Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Beartown, Sequel) (Book Review)

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Beartown, Sequel) (Book Review)

Us Against You is the sequel in the Beartown series, the third book "The Winners" will release in September 2022. Set in a small Swedish community, where the hockey team is a huge part of the town identity, Backman creates a strong and diverse cast of characters. Us Against You picks up pretty quickly after Beartown ends. The community is still reeling from a rape that happened last hockey season. The star hockey player accused by the general manager's daughter. Emotions are still high, the town has started to fall apart and many members have jumped ship for the neighboring community in Hed creating an ever bigger rivalry. How does a team and a community move on when so many people picked a side? How does a community move on when their team is threatened to be disbanded when their funding falls through? As a result of the controversy; the team is on the verge of bankruptcy and the general manager, Peter has to figure out if he can keep the team together and at what expense will it be. 

News of the hockey club's demise begins to circle the town; and everyone has something to say. All of the characters that we love are still dealing with the life-changing incident that happened last season and how it changed the town. Both the parents and the kids are facing a new reality, it doesn't seem like the town will never be the same. The team has lost many players who opted to play for Hed when they disagreed with how their general manager dealt with the rape and their star player. A general manager who was in an impossible position but did what he had to do to stand up for his daughter and put the team second. Maya will forever be changed from the rape, Peter and Kira's marriage is on shaky ground, Ana's is still dealing with her alcoholic father, Benji is still trying to hide his true self, Bobo and Amat still hope to have a hockey team to play for. We are also introduced to new characters and learn more about the politics of Beartown. We have a manipulating politician who uses everyone to his advantage -pawns in a game he wants to win. We also have a female hockey coach who isn't welcomed but she doesn't care about others' opinions. However, she knows she will only be respected if she wins and she wants to win. We also see Maya's twelve-year-old brother Leo start to lash out; he's trying to deal with the aftermath of his sister's rape, his family life is fragile and the town rivalry with Hed has him furious.    

Backman's cast is large, diverse and utterly captivating. This is small-town life with not many opportunities available and individuals with not a lot of means. Ordinary people living through extraordinary circumstances. The town hockey team is where most people put their hopes and dreams for their children and for the children of the town. Hockey can offer a way out and a way up when there's not much else. Backman's style is unique and enthralling. The unnamed narrator feels like a friend, sitting down to tell the reader a story, giving a sneak peek and unfolding some secrets. There is so much strength and power in his writing; his storytelling ability and the craft of his writing are astounding. Both Beartown, and Us Against You are highly recommended and I can't wait to pick up The Winners. You won't want to put this book down, but you'll also want to savor the writing and the story.


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  1. This sounds like a good series. Great review!

  2. I've enjoyed a few other books from Fredrik Backman, but I haven't read this series. yet! Nice review

    1. I really want to read A Man Called Ove soon. I've had it on my reader for so long.