As Meg and Micah grow closer, they are confronted with the heavy flutterings of first love and all the complications it brings. Together, they must navigate the sometimes-painful process of cutting ties with childhood beliefs as they build toward something truer and straight from the heart.
In Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming, sometimes it takes a leap of faith to find yourself.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Thank you St. Martin's Press for sending me an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Erin Hahn is one of my favourite YA contemporary authors for many reasons: she creates characters with depth, the storylines evolve smoothly, and her books always make me feel happy (and immediately want to reread them). So of course I was THRILLED when St. Martin's sent me her newest book, Never Saw You Coming. If you've read More Than Maybe you've already met Meg, so it was wonderful to get an entire story from her point of view!
Loved Meg and Micah
This book, while having a lot to do with religion, is ultimately a love story between Meg and Micah and I adore it! They are both facing problems from their pasts, both connected to their churches. Micah is dealing with the hypocrisy in his church - they shunned him and his family after his dad's arrest, abandoning them when they needed help the most. Meg is struggling to understand the body shaming and purity-enforcement that's placed on young women and how that has consciously and unconsciously shaped her life. When they meet, they are both looking for something more and they find it in each other. I love how they support and help each other without judgement, as well as their friends and family. Micah's especially stole my heart - he's so kind and understanding with Meg as she struggles to understand the difference between sinning and simply being interested in a boy.
You Don’t Have to Be Religious to Enjoy this Book
Although the story has a lot to do with Meg and Micahs‘s relationships with their church, you as a reader do not need to share that faith, or any religion, to appreciate the story and the journey these characters go on. What’s important here is how these characters change, and their relationships with themselves and with others change, over the course of the novel. Hahn has a great job giving us both of their perspectives so we can see what it’s like for Micah, as somebody who has left the community because of how they treat his family, responds to and supports no, somebody who wants to be part of the community but is now questioning her role in it, as they figure out their futures and their relationship with each other. What some people might find difficult to understand is Meg‘s hesitation towards even kissing Micah. But again, Hahn has done a beautiful job really getting us to understand Meg‘s understanding of “sin” based on her upbringing and helping us connect to the characters.
It’s OK to Question Religion
One of the biggest takeaways from this book is that it is OK for you to question, or have questions, about your religion. This is something that a lot of people seem to struggle with, and a lot of religious communities will frown upon the members doing so by they make it seem as if you are now questioning God. And that questioning God is an unforgivable sin (aka creating a real fear around asking questions so that no one “steps out of line”). But Hahn has made a distinct point in this book that you are not sinful, that God will not abandon you, just because you question something about your face. This is an incredibly sensitive subject and one that I know a lot of people will struggle with, but ultimately I love that this story shows that you are still a good person even if you question your religion. In a weird connection, I recently read a blog post by Mormon blogger Amber Fillerup Clark where she talks about questioning the Mormon Church, even while she continues to be part of it and have a strong relationship with God (very interesting - here’s the link if you’re curious). So regardless of your religion, it can be really scary to see the person speaking publicly about your questions but it’s equally show important that we are OK with those questions being asked without shining or shaming someone for asking them.
Overall, this book is filled with excellent takeaway lessons and a really, really sweet romance. I loved getting to know Micah and spending time with Meg again (plus Vida and friends!). I'd highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with their faith, to those who also love Erin Hahn, and to anyone looking for a sweet YA contemporary romance about two people finding themselves and each other.
Never Saw You Coming comes out September 7, 2021 and I'm so excited to get a physical copy for my shelf!
FINAL RATING: 4.5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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