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Archive: Other Books > Us Against You by Fredrik Backman - 3.5 stars

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message 1: by Joy D (last edited Jun 02, 2018 08:06PM) (new)

Joy D | 4645 comments Us Against You by Fredrik Backman - 3.5 stars

Sequel to 2017’s Beartown (link to my review ), two ice hockey-obsessed neighboring communities continue to compete for limited resources. This second book is primarily about that which that divides people such as politics, economic competition, sports rivalries, stereotypes, turf, and marital issues. Conflict abounds in this story. And violence. Lots of violence. I was surprised to discover a sequel to Beartown. I don’t normally read sequels, and felt the original story stood on its own. Us Against You takes us into the next hockey season and introduces new characters. The author catches the reader up in terms of what had previously happened, so it is not a requirement to read the first book, but I would recommend it, since in my opinion it is the much better book of the two.

Backman’s writing is quotable and poetic, and the primary characters are vividly drawn. The plot was my main issue with it. There are lots of characters, too many to keep the story focused. I felt the politician “puppet-master” and “the Pack” (gang of bullies) detracted from the storyline. Foreshadowing was used throughout, but the event being foreshadowed sometimes didn’t happen, or happened in a much different way, so I guess the reader will judge whether this works or not. My assessment: great writing, good characterization, uneven plot, uneven pacing. Content warnings include violence, references to rape, shaming, homophobia, and profanity. Recommended to Backman fans and those that enjoy sequels. 3.5 stars

I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from the publisher, Atria Books, via NetGalley in return for a candid review. Release date: June 5, 2018.

Link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 2: by Karin (last edited Jun 03, 2018 03:52PM) (new)

Karin | 7473 comments I just went to put this on hold on the library and am number 54 (and no copies at my library, so no hope of being jumped to the top of the list), plus it's just being catalogued or on order in many places.


message 3: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 4645 comments It doesn't surprise me, Karin. Backman is a popular author. It's just coming out on June 5th, so I am sure libraries will begin to stock more copies and e-books/audios of it.


message 4: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Hmmmm...I wasn't a huge fan of Beartown so I am probably going to avoid this one as well. Though, I do like Backman's writing so I will look to see what he comes out with next!


message 5: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 4645 comments Nicole, I've noticed the latest two in the Beartown series have much more violence in them than his earlier work.


message 6: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7473 comments Joy D wrote: "Nicole, I've noticed the latest two in the Beartown series have much more violence in them than his earlier work."

So true. I am hoping there is no actual rape in the sequel. But since I grew up in the country that invented ice hockey and whose players still dominate in many ways (of course there are talented players form other countries, but Canada produces a LOT of top hockey talent), I still might read the sequel.


message 7: by Joy D (last edited Jun 04, 2018 07:06PM) (new)

Joy D | 4645 comments Karin, there are references to a rape that occurred in the past in this sequel. Have you been watching the Stanley Cup? I have been keeping up with it, but not invested heavily in either of the teams.


message 8: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5159 comments I've not watched the cup battle this year, I was so bummed after both the Kings and Ducks were swept. I'm just hoping the Caps win so Ovechkin can finally have his cup, and also because I think it feels so wrong for an expansion team to make it to the final in their first year.


message 9: by Karin (last edited Jun 05, 2018 01:14PM) (new)

Karin | 7473 comments Joy D wrote: "Karin, there are references to a rape that occurred in the past in this sequel. Have you been watching the Stanley Cup? I have been keeping up with it, but not invested heavily in either of the teams."

No, I haven't. I don't like sports on TV, and if the Canadiens aren't in the Stanley Cup, or another old team, I have little interest. The NHL has become very watered down with all of the expansions, IMO. That said, if someone invited me to a Boston Bruins game, I'd go if I could, even if they are longstanding rivals of the team I have been a fan of all my life.

Oh, and I'm not much of a sports person :)


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