Us Against You

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

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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Beartown was one of my favourite reads this year and cemented Fredrik Backman as one of the best writers of today. In this unexpected sequel, Backman takes us back to Beartown to experience the aftermath of the events of book 1.
Throughout both books we have been introduced to many characters, all of whom are complex and developed slowly and skilfully. There are a few "main" characters, but we also get glimpses of the whole town. We start to understand the political landscape, "the Pack" who protect their own, the school kids, the parents, the grandparents. But most of all we get to know that this is a hockey town. You either play it or you watch it. Passionately.
There are a lot of short sentences used by Backman in this book to give us a hint of what is to come. I didn't mind the style, but I'll admit I was getting a little impatient by the end. That is really my only criticism for a book that is all about hockey, but actually isn't about it at all. 
It is about Us. It is about You. It is about how we can hate, and love, so easily ... and either way it hurts. It is about a small Swedish town that loves its community. They are the Bears from Beartown.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a great follow up to Bear Town. Frederick Bachman again made me fall in love with his characters and fell at one with their plight. Very good.
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Like all of Frederik Backman's work, this book took some getting into, but was a completely worthwhile read. Once I got into it, I found I couldn't put it down and was happy to catch up with the characters who populate Beartown.
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The easier question to ask would be: what didn't I like about Us Against Them? Nothing. I devoured every single page. 

Backman's prose continues to be an astonishing blend of beauty and violence, one after another in a cascade of emotions that leaves the reader breathlessly hungering for more. His characters are some of the best in modern fiction, a perfectly human (flawed) blend of hypocrisy, rage, kindness, and love. 

The characters we met in Beartown have grown here, continuing to develop before the reader’s eyes. But there are new characters too whose lives shed more light on this small town with a big story. 

This is one of those books (well, two books) that I recommend to everyone I know. The content and themes are so relevant to modern society without becoming political or one sided. Backman doesn’t shy away from the darkness in people but there’s so much heart on this story. One of the best books of 2018 by far. 

Note: I received a free Kindle edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher Simon & Schuster, and the author Fredrik Backman for the opportunity to do so.
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Us Against You picks up right where popular read Beartown left off. This sequel revisits major characters, delves deeper into minor characters, and introduces new characters. Maya continues to survive after her rape, brutal bullying, and ostracization from the community she grew up in. She and Anna's relationship is strengthen and tested. The Beartown hockey team is left completely unraveled. WIll they be able to rebuild? Politicians try to use this time of uncertainty to try to make strides in their career while destroying the reputation of their opponents. And then there is the Pack, Beartown's own mob equivalent. The story continues...
Backman does a great job continuing to unpack the community that is left in turmoil after their star hockey player is accused of rape in Beartown. Us Against You goes to show that life goes on, but pain and suffering also continue. There is no end to the trauma. It also touches on addiction, depression, unrealized dreams, and more. It is a well-rounded book that evokes empathy in the reader.
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There is something about every Fredrik Backman book. It's a feeling you get, it's the connection to the characters or even an entire town. It is the diving into more than a story, but it is the living of an experience alongside the characters. It's a story about hockey, but not at all about hockey. Backman is a master storytelling, playing at the emotions of a reader. I'd be amazed if you could get through this novel without shedding a tear, but don't let that deter you from giving it a chance. After Beartown, don't hesitate, get right into Us Against You.
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I worry that I can't do this book justice merely by writing a review. This book by Fredrik Backman, a follow up to the unrivaled Beartown, tells the story of the aftermath of a sexual assault in a small town where hockey is king and rules all.

At the heart of this book is the game of hockey, which I'm not the biggest fan of, despite the fact that I am a Canadian. I worried that I wouldn't enjoy the two books in the Beartown series, however upon reading I discovered that while hockey is at the heart of these books, it is also unimportant. The premise of this book is simple- the Beartown hockey team has been disbanded following a sexual assault accusation against the best player. Most of the team have relocated to the team in Hed, and as a new Beartown team is formed with new players, tension mounts.

Meanwhile the family of the sexual assault victim is dealing with the aftermath of the accusation and resulting fallout. No one is left unscathed as the family tries to piece their lives back together.

This is a powerful, moving, and beautiful book despite the dark subject matter. It is about more than hockey. It is about loyalty and friendship, marriage and family. It is about hope for the future and about doing the right thing. I truly loved this powerful book by this incomparable author and I will read this book over and over again.

I can't recommend this highly enough, but if you're considering reading this please read Beartown first as it is essential to enjoying this book to the fullest.
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Excellent follow up to BearTown.  I absolutely loved it.  The characters are believable and well-drawn.  I definitely need to pick up more Backman.
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In this sequel to Beartown, returning readers will find the first 50+ pages recap what transpired in Book 1. I thought the sequel started out slow and seemed less about hockey and more about the people who live in the small town of Beartown, a town that was struck with tragedy and scandal.

There are some new characters including a new hockey coach, this time a female, which creates controversy. The story covers many weighty issues like homophobia, suicide and violence and, while I don't have a problem with meaty issues, this book came across as a little too preachy at times. I also wasn't a fan that the author overdid the foreshadowing in this one as well.

Don't get me wrong, this author knows how to write about people and small town life, there are many beautiful passages that will make you think. Readers who love stories about close knit, small town life and, those who love character driven novels, this series is for you. Bachman has the unique ability of creating characters who are able to feel empathy when individuals suffer.

Some readers have described this series was an emotional roller coaster, I didn't see it as such but, it certainly was darker, sadder and even a bit gritty at times.  If you plan on reading this series, I'd recommended reading the books in order.

https://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2018/09/us-against-you-fredrik-backman.html
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This was enjoyable follow-up to Beartown. I really love the way Fredrik Backman writes. His writing just feels unique to me, which is a nice change from the same old same old I get used to. He draws you in and keeps you hooked. From the beginning you know someone will die, but you have to keep getting psyched out before the actual death occurs. There are a bunch of set-ups where you think, "This is it," and it takes a twists. The actual death is a quick punch to the gut. I just love the way he writes and explores individual characters. In all his books, it is his characters that stand out. He truly writes outstanding and fascinating characters. They are so diverse and flawed, I love it. This book throws you right into the mess surrounding the events that unfolded in Beartown. It explores the aftermath and how it affected the whole town. Hockey, as always, is at the center of everyone's lives, whether they want it to be or not. It brings people together and tears them apart. Overall, I really enjoyed this heart-wrenching look inside a town that is ruled by Hockey.
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A return to Beartown and more hockey was a welcome read. The storytelling is fantastic and hope more than the two books about this little Swedish town are in the pipeline.
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4.5*
In Backman’s sequel, the town of Beartown has lost its dreams of greatness. The teen hockey team on which the town placed all its hopes, has lost its star after he was charged with rape. In the wake of most of the team’s defection to another town, people are filled with anger and turn that animosity on the family of the victim. Instead of compassion and support, the young girl and her family are confronted with hatred. 

Backman looks at the group mentality, the need to target their intense anger at someone. The town is polarized and is showing its ugly side. This small Swedish town is a microcosm for our world today. People are obsessed with a compulsion to blame – to seek retribution for perceived wrongs. Reason has no place and compassion is notably absent. Backman is an astute observer of society and his story pinpoints flaws that are entirely emblematic of our contemporary society. There are a few standouts (Benji, BoBo and Amat) who rise above the fray. They show some backbone, but not without consequences. These boys renew our faith in mankind and will move readers with their simple determination to do what’s right. They are the real heart of the book and their actions will move readers to tears.

This book tackles more than just mob mentality. It delves into sexist attitudes, homophobia, political backstabbing, thug behavior, bullying and betrayal. Peter Anderson and his daughter, the rape victim, are struggling to move forward along with the rest of their family. They are victims twice over.  But there are many others who are left victimized by the chaos that ensued after the town fell apart. Now it’s not just the confrontation of one town verses another town, but chaos within Beartown itself that exposes the tenuous fabric of the fractured community. 

Backman has finished his story of a broken town, a ruptured family and a small group of kids who stand tall. They aren’t perfect, but their actions demonstrate more courage than many of the town’s adults. That’s not to say that the adults are all one-dimensional. A number of secondary characters stand out as colorful additions to the town’s fabric. They are memorable for their belief in what’s right; they rise above the fray and stand tall when others bend. This is a story about resilience, courage, and the few who stay true to themselves. Even the perpetrators of hate are shown to have more humanity than a lesser author might have demonstrated. The two books in the Beartown series are outstanding examples of how literature can shed a magnifying glass on our world, demonstrating behaviors that are authentic and telling. Not only will readers feel the emotion of this stellar story, but they will see real life and real emotions laid bare, warts and all.
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I absolutely loved this book. Rarely does a sequel come close to being as amazing as the first book, but this one came pretty close. I loved being immersed in Beartown again.
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I absolutely loved this book. It took me a long time to submit this review, and I apologize to the publisher for not completing the review in a reasonable amount of time. There's just so much depth to the book and it's such a relevant story in the current political climate. I felt such an array of emotions while reading. I recommend it and will buy copies for a few friends I know will love it.
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