Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
A Contemporary, 2017 by Washington Square Press, 448 Pages
What I Didn’t Like:
- There are a lot of characters in this one (again, as there were in the first book in this duology, Beartown) so it can feel muddled in a few spots. I will say that I felt like this was the intention.
- Emotional (again). More than once I had tears in my eyes or found my heart racing. Not an inherently bad thing, just worth mentioning.
- Content warning: teenage sex (implied), underage drinking, violence, gay bashing, mentions of rape. All used in context of the storyline, all addressed by the author. But avoid them if you must.
What I Did Like:
- Again, as it was with Beartown, this is a beautifully told story of an entire town. You get a feel for the entire town and it becomes the main character of this story. It’s a brilliant technique to make the town the MC and something I can’t remember seeing done before.
- Emotional. I realize I also said that for something I didn’t like, but if you come into the story knowing it’s contemporary and it will bowl you over with emotion, it’s a good ride. The emotions feel real and raw, they’re shocking but they’re important. You feel the right things at the right time and that is the sign of a good contemporary story.
- Confronting bias. This duology (beginning with Beartown) is epic simply because the author puts the town in a difficult situation and you, the reader, watch them confront their biases in big ways. Something is the catalyst, but that one thing is not what the story is really about. It’s a powerful commentary about the way we treat each other wrapped up in a book about a hockey team.
Who Should Read This One:
- Obviously, if you loved Beartown, get this one. It’s a beautiful continuation of the town and its story.
- Contemporary fans who like hard hitting emotional books that make you think about your life and how you treat others will adore this duology and should immediately get both.
My Rating: 4 Stars
- Contemporary fans will have a new favorite. It’s amazing and well written.