reviews

Be sure to read additional thoughts, from Online Book Club members, of Vera’s book “The Most Unlikely Champion.” A catalog of these reviews can be found at Vera’s website.


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