Happy pub day to Us Against You! I'm so excited it's out in the world for everyone to go out and buy. This was such an anticipated read for me and I'm so thankful to Atria Books for providing me a free, early copy. All opinions my own.
From Goodreads: 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.
Oh my goodness. I'm honestly a little glad that I waited to read Beartown this year because it meant I got to read both Beartown as well as Us Against You pretty close together. I was simultaneously so excited as well as apprehensive. I finished the last page of Beartown in February and knew I'd already read my favorite book of the year. What if the sequel didn't live up to my expectations after Beartown? Would I be let down? Beartown easily earned it's place on my ALL TIME FAVORITES LIST and Us Against You is no different.
Us Against You starts out slower and Backman's cadence feels just a bit different but the story and emotions build in the same wonderful way. You meet both old and new characters and learn to love their quirks and struggles in a more involved way. What I love about Backman is how can wreck you with the mundane details of life and brilliance hidden within. This one is a slower burn but absolutely beautiful. If you want to fall in love with characters and a town and don't mind a little heartbreak, this one is absolutely for you. There were lots of tears and this is one I'll be re-reading in the future. I hope you love it as much as I did because this is one I can't stop talking about.