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Review: Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

by Kristeena
Review: Us Against You by Fredrik BackmanUs Against You by Fredrik Backman
Series: Beartown, #2
Published by Atria Books on August 21st 2017
Genre: Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 448
Challenge Theme: A book set in Scandinavia

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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.

I was worried about choosing this book because I LOVED the prequel, Beartown. I thought there was no way I would love this book as much. Well I was wrong. This was just as good as the first book in the series. In Beartown I fell in love with these characters, especially Benji, and was so excited to see where they went in their lives. I absolutely love the way Backman forms a story, his writing makes you feel so many emotions over the course of one novel. You feel angry, heartbroken, happy, sick to your stomach, just to name a few. I also really like the foreshadowing he does in almost every chapter. It gives you insight into the future of the characters & events and it also makes you want to keep reading to see what exactly happens. He teases it enough to peak your interest without giving too much away until the time comes to reveal the whole story. Backman also gives depth to every single character and you find yourself invested in them whether you love them or hate them. He also shows how there is no black or white when it comes to humans. At one point I could not stand William Lyt but by the end he redeemed himself. Everyone is flawed and Backman makes them all relatable. I have no idea if he has plans to write a 3rd novel in this series but I will be the first one to read it if he does. I would love to continue to read what happens to every single one of these characters.

Favorite Quotes:
“He’s twelve years old, and this summer he learns that people will always choose a simple lie over a complicated truth, because the lie has one unbeatable advantage: the truth always has to stick to what actually happened, whereas the lie just has to be easy to believe.”

“The worst thing we know about other people is that we’re dependent upon them. That their actions affect our lives. Not just the people we choose, the people we like, but all the rest of them: the idiots. You who stand in front of us in every line, who can’t drive properly, who like bad television shows and talk too loud in restaurants and whose kids infect our kids with the winter vomiting bug at preschool. You who park badly and steal our jobs and vote for the wrong party. You also influence our lives, every second.”

“The complicated thing about good and bad people alike is that most of us can be both at the same time.”

“Sometimes people have to be allowed to have something to live for in order to survive everything else.”

“At some point almost everyone makes a choice. Some of us don’t even notice it happening, most don’t get to plan it in advance, but there’s always a moment when we take one path instead of another, which has consequences for the rest of our lives. It determines the people we will become, in other people’s eyes as well as our own. Elizabeth Zackell may have been right when she said that anyone who feels responsibility isn’t free. Because responsibility is a burden. Freedom is a pleasure.”

“The truth about most people is as simple as it is unbearable: we rarely want what is best for everyone; we mostly want what’s best for ourselves.”

“Life is a weird thing. We spend all our time trying to manage different aspects of it, yet we are still largely shaped by things that happen beyond our control.”

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