Us Against You

Genre: Fiction
Format: 🎧
Pub Date: 6.15.2018
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆


“A small community tucked deep in the forest, Beartown is home to tough, hardworking people who don’t expect life to be easy or fair. No matter how difficult times get, they’ve always been able to take pride in their local ice hockey team. So it’s a cruel blow when they hear that Beartown ice hockey might 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 the neighboring town of Hed, take in that fact. As the tension mounts between the two adversaries, a newcomer arrives who gives Beartown hockey a surprising new coach and a chance at a comeback.

Soon a team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; always dutiful and eager-to-please Bobo; 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 town’s enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.

As the big game approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt intensifies. By the time the last goal is scored, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after everything, the game they love can ever return to something as simple and innocent as a field of ice, two nets, and two teams. Us against you.”


“Deep down inside most of us would like all stories to be simple, because we want real life to be like that, too. But communities are like ice, not water. They don’t suddenly flow in new directions because you ask them to, they change inch by inch, like glaciers.”

I went from Beartown and dove straight into Us Against You. Both books I chose to listen to, and both books left me with varying impressions. While I didn’t love the second book as much as the first, it was still enjoyable.

So, let’s talk about what I liked about the second installment of the Beartown series and what I didn’t love 👇🏼

I thought it was easy to pick back up after Beartown; I think Us Against You started 2 months after the first book finished? So, not much time had passed. All of the same characters were present (minus one family), and there were some new additions, but I didn’t struggle with who was who as much as I did in the first book.

Us Against You is more about what happens to the town after the first book’s events and how the cracks are still forming among the people who have called Beartown home. Many moments throughout this book left me more emotional than the first one, as I could see how one event changed an entire town, but to go into details about this would give some of the plot away.

One issue I did have with the beginning of this book is that I felt I was kicked around a lot between different characters and their perspectives. One paragraph was from Kira’s POV, while the following might’ve been from Benji’s. But, by the 100th page, everything felt like an even pace.

🏘 Small town corruption
👥 Same characters from Beartown (with a few additions)
🏒 Less hockey centered
🥺 A more emotional read
😭 Aftermath of an event

If you enjoy character-rich books, then I recommend Us Against You. But, you need to read Beartown first, or you will be all kinds of confused.

Format: 448 pages, paperback
Published: June 2018
ISBN 1501160796 (ISBN13: 9781501160790)

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