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Beartown was one of my top reads of 2018. So ever since I heard there was a sequel, I have been dying to get my hands on it. I finally grabbed my copy of Us Against You by Fredrik Backman this month and literally sobbed through the entire book.
After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in Hed, take in that fact. Amidst the mounting tension between the two rivals, a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach.
Soon a new team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.
From the blurb and the reviews for Us Against You by Fredrik Backman, I knew it was going to be an intense emotional read. Even after all that mental preparation, I was still not ready for the emotional roller coaster this book put me through. I just might have soaked every single page with my tears but I have absolutely no regrets!!!!!
“The complicated thing about good and bad people alike is that most of us can be both at the same time.”
We start off right where Beartown left us with. Most of the characters in the first book make a reappearance along with some new chracters. A lot of heavy, sensitive issues like rape, addiction, discrimination against lgbtqa+ community etc. are once again explored in the course of the story. I loved how Backman realistically portrays each and every one of these hard issues without ever trying to give an easy solution to these problems.
“It can be an unbearable sorrow for someone to know that he’s regarded as such a wild animal in other people’s eyes.”
If Backman made me fall in love with all these characters in the first book, he carved them into my heart with this one, never to be forgotten again. Words can’t explain what or how much I feel for Benji. He is one of those characters who leaves you with a lasting ache in your heart as you close the last pages of a book.
The feelings this book evoked in me is myriad. Anxiety, fear, determination, love, loss, inspiration, courage and most of all hope! Reading it was a difficult experience because you feel so raw and torn open that you need several hours to process through all those feelings.
“When guys are scared of the dark, they’re scared of ghosts and monsters, but when girls are scared of the dark, they’re scared of guys.”
I was constantly tearing up. There are places where it had me openly sobbing my heart out. It broke me and mended me all within 500 gut wrenching pages.
If you are a reader, then Fredrik Backman and his books are a must have in your shelves. If you haven’t picked it up yet, then you are seriously missing out. This series comes very highly recommended from me. Trust me you will not be disappointed.
About the Author
Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.