Us Against You by Fredrik Backman is the second installment in the Beartown series. Naturally after finishing Beartown I had to jump RIGHT into this when I heard there was a sequel. I read this one again as a continued buddy read on Instagram. This one picks up immediately following the events of Beartown. If you haven’t finished Beartown I suggest skipping the rest of this review.
The junior players have left Beartown to play for Hed hockey except for Benji, Bobo, and Amat who stay loyal to their town. With tensions still at an all time high in the aftermath of losing Kevin as an A - team player, the towns clash and violence boils over.
We follow Maya dealing with the aftermath of her assault. Anna continuing to deal with her alcoholic father. Peter and Kira’s marriage tested in the wake of another tragedy. Benji still struggling with his own identity. Bobo wondering where he fits after hockey. Zacharias trying to live up to his parents expectations. Lyt trying to prove he’s not always second best. And a new coach for Beartown hockey that turns a club already on the brink of collapse even further upside down.
As the pressure mounts between the towns as they get ready to play each other, secrets are revealed, betrayals are made and every character is left questioning their own moral compass. Some decisions can’t be undone and everyone will be left asking “is hockey worth it?”
I loved getting to reconnect with the characters that I so fell in love with in Beartown. Parts of Beartown are recapped in this one as the story is furthered and I can’t wait to read the third installment whenever it comes out. Backman again crafts these characters’ evolutions with such precision that your heart feels each moment right along with them. I will always be excited to return to Beartown and I remain TEAM BENJI FOREVER.