Top critical review
The Book that got hit by a Train
Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2019
Beartown was a challenge to get through, even though I am a voracious reader and an avid hockey fan, but that book had enough redeeming qualities to motivate me to pick up "Us Against You." Once or twice in the 100 or so books I read annually will I just stop at 50 or 75 pages and give up due to absurd plots or bad writing. I stopped in this one at 75, 150, 250 ... then finally finished it. I realized I despise both towns of Beartown and Hed and dislike most of the people in both towns. Just a bunch of deranged people.. Well, I guess you have to root for Maya and Amat, but the author gave us plenty of reasons to dislike formerly likable Benji and Ana by the end. Peter and Kira though ... OMG ... what horrible pathetic excuses for parents. If I could I'd find them and drive over and slap the snot out of them. Let's see ... your daughter is raped, the mother can make more money than they need in the city she actually works, an hour away, the father is a disaster at his Hockey Club GM job and hates it, their 12-year-old confused son needs his sorry butt moved, virtually everyone in both towns hates them ... and they stay living there? WTF x 1,000!!! And if never occurs to Maya, or Ana, or Benji, or anyone else to change their freakin' cell phone number where they get constant despicable messages and texts from everyone in both towns? Beyond absurd. Sigh. And the gang ... please ... they are not noble by any means. They should all be rotting in prison. Add to this the absurd plot twists -- they only thing I can compare that to was "Girl on a Train" which I read because I lost a bet. Ridiculous. And what's with all the foreshadowing, that half the time was genuine foreshadowing and half the time was just misdirection. That got really tiring. As did the endless, overwrought emotional introspection by character after character, and the writer's love for writing really stupid thoughts, actions and deeds then trying to say they are normal and expected as if this would trip us up. And please ... I have never read (and this goes for Beartown as well) so many people pounding their fists into walls, trees, doors, anything to bloody them, and screaming, and trying to count how many people vomited would be like trying to establish a death count in a John Wick movie. This was more like "The book that got hit by a train." It was awful. My nomination for the worst book of 2019.