How would you feel if you woke up one morning questioning everything you know to be true in your life? Everything you were ever told to believe?
Title: Never Saw You Coming
Author: Erin Hahn
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: September 7th, 2021
Raised by conservative parents, 18-year-old Meg Hennessey just found out her entire childhood was a lie. 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.
While there, she meets Micah Allen, a former pastor’s kid whose dad ended up in prison, leaving Micah with his own complicated relationship about the church. The clock is ticking on Pastor Allen’s 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.
In Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming, sometimes it takes a leap of faith to find yourself.
Erin Hahn is an auto-buy author for me. She weaves music so effortlessly in her stories and does great work with dual perspectives. Never Saw You Coming, is no different. Taking a side character from her sophomore novel More Than Maybe, Hahn shines a light on homeschooled, religious, and extremely sheltered Meg as her life implodes.
Whenever you have a book looking at religion, good or bad, it definitely alienates readers. Most YA stories I’ve read centered on religion look at the negative connotations—show the kids all the bad to make them want to rebel. This book is all about questioning. When Meg learns the man who raised her is not her biological father and that her real dad died before she was born, she feels as if her whole life is a lie. She flees to north to meet her paternal grandmother, uncle, and truly find herself now that she is out from under her ultra conservative parents. She also meets Micah—the local boy going through his own identity crisis after being shunned by his church when his pastor father is sent to jail. They both feel betrayed by the beliefs they were raised with and now, with help from each other, must discover what it is they actually believe—something that will evolve and change throughout their life.
Meg and Micah as a couple were such a delight. They were incredibly supportive, sweet, and patient with one another. While the religious aspects—love, forgiveness, hypocrisy, faith— won’t be for everyone, I do think this is an important read that will incite great conversations
ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.