📖 14 | 30
⏲ Read time: 5-7 minutes
If you’re anything like me, sometimes you get extremely anxious when there’s a sequel to a story you fell in love with. What if it’s not what I hoped for? What if the story gets lost? What if I hate it?
I was able to get my hands on a complimentary copy of Us Against You because I won it in a GoodReads giveaway. (Which a major thank you again is in order!) Because it was an advance reader’s edition, I’m *technically* not allowed to quote it.
However, I’m a slacker and put off reading this because I’m a busy gal. My intentions were to have this finished before its release date (June 5), but obviously that didn’t happen, so my review is fair game!
Us Against You is what happens after the dust settles in Beartown, where we meet up with the Andersson family, as they continue to learn how to survive the living hell they’ve endured with the fallout of daughter Maya’s rape.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Beartown is nearly forced to file for bankruptcy as a result of sponsorship moving with the rest of the team to rivaled Hed after the scandal. Cue in a saving grace as a major sponsor works its way into the town. It only asks for one thing: For the standing area, or home to the vigilante ‘Pack’ fans at the rink to be demolished.
With a surprising pick of a new coach, a team starts to form around speedster workhorse Amat, intense lone wolf Benji, who bears a heavy secret that gets leaked, and Vidar, a goalie with a bit of a temper. As the anticipated match-up between Beartown and Hed inches closer, a friendly rivalry turns violent and it’s not longer ‘just a game’. This is life now, hate is easier than love. It’s Us Against You.
Backman has a way of fully captivating you, just to crush your hopes and expectations, and help you piece them back together again. I laughed, I sobbed my face off (insert ugly Kim Kardashian gif here) and I fully felt my heart break and mend for this community who has just been through enough.
As I mentioned in my Beartown review, this isn’t just a story about hockey. It’s beyond the sport and takes you into a community of people who only know that lifestyle. As a hockey fan, it hits home but I’m sure there’d be an appreciation for those who don’t love the sport. This isn’t a sports story: this is a story about people who feel as if the world’s against them (and for a lot, it is).
It’s no longer a competition for my favorite author because Backman just single-handedly took the gold with his Beartown series and I could only hope to see it continue and thrive. Do yourself the favor and just give his Instagram a follow, because if you love his captions as much as I do, you’ll love his work even more.
My To-Read list grew because I’ve decided to read all of his work available. I haven’t become this bethorthed to an author since Chuck Palahniuk and I’m quite excited to fall even more in love with him.
Rating: 5 out of 5