Title: Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming, sometimes it takes a leap of faith to find yourself.
Eighteen-year-old Meg Hennessey just found out her entire childhood was a lie. So instead of taking a gap year before college to find herself, she ends up traveling north to meet what’s left of the family she never knew existed – all while questioning the ideals she grew up with.
While there, she meets Micah Allen, a former pastor’s kid whose dad ended up in prison, leaving Micah with his own complicated relationship with faith. The clock is ticking on his probation hearing and Micah, now 19, feels the pressure to forgive – even when he can’t possibly forget.
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.
Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn is an engaging young adult romance with a topical storyline.
Eighteen-year-old Meg Hennessey’s gap year is turned upside down when she learns a huge secret about her life. She was homeschooled growing up and very involved in an ultraconservative church whose attitudes toward women she now questions. In order to distance herself from her parents, Meg heads to the Upper Peninsula in order to meet family she never knew existed. Her great-grandmother welcomes her with open arms as does her uncle James. But it is her chance meeting with nineteen-year-old Micah Allen that results in the most changes in her life.
Micah has been in his own crisis of church for several years. His faith in God never wavered but his faith in church institution did following the poor treatment lack of support of his family’s former congregation. Micah worships in his own way but he has yet to come to terms with the precipitating event that turned him away from going to church. His relationship with his family is a little strained under the weight of an expectation that he is unfairly burdened with. Micah is immediately intrigued with newcomer Meg and their lives intersect in a very unexpected way.
Until recently, neither Meg’s faith nor her relationship with her parents has ever been tested. She has always been a dutiful daughter but in light of new information, she rightly feels betrayed. Meg is hoping this trip away will help provide some clarity about her relationship with her parents and her now complex views on religion. Always extremely sheltered, Meg takes baby steps away from her strict upbringing as she decides her own viewpoints about the more extreme versions of her former church. She is also slowly feeling her way in her burgeoning romance with Micah.
Never Saw You Coming is a charming coming of age young adult novel. Meg and Micah are multi-faceted characters whose romance is very sweet. The UP is a wonderful backdrop since so much of Micah’s personality is tied to his love of the outdoors. The elements of faith are understated but religion is an integral part of Meg and Micah’s lives. Their less than positive experiences will resonate with readers who have questions about certain aspects of more conservative doctrine. The story-line is well-executed and Erin Hahn brings this thought-provoking young adult novel to a heartwarming conclusion.