Tag: hockey

Book Review:   The Winners, by Fredrik Backman

Image belongs to Atria Books.

TitleThe Winners     
Author: Fredrik Backman   
Genre: Fiction   
Rating:  5 out of 5

Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The residents continue to grapple with life’s big questions: What is a family? What is a community? And what, if anything, are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?

As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.

So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home?

This book. I was up until 2 a.m. finishing it, if that tells you anything. Beartown took me completely by surprise. I don’t really care about hockey, and small towns usually give me the creeps, but it was my first introduction to Backman’s writing and I was blown away. Us Against You was the same experience, and so was The Winners.

I loved these characters and was completely enthralled by the story. Even the seemingly minor characters are compelling in the hands of a master storyteller like this. He is so, so good at creating believable characters that you care about and feel like you’ve met. I’m not super thrilled by what happened to one of my favorite characters, but I laughed, cried, and was in turn awed by the occasional absolutely perfect sentence that truly captured the moment. Go read this.

Fredrik Backman is a bestselling author. The Winners is his newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.)

Book Review: Us Against You, by Fredrik Backman

us against you
Image belongs to Atria Books.

Title:   Us Against You
Author:   Fredrik Backman
Genre:   Fiction
Rating:   5 out of 5

Beartown lives and breathes hockey. Always has, always will. Last year, after the unthinkable happened and tore the town apart, the team split, with most of the players leaving Beartown for neighboring Hed. The rivalry is real—and vicious.

Peter Andersson, GM of the Bears, spends his days—and his nights—focused on the team. Word that the club is closing rips his world apart, but when a new sponsor steps in, Peter will do anything—even risk the support of those who have always been by his side—to keep his team alive.

Now a new coach is in town, putting together a team of misfits in an effort to rise to greatness—again. Beartown residents might not support an outsider—especially a woman—coaching their team, but they do support the team. No matter what. As conflict with Hed grows from harmless pranks to malicious acts, tensions rise in the two towns, until one person dies and the entire community trembles on the brink of bursting into flames.

Us Against You is the sequel to Beartown, and takes readers back to that hockey-obsessed, small town home of bitter rivalries. This is a continuation of the story, an answer to what-happened-next-? Just as well-written, engrossing, and immersive as the first novel, Us Against You will leave the reader flying through the pages to find out which beloved character will die. I loved this—and Beartown—and I’m not even a hockey fan! If you love realistic, flawed characters and compelling storylines, this one’s for you!

Fredrik Backman is a New York Times-bestselling author. Us Against You is his newest novel.

(Galley provided by Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.)

 

More reviews at <a href=” https://tamaramorning.com/”>Tomorrow is Another Day</a>

Book Review: Beartown, by Fredrik Backman

beartown
Beartown, by Fredrik Backman. Image belongs to Atria Books.

Fredrik Backman is a New York Times best-selling author who lives in Sweden. Beartown is his newest novel.

Once upon a time, Beartown was a bustling town where things happened. Now it’s dying as the forest slowly creeps in closer. But the old ice rink is the center of hope for the town, as the boys’ junior hockey team makes it to the national finals. If the boys win, it will breathe new life back into the town.

Tensions run high, and a lot of pressure rests on the shoulders of boys. After the semi-final game, the unthinkable happens, and a teenage girl is traumatized from the violent act. When accusations surface, and the entire town takes sides, it becomes a question of truth:  is she telling the truth, or is he?

Beartown is about hockey, but it is about so much more:  small town life, expectations, family, and gender. The culture of the town is vibrant in its smallness, but secrets will tear it apart, as well as divide families and friendships as the truth comes to life. This was not a happy book to read, but it is well-worth reading, with gripping characters that the reader truly cares about. I don’t even like hockey, and I was rooting for the Bears! (I don’t dislike hockey, either, though.)

Caveat:  This isn’t an easy book to read, either, especially if physical violence towards women is a trigger for you. This book is not “just” about hockey, but about rape and rape culture (Seen in action in the backlash the girl experiences in this book.). One brief review I saw online said, “This story is a charmer. It’s about a hockey-loving town in which residents all root for the junior team competing in the national semifinals.” NO. This story is NOT “charming.” It’s tough to read, especially the last half. And it is not just about a town rooting for its hockey team. But Beartown is a very, very good book, and I highly recommend it.

(Galley provided by Atria Books.)