I’m Jewish. If not religiously than culturally. Why am I telling you this? Because being Jewish and a bit of an Atheist, I did not expect to fall in love with a couple of church kids. But it’s Erin Hahn, so I figured, even if I ignored the church stuff, it would still be a good story. Well, she made me love the church stuff too and I am not even mad about.
Also, Erin Hahn always writes books set in Michigan which you almost never see so I will read her forever (since that’s my state).
Let’s get to the review!
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
Let’s start with Meg. I loved Meg in More Than Maybe and I was so excited to see her as one of the main characters in this book. Meg is delightful and unique and in Never Saw You Coming, dealing with a lot of shit.
Her mom just let her know that her dad is not actually her biological dad and guess what?? She had sex outside of marriage which is against everything she ever told and taught Meg growing up.
Meg is pissed… to say the least.
With this news, Meg changes her plans for the summer and decides to go up north to the UP (upper peninsula) and visit with the family of her biological dad. He might be dead, but the people he knew and loved are still alive and Meg wants to know them.
And who is one of the first people she meets? Micah Allen.
Micah is a doubter and he has good reason to be. His father was the pastor of their church and defrauded it and harassed many of the women that worked for him.
He’s in prison (has been for years) and Micah is still dealing with the aftermath of the fallout, how the community treats him (still), and the reasons he no longer feels comfortable going to church.
Meg and Micah meet on a rock near the water. Meg has just arrived in town and decides to chill out and figure out her life sitting on a rock. But Micah has the audacity to be in the exact place she wants to sit. First of all, how dare he and second of all, HOW DARE HE.
He gives up his spot and they don’t expect to see each other again, but fate has other ideas. They meet again at Micah’s work and the connection is solidified.
While Meg visits her great-grandmother and finds a place to stay with her newly-found uncle, she finds herself seeing Micah again and again. And the sparks?? THEY FLY.
The more time she spends with her family and Micah, the more she realizes that maybe she doesn’t want to go back home. Maybe she belongs in this new place.
So she gets a job and starts putting down a few roots.
But this isn’t just a love story. This is also a story about hurt, lies, beliefs, and what believing in God means to each person.
Meg grew up in a church that taught her a lot of shit. Stuff about being modest and not “tempting” boys. Stuff about when sex should happen and when it shouldn’t, Stuff about what girls should wear and what they shouldn’t. And if you break any rules, well…you’re not going to a good place.
Throughout the story, she deals with all these things she/s been told to her over the years. She figures out what works for her and what is toxic bullshit. It’s great to see her unlearn a lot of the sexist shit she’s been taught.
When she bought a two-piece bathing suit, I was like YES, MEG! DO IT! I didn’t get the religious shame thing that she got, but I definitely got the “if you wear that, you’re to blame for whatever people say or do to you” so I TOTALLY got that scene.
Micah is also HIGHLY relatable to me with his angst and anger and feeling towards his father. I really enjoyed diving deep into his story and his feelings. He fit perfectly with Meg and their interactions are delightful, but he’s also just as interesting by himself too.
Also….DUKE!! What a delightful cinnamon roll! I just want him to be happy and accepted and I will punch anyone who tries to hurt him.
Let’s talk a little bit more about church stuff. I really loved the slow development of Micah and Meg’s journey back to church and how it’s done on their own terms.
Micah’s angry drum session?? Yes, please. Meg’s teen girl bible group….I have never wanted to be a part of a bible group before and yet…I would go.
I also LOVED Meg standing her ground when it came to talking about abstinence. She knew how harmful that was for her and she wasn’t spreading that nonsense to more girls.
And I don’t know why but Meg working at a coffee shop/bakery made me smile so hard. Just Meg and baked goods seem to fit perfectly.
Oh and no spoilers, but MEG’S WINGS. FUCK YES.
Obviously, I loved the shit out of this book! While not everyone will get the religious parts (depending on how or where you grew up), the love story and Meg and Micah’s individual struggles will have you staying up way too late to read “just another chapter”. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn is available now!
Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the free eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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