Review: Us against You (Beartown 2) by Fredrik Backman

us against youAfter 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.


Fredrik Backman has a gift of developing characters that are so realistic that they find their way into a reader’s mind and heart and occupy a permanent place. That has been my experience with the three books that I have read by Backman. I guess that explains why our family’s dogs are named Ove and Benji. Yeah, that is what happens when you ask a bookworm to name the family’s pets. Of course, I went with literary characters.

I read Scandal/ Beartown earlier on this year and it still remains one of my favorite books of 2018. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel and failure to get the ARC did not deter me. The story starts right from where the last book ended. Beartown isn’t at a good place. The town’s life revolves around their favorite spot, hockey. However, the hockey team is at the brink of collapse. There are politics, scandals and challenge of funds that threaten the town’s favorite game.

It was awesome to reconnect with some of my favorite characters from the first book such as Benji, Ramona and Amat. Backman brought in new characters and this time, I was drawn to Vidar, the black sheep. There are a number of other characters who I enjoyed reading about. Once again, Beartown comes alive with memorable characters. We get to read about the families, friends and their connection to the game.

Like in the first book, the author tackles sensitive themes in this story. This is done tactfully but some of the issues had my heart racing because they affected my favorite characters. I wanted everything to work out for them although there is really no room for scandals in this small town.

I liked everything about this book! The story made me cry and I am still thinking about the characters and some of the incidents that occurred. I guess that is why Backman’s writing is so amazing. He has a way of making you care about fictional characters long after you turn the last page.


Us Against You is such a beautiful read! I highly recommend the two Beartown books. Of course, you need to read them in order to get to know characters and follow the story.

Throwback Thursday: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This weekly feature is hosted by Renee (Its Book Talk). Throwback Thursday offers a way to share some of our old favorites as well  as sharing books that we are finally getting around to reading that were published over a year ago.

About the Book

OveA grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.


Once in a while, you read a book that brings characters into your life and makes you feel like they are real people that you actually know and not just works of fiction. This was my experience with Ove. I never knew my grandparents because they died when I was young but Ove made me miss them.

A Man Called Ove begins by introducing us to an old, grumpy man called Ove. Ove sure is mean and surly. Forgive me, but I really didn’t like Ove when I first met him. I even wondered why I was reading a book about such a mean old man. However, the author soon sneaked Ove into my heart. The more that I got to know about him, the more I warmed up to him. Reading about him, I found myself laughing, smiling and a bit teary at some point.




This is a story about Ove, a man going through a hard time that makes him seem cranky until you get to know him. I dare you to read this story and not warm up to him. Honestly, Ove is one of the most endearing characters that I have ever come across in a book. I loved reading about him and getting to know his complex, sometimes misunderstood but wonderful personality. I also enjoyed getting to know everyone who came into his life. This was such a heartwarming story that I definitely recommend to everyone.

Happy Women’s Day!