Last fall I read a novel called Beartown by Fredrik Backman that surprised me in that I liked it so much more than I thought I might. Check out my original post to learn more but my intense like for Beartown made me really excited for its sequel, Us Against You. So excited that I read it one Sunday afternoon and into the evening and finished it. Not quite in one sitting but pretty close. And it was exactly what I hoped it would be.
I don’t want to give anything away about either book so I’m keeping this as high level as I can but I encourage you to check out Beartown, read it and then read Us Against You!
Beartown introduced me to a collection of characters in a small town that is surrounded by a forest and slowly dying with shops and schools closing and industry fading. Its hopes hang on the junior hockey team playing in the national semi-final and winning there would take them to the final and help save the town. This of course leads to a great deal of pressure and anticipation and an incident outside of the game impacts and changes everything. The events of Beartown took readers through a story told through the viewpoint of the many great characters. It was a dramatic and fascinating story and so much more than a sports story (in case you were worried). I was left wanting more when I finished it. What would happen to Maya, Benji, Amat, Peter and the town once the story ended?
Us Against You answered my questions and Backman delivered another beautiful story. It takes place shortly after Beartown ended and the characters are dealing with the fallout of what happened. Some in new places, some trying new things and some just making it through each day and like Beartown, the story is told through each of the characters’ viewpoints. I really appreciated finding out what happened to each of my favourite characters (and the ones I didn’t really like all that much) and it was a great story. I can’t say much more because I don’t want to ruin either story but they are definitely worth reading. And start with Beartown!
2018 felt like a lucky book year for me because I read three sequels to books I truly enjoyed and I didn’t know that sequels were coming. I enjoy book series because I like to travel through tales with a familiar cast of characters and I didn’t know that Beartown, How to Build a Girl or Love Walked In and Belong to Me would get sequels. I hope I get some of that excitement in 2019 too!