Us Against You

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

Fredrik Backman is amazing and has quickly become one of my favorite authors. His books are just so beautifully written, and so very human. While I wasn't sure about Beartown needing a follow-up, I was immediately drawn back into this town's story. I love how the narrator is a part of the town, and helps bring you in and really understand what the people are feeling. This book was worthy successor to Beartown. You genuinely feel for all these characters and all their triumphs and falls. This was truly an emotional book and hit all the notes that made Beartown great, and then some. Once again Backman tackled a sensitive issue with honesty and feeling and it really added depth to this novel. I have loved every book I've read by Backman and this one did not disappoint.
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This book continues where Beartown left off and it deals with the aftermath of the events in that book. Beartown is still divided and a savvy, weaselly politician wants to manipulate the townsfolk in order to get his own way.
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This is the follow-up to his previous novel about the importance of a boy's ice hockey team to a small community. This novel explores the lengths that people will go to to protect and defend someone, even if they could be wrong in order to keep the team intact. It was surprisingly frustrating and not an easy, but a very good read.
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I love everything Fredrik Backman!! I was thrilled to return to Beartown and continue the story of the residents.
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Fredrik Backman has done it again!  I have to admit that whenever I see he has a new book I jump at the chance to read it.  He is a magician with words! His writing makes me feel so many emotions with each page I read.  It's hard to describe too much about this book because it's the second Beartown book.  I was nervous to dive back into this town and it's characters because I was afraid nothing could be better than Beartown.  I was wrong.  This book captured the same spirit and just continued to amaze me.  I loved watching the characters continue to develop and grow admist a new conflict.  I will not hesitate to pick up the third novel whenever it becomes available.

             * I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *
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How does one review a book by an author whose books they love? Could I list all of the things I loved about the book like the beautifully written prose and the perfectly laid out plot? Yes! Maybe I could just enumerate all of the reasons why I cared for all the characters he creates, even the ones with bad intentions? Possibly I could just spend time telling you to all go read this book or we could no longer be friends because you clearly have bad taste...just kidding! (We all have different taste in literature, I know and actually love interacting with those of you who differ from me because it has made me a better reader...I digress.)
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Ultimately, I loved Backman's sequel to Beartown. I loved Beartown as a novel and was connected to the characters. About a year and a half later, I dove back into this community to read Us Against You. Despite being quite tired, I stayed up way past my bedtime in order to finish this book because I just couldn't put it down. I was so engrossed in what was happening in Us Against You that I was unable to stop reading. I think this is a result of how Backman writes and how well he paces his novel. Some parts zoom by while others allow a reader the time for thought and reflection. This book was simply perfection for me, and I am so happy to have read it.
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I am honestly not sure I can think of many readers who wouldn't enjoy this book, so you should definitely go check it out and give it a shot (though you definitely need to read Beartown first, but it is also amazing)! Happy reading!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Atria books for the digital review copy!
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As much as I loved this book, it just couldn't capture the magic the same way Beartown did. Loved the premise and the characters new and old. So many blossomed and surprised me. The heart is so deeply involved in all of Backman's books. Heard a third and final installment is on its way. Woot Woot!
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Swedish author Fredrik Backman has a way with words, a fact he's proven time and again with his storytelling.  "Us Against You" is the sequel to "Beartown," a heart-tugging tale about the trials and tribulations of boys, and adults, who love ice hockey. The sequel picks up after a scandal rocks the Beartown residents.  I don't want to give away from the story, so I'll say that it's a must read. As is everything that Backman writes. This author finely tunes his characters to resonate with readers no matter how far away the setting may be. He captures the nuances and complexities of people, personalities and communities and presents it all in a compelling presentation that makes you want to read anything he writes. And I do, and so should you!
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I loved Beartown though I know a lot of people had a hard time with it because it is a tragic story. It's not easy reading and neither is its startling sequel, Us Against You. As you know, I deeply admire Fredrik Backman and Beartown was so different from what I was used to from him. I wasn't expecting a follow up because I was satisfied with how it ended. I realize now as I'm writing this why despite how heavy these books are, I love them so much. When people are put under the microscope and you keep zooming in closer, those people start to behave differently. The way they respond to the pressure is a glimpse into their personalities.


Same thing applies here in Us Against You where the story picks up a few weeks after a devastating crime that has run the accused and shamed hockey captain out of town and his accuser is left behind to face the town's wrath. Beartown is on the brink of implosion. It doesn't happen immediately. Instead Backman methodically demonstrates how each of Beartown's citizens are reacting to and are affected by the upheaval of their hockey team's demise. It's not just about hockey, but about what it represents to this town and how its identity and economy are closely entwined with its success. 


I was hyper aware of how fragmented the story is this time and admittedly it makes it slightly tougher to a reading groove so to speak. It jumps from one character to the next quickly as he sets up the story which requires patience as he leads to something big. He also introduces a new character who felt rather abstract  and sinister to me. The whole point of him is to prey on people's weaknesses and fears and spur on action. 


As an entire piece, I liked Us Against You. However, it did take me a while to finish it because the story is choppier and it is sad. Everyone involved is going through massive life changes and reeling from the reverberating effects of what happened to a few if its own. What kept me going is Backman's insight into human nature. He's able to pick apart and analyze things and know the truth of them. It's how I felt when I first read his debut, A Man Called Ove. I believe I said then that he's somehow able to put into words emotions that I myself hard to describe, and he does so in a way that makes them accessible. Us Against You might present an ugly side of people whose flaws we can easily recognize in ourselves, but there's also a glimmer of hope somewhere in there and it's that that I latch onto. Backman is a brilliant storyteller, sincere, vulnerable and honest in every word he writes.


~ Bel
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I really loved Beartown and couldn't wait to read Fredrik Backman's next book in the trilogy, but sadly, it didn't capture my emotions like Beartown did. I'm not sure if this is due to any faults on the author's part, but may be unavoidable simply because it is the middle book in a trilogy. Beartown felt like a complete book, but Us Against You is definitely not. The reader is left hanging at the end, after spending far too much time rehashing the events and feelings of the characters at the beginning. There are a lot of characters, along with awful, questionable decisions made by those characters, plenty of politics, and a lot of violence. Backman tells us early on that "by the time the last goal is scored, a resident of Beartown will be dead" so we have a clue about what is coming, but he also employed plenty of misleading foreshadowing that I just found irritating. 

This book took me almost two months to finish, simply because I had to force myself to read it. I think that I'll probably read the last book in the series when it is published, if only to find out what happens. I wish I had waited to read this second book until the third was also available; then it might not have suffered so much from "middle book syndrome". To be honest, I'm not sure this book added anything, and may even have taken away from the beauty I found in Beartown.

Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book.
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Us Against You by Fredrik Backman is a sequel to Beartown. A broader approach and the introduction of politics and economics pull the book away from the intensity of the personal emotional connection of the first book. In some ways, this book is completely not what I expected. Other Frederick Backman books have been so focused on the emotions of individual stories that completely envelop you into the tale. This one still has moments in which it speaks to me, just less so than the others. 

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2019/02/us-against-you.html 

Reviewed for NetGalley.
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Backman does it again.  This was just as wonderful as the first one. The characters have their internal struggles,  but among with that compassion and humanity.
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I was terrified to start this one, thanks to my love of Beartown. I thought there was no possible way it could live up to it -- but it did. Backman has a way of writing devastatingly beautiful stories that will wreck you in the best way. It's difficult to find words to describe what he does, so I'm not even going to try. Plus, part of the pleasure of reading these books is going in with little information and just staying with it, without trying to figure out where Backman is taking you. As with Beartown, this book left me in tears, and with a giant book hangover. 

Difficult subjects are tackled, ones that are very closely tied to the current state of our country and the world. It leaves you feeling hopeful that there is still good to be found, that life does go on in the midst of tragedy, and that differences don't have to be the death of us.

Basically, READ IT. And if you haven't read Beartown yet, yes you have to read it and what the heck are you waiting for?!

Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for gifting me this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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It's always a pleasure to read a Fredrik Backman book. His book, Beartown, which should be read first, was a 5-star book for me and so is this one! Looking forward to his new book to be published in English (fingers crossed).
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To start with, I will note that this was not needed as a followup to Beartown. I thought Beartown was a great story that was complete on its own. However, this story advances some of the stories about the characters you met in first book and introduces a few new ones as well. 

My biggest impression from this book is that there is far too much foreshadowing, which generally doesn’t turn out the way it is foreshadowed. This “false foreshadowing” gets annoying as you go through the book and I began to roll my eyes every time it occurred. I found it frustrating because I knew that it wasn't foreshadowing what was really going to happen, but playing with your emotions, which wasn't necessary.

Backman is really good at showing the heart of his characters and making you really care about them. He knows how to write an emotional book. He does not need the constant ridiculous "false foreshadowing." I was invested in these characters and worried for them and hoped for the best without it. 

Also, this book was too political. I didn’t pay enough attention to one of the political characters early on, then I felt lost for several scenes and felt like I was trying to figure out his endgame instead of just enjoying the story. This thread didn’t interest me and I didn’t enjoy it. I found myself starting to lose some interest due to this political aspect and felt the book dragged a bit in the middle because of it. However, the focus shifted back to the more important characters and I wanted to continue reading to find out what would happen to them. 

I like that Backman adds little tidbits about what happens to the characters in the future. He lets you know just enough about what will happen to the characters you care about without making it feel too tidy. 

Overall, there were parts that I loved and parts that made me want to put it down and forget about it. The emotion of the book and the characters are the best parts. The constant foreshadowing, some repetition, and the overly political aspect take away from that. I would definitely recommend this to someone that enjoys emotional, character driven stories.
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Us Against You picks up right where Beartown left off. As the town is trying to recover from recent events, they learn that they will be losing funding for their hockey team. This seems to bring out the best and the worst of the people in Beartown. This one didn't flow quite as well for me as Beartown (especially in the beginning) but I'm always in awe of how Fredrik Backman makes me feel such heartwarming emotions, followed by heartbreak and disgust in a matter of just a few pages. Worth the read.
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"Us Against You" is a sequel to "Beartown," a beautifully written and fascinating book.  It was hard to imagine that it could be equal in its message and dissection of human emotions as its predecessor, but it certainly was.
Hockey is the end-all and be-all of this small Swedish forest enclave and, in this sequel, the original team was made to divide into two communities, a split that had dire consequences for all.
Backman writes with such immense sensitivity and fairly dissects all sides,  This is a wonderful book and its message resounds for all,
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I loved the first book so much and was thrilled that this one continued the examination of interpersonal dynamics in times of trauma.
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I struggled with this book. I wanted to love it as much as I loved Beartown, because I just adored that one. It started off on a good note. The suspense and atmosphere Backman creates, immediately pulls you back into that little town in the forest. Unfortunately, it fell flat once I got there. I couldn't get interested in what was happening and I had lost the connection with the characters I loved from the first book. I might try to re-read this at a later date to see if it is just a case of the right book, wrong time, but for now, I'm so disappointed. *I received an advance copy provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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I absolutely loved the first in this series, BEARTOWN, and this is even better. Backman writes really powerful, human stories and wonderful characters. Whilst there isn't really a main story being focused on, there are many being interwoven with each other, and this does not make it confusing but enhances it. I am not sure if there will be a third book in the series but I really hope that there is.
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