Welcome back to the blog-o-sphere, readers! I took a break this last week as I was on my annual family vacation. Like my WHOLE family. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, the works. Sounds stressful, I know, but we’ve been doing it for so long (my entire life) that we have it down to a science. Personally, my favorite part is heading down to the beach on a nice sunny day, putting up an umbrella, and digging into a good book. This vacation, my read was Us Against You by Fredrik Backman. It’s going to be difficult to review this book without giving anything away, but I’ll try my best! In order for you to fully understand it, let me start with this: it’s a sequel!
This novel is the sequel to Backman’s Beartown. Both books take place in the town of Beartown, a small hockey town in an undisclosed, presumably Scandinavian country. Us Against You takes place immediately after the events of the first book, when the town is in shambles from a horrible scandal that has the potential to bury Beartown and its people for good. However, the most important part of both Beartown and Us Against You is that they are NOT hockey books. If they were, I probably would not have read either one.
I initially bought Beartown for my boyfriend, as he’s a huge hockey fan and I didn’t read anything about the book except what was on the jacket. He burned through it in a matter of days and implored me to read it, saying it was his new favorite book and that I would love it. I was hesitant to read it, as I assumed I would need to know a lot of different terminology, which I know some of but not enough to read an entire book about it. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Never in my life did I think my heart would literally race while reading about a fictional hockey game. But that wasn’t the only heart-racing moment in the book by FAR. This is not a book about hockey. It is about people. I can’t even tell you who the main character is in either book because there isn’t one. Everyone in the town has their own narrative that you follow. Allegiances change, tensions rise, and the climax of both books will shatter your heart and leave you wanting more.
Alright, I know I told you basically nothing about either book, but between you, me, and the ghostlight, they are both worth the read. Backman’s writing is nothing short of gorgeous and you won’t be able to put either book down until you reach the back cover. Tune in next week for a Broadway review and a few life updates as well!