ePUB Fredrik Backman ´ Björnstad eBook ↠ ´

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price reuired to make it come truePeople say Beartown is finished A tiny community nestled deep in the forest it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees But down by the lake stands an old ice rink built generations ago by the working men who founded this town And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi finals and they actually have a shot at winning All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boysBeing responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden and the semi final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil Accusations are made and like ripples on a pond they travel through all of Beartown leaving no resident unaffectedBeartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together the secrets that tear it apart and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain In this story of a small forest town Fredrik Backman has found the entire world

10 thoughts on “Björnstad

  1. says:

    I'm sure anyone who has either read this book or heard anything about it by now realizes this is a huge departure for Backman from his usual tale About a month ago I was recording a podcast with the lovely Anne Bogel and one of the recommendations she gave me was to read Beartown While we all know Backman for his uplifting fiction that is both touching and emotional this was described to me as a serious heavy read that lacked his whimsical trademark There are few things I love than reading a book that is wholly different than what an author is known for so I knew I had to pick this one up uickly and see what all the fuss was about When Sam from Clues and Reviews suggested a buddy read I knew that time had come SPOILER ALERT SHE LOVED IT TOO I'm so glad that I picked this up when I did; I'm currently in major book hangover mode and can't seem to settle in with another story until I work through my feelings on this one Bare with me as this review will be long winded It's only a game It only resolves tiny insignificant things Such as who gets validation Who gets listened to It allocates power and draws boundaries and turns some people into stars and others into spectators That's all Hockey has never been my thing I grew up in the deep south where football is praised highly than any other sport but baseball was where my friends and I found ourselves watching games in high school Most of my guy friends were on the team and I remember the awe inspiring excitement we felt at every win and the crushing agony of each loss I attended a small private school that wasn't known for it's ability to crush it's opponents in sports but during my high school years we had an exceptionally good baseball team 2 of our players ended up playing professionally years later It was difficult for our school to get behind the idea of team spirit and to fan the flame of hope when we were crushed in each game season after season but I remember the anticipation that began to grow amongst the student body those years This experience is what allowed me to fully succumb to the excitement of the hockey scenes in this story Hockey is a large piece of this book and I'd go as far as suggesting that hockey is it's own character in the novel but it wasn't from an overly technical point of view I found that the overall plot and the hockey scenes awoke that same feeling I used to have while watching high school baseball and it brought to life a sport I never dreamed I could become entranced by I think Backman said it best when he wrote Hockey is like faith Religion is something between you and other people; it's full of interpretations and theories and opinions But faith that's just between you and God It's what you feel in your chest when the referee glides out to the center circle between two players when you hear the sticks strike each other and see the black disk fall between them Then it's just between you and hockey Because cherry trees always smell of cherry trees whereas money smells of nothing A great deal is expected of anyone who's been given a lot This seems to be the central theme surrounding the book There are a great deal of characters in this novel; the ever changing and growing cast seems to add multidimensional aspects to the story that cause it to leap off the page and bury deep into your mind There were certain characters and views that I was naturally drawn to ie Amat Benji and Kira yet I found each tongue necessary in the overall narrative to give the clearest picture; this also caused myself to uestion my knee jerk reactions and judgements I dropped along the way In an attempt to not spoil anything for future readers I'll just state that the content is heavy and much darker than a traditional Backman story but it still holds that magical uality where you seem to be watching the exchanges and thoughts happening from just outside the realm of reason There is nothing in this tale that hasn't been written before but the way in which it is told was especially uniue and the subject matter is timely and necessary If you are honest people may deceive you Be honest anywayIf you are kind people may accuse you of selfishness Be kind anywayAll the good you do today will be forgotten by others tomorrowDo good anyway The above is just a fraction of the wisdom handed down from Amat's mother and I highly recommend picking up a copy just to read the rest but my purpose for posting above is to clarify how this sums up the moral of the story Even with all the injustice surrounding the evil act committed in this novel there are consistently small glimmers of hope Please do not misunderstand; this is not a happy go lucky book There are no feel good finishing pages although there is still that seed of sunlight planted What I found separated this from being just another depressing story was the shining examples of forgiveness There are many examples of diversity on all ends of the spectrum included in this story as well and the author has woven them through in such a way where it doesn't feel forced or awkward; there is nothing screaming Look at me Look at how diverse my characters are Please pat me on the back for simply including them No these characters were infused with a subtle realism that caused me to take a step back after turning the final page and bask in the awe I felt from what Backman created with this book While I could ramble on for days I'd rather stop here and highly suggest that you pick up your own copy and experience first hand the sheer brilliance of Beartown This book wrecked me; it pulverized my soul and made me realize how easy it would be for this story to come to life Highly HIGHLY recommended for anyone willing to give this novel a fair shot I'm not sure this story nor these characters will ever fully leave my consciousness and I simply cannot wait to experience whatever Backman choses to craft nextOh my lord If you need me I'll be wallowing in a giant puddle of all my feelings and emotions Someone hold me I was planning on just doing a mini review on this one but I feel a long winded breakdown coming on this weekend This will likely be one of my top reads of the year 💔💔💔💔💔

  2. says:

    Wow Just wow Every once in a while you stumble upon a book that takes you by surprise becoming far meaningful than you ever anticipated 'Beartown' is precisely that type of book Bravo Mr Backman When 'Beartown' first started showing up on so many of my friends' feeds I was mildly curious Not being a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination I filed it away in the back of my mind in the maybe one day category Knowing only that it centered on a junior hockey team in a small town I had envisioned something akin to 'The Mighty Ducks' played out on paperHowever as the 5 star reviews kept rolling in I grew increasingly interested I had to see what all the buzz was about After all there's no way that 'The Mighty Ducks' would stir up that type of a response So I downloaded the Audible version and bumped it to the top of my audiobook TBR list It proved to be the best decision I could have made This book was phenomenal'Beartown' started a little slow for me With so many characters it was hard to keep everyone straight at first Yet it crept up on me slowly Before I knew it I was completely engrossed in the lives of these characters and the small town dynamics I couldn't pull myself away from it 'Beartown' is the type of book that tempts you to play sick and call in to work so that you can keep readinglistening I became completely engrossed in this story as it unfoldedBeartown is like many small towns across the globe The decline of industry and tourism has wreaked havoc on this small town's economy Only in Beartown the hopes and dreams of an entire community are pinned on the success of a junior hockey team These teen boys are treated like celebrities and the weight of the world is on their shoulders Parents business sponsors booster club members and a variety of other individuals all contribute to this high pressure environment Morality and justice take a back seat to winning Nothing is important than hockey With a robust cast of characters the viewpoints offered in 'Beartown' are diverse The relationships are rich and enlightening Everything weaves together to make a complex web with hockey at the center Events are inter connected and this book explores the ripple effect of actionsMore than anything else 'Beartown' forces readers to evaluate their values and take a look in the mirror It tackles some very difficult content and serves as a reminder of the hazards of blind idolization From peer pressure to homophobia to rape culture to personal integrity this book forces readers to take a candid look at problems that plague all societies This book was an emotional rollercoaster At times I felt inspired Other times I was absolutely outraged It made me feel joyful and also sad You name it and I felt it at some point while listening to 'Beartown' It was the type of book that moves youWithout a doubt I would recommend 'Beartown' to everyone It is definitely one that has made it's mark on me like only the best books do The narration was also extremely well done and really made for a pleasurable listening experienceCheck out of my reviews at wwwbookaddicthavencom

  3. says:

    i still have never read a book that so beautifully and realistically captures what it means to be human better than this story and i will forever have love for the boy with sad eyes and a wild heart 3now THIS is how you tell a story the writing is definitely the strength of this book and it makes me wish i was fluent in swedish because i know it would be an even remarkable story in its nativeoriginal language if thats even possible reading this book feels as if fredrik backman has invited me into his home made me a cup of tea and sat next to me as he tells me a story that comes straight from his heart you can tell so much love went into writing this because only someone who loves people could write about them this beautifully and this honestly my heart is so full↠ 5 stars

  4. says:

    I'm the outlier again I guess I DID like this but didn't love it as many readers clearly did Backman certainly has a gift for developing characters that feel real and for creating atmosphere but I didn't love the narrative structure he uses here He has a large cast of rotating characters and each character has a brief mini story arc that often too often for me concludes with the euivalent of a Jack Handey Deep Thought or a grave pronouncement that is contrived to make you nod knowingly at the author's wisdom Honestly I don't do well with folksy books and this is one of those varmintsI did like very much the ice hockey setting and the Swedish forest where Beartown is set I liked the plot and the characters I just didn't care for how it was packaged and delivered A little too close to cheesy for my cold dead cynical heart

  5. says:

    Read this one for TCE Book Club Everyone has a thousand wishes before a tragedy but just one afterward Beartown a small town in the middle of the forest has been on its way out for years Businesses are leaving layoffs are happening and people are fleeing for anywhere but thereBut there is one thing that holds everyone together the junior ice hockey team People may say that it's crazy to pin all your hopes and dreams on a hockey team but they don't understand Never trust people who don't have something in their lives that they love beyond all reason Beartown is a hockey townFor the first time in thirty years Beartown has a real chance They're about to compete in the national semi finals Sponsors are finally taking an interest in funding the club If the Beartown Bears can win it could mean everything a professional training center a shopping mall business flooding back to the once abandoned townAll of their hopes and dreams and fears rest on a few teenage shouldersKevin the best player their town has seen in yearsBenji the best coordinator and team playerAmat the fastest player that has ever graced the iceAnd it seems simple the team just has to win the finals and all their and the town's wildest dreams will come true All that changes in an instant Maya the daughter of the General Manager of the Beartown hockey team is raped by one of the team's star players and the whole town is thrown into turmoil She’s fifteen above the age of consent and he’s seventeen but he’s still “the boy” in every conversation She’s “the young woman” She's covered in bruises and he's the star of the team With little to no evidence the town has to decide what to believe and no matter what they decide something will be irrevocably ruined Whew This one was an absolute roller coaster for me and that was in part due to the way Backman set it up The first third or so focuses exclusively on setting the scene what the town stands for how much the hockey team practiced and practiced how Maya begrudgingly loves hockey because her GM dad does and so onIt felt like one of those underdog sports stories and I was loving it There was some hint at a future tragedy but it wasn't too overt in my opinionThus when the rape scene happens and the entire book's premise does a 180 I was shocked and disappointed I was actually super into watching these boys pull up the town and succeed in the hockey world and when the book flipped I was devastated I'm really really not into rape books That's in part because I've read so many books that use it as a cheap plot device that I'm absolutely sick of reading about it I actively avoid books about rape as much as possibleI put it down and couldn't read it for daysBut this was a TCE Book Club bookso I picked it up again and slowly got back into the story Another morning comes It always does Time always moves at the same rate only feelings have different speeds Every day can mark a whole lifetime or a single heartbeat depending on who you spend it with And Backman really does the rape justice and I know that sounds weirdHe humanizes and demonizes it he brings it into being in a way that I haven't read before The way the cast of characters react and the way others distance themselves made the story come alive It was incredible to read You never have the sort of friends you have when you’re fifteen ever again Even if you keep them for the rest of your life it’s never the same as it was then It truly was amazing and I'm so happy I kept with it I honestly think I will continue the series the writing was that goodThat being said I really did not appreciate the way the book went about introducing the concept but the rest of it than makes up for itAudiobook CommentsNot my favorite audio the reader Marin Ireland did not do that great of a job The characters were often indistinct an angry voice was consistent between Maya her teenage best friend and her dad and the reading was so slow So Incredibly Slow In addition I had issues with the way the CD's were divided On a CD player roughly every chapter was a new 'track'which was an issue considering they were 10 20 minutes long I would've preferred shorter tracks which makes pausing and finding your spot significantly easierYouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat mirandareads Happy Reading

  6. says:

    For people who have never lived where darkness and cold are the norm where else is the exception it is hard to understand that it is possible to find someone who has frozen to death with their jacket open or even naked But when you get really cold your blood vessels contract and your heart does all it can to stop blood reaching the frozen parts of your body and then coming back to your heart cold Not unlike a hockey team suffering a penalty and playing at a numerical disadvantageprioritize resources play defensively defend the heart lungs and brain What happens when the defense finally collapses when you get cold enough is that your box play falls apart your goalie does something stupid your backs stop communicating with each other and the body parts that were previously shut off from circulation are suddenly switched back on again And then when warm blood from your heart flows back to your frozen feet and hands you experience an intense rush of heat That's why you suddenly imagine that you're overheating and start to take your clothes off Then the chilled blood goes back to your heart and it's all over Every couple of years or so someone in Beartown goes home drunk after a party and takes a shortcut across the ice or gets lost in the forest or sits down to rest for a moment and is found lifeless in a snowdrift the following morning Hockey is than just a game in the 'Beartown'it's the focus of the community's small town universe Everyone is affectedThe game itself reuires sacrifice long training sessions for the kids Dedication from coaches old school and new school thoughts of best way to train young kids wives children and friends of the team are aware they live in HOCKEY TOWN The General manager works long hours even when he is home Hockey distraction pulls him away from the family The President of the club pulls weight and adds pressure The Board of directors and sponsors try to pull power ranks in hiring and firingFanatical parents can get nasty and competitive with other parents Teachers have a hard time demanding respect in their classroom from their students who are star athletes Educators are influenced by wealthy community members Store and bar owners contribute to the town at largeFriends and family in the community are aware of the type of town they live in It's very clear Hockey is a family member in and of itself There are personal team struggles on and off the ice Parties alcohol drugs sex rape lies cool kids fat kids lonely kids rich and poor kids kids trying to fit in love loss lies betrayal secrets death financial strains forgiveness marriage and family issues loneliness friendships jealousy anger loyalty admiration inspiring relationships and not so inspiring There is the challenge of the economy of the town itself and the expectation hopes and dreams that a junior hockey team might have to boast the towns economy Factory workers who have lost jobs may get re hired Tourism may increase Beartown would be held in higher regard For a player like Benji whose father committed suicide when he was little hockey gave him a context a structure rules and it rewarded him with the best sides of himself his boundless heart and unshakeable loyalty It provided a focus for his energy channeling it into something constructive All through his childhood he would sleep with his hockey stick beside him Having buried a father and son within a year period being the General Manager of the junior Hockey team gave Peter Andersson the feeling of keeping something alive His wife Kira a lawyer who commuted to work just outside of Beartown thought less of the over zealous hockey obsessive hockey community She loved her husband but never really understood why the game made grown men a bag of nerves Their daughter Maya 15 years old enjoyed playing her guitar We will embrace her pain and feel her anger as her story develops Her best friend Ana spent the night at her house almost every night This friendship puzzled me for awhile as to why she never slept at her own house but made sense as the story continued Leo 12 years old the son of the Andersson family shares his dad's passion for Hockey like most of the town Easy going kidStar hockey player Kevin Erdahl good grades from a prominent family had guys scrambling for best friend position which was usually Benji and girls throwing themselves at him The only people that weren't 'pudding at his feet' were his parents Kevin's parents were the wealthy family in town they financially sponsored the hockey team high achievers result oriented but emotionally distant Kevin may have had the most natural talent on the team but he had other handicaps David and Sune both hockey coaches argued about whether a 17 year old could be ready to play in the A team Sune the older coach lived by the traditional team motto for yearssince the beginning of the clubCulture Values Community The worn old banner hung in the locker room David the younger coach knew he could never really properly explain that the true drive for a star player like Kevin had nothing to do with values culture or communitybut his absolute desire to win Not that he hates losing but that he can't even begin to conceive of trying to accept not winning He's merciless You can't teach that David believed hockey has always been that the world outside the rink mustn't encroach upon the world inside it They need to be separate universes Outside real life is complicated and frightening and hard but inside the rink it is straightforward and comprehensible If David hadn't kept the world so clearly divided these guys with all the shit they've had to deal with out in the real world would've been broken even as little kids But the rink was a refuge Their one happy place Amat the youngest player the fastest who played with heart stepped up a level lived with his single mother He's the guy who would naturally gather up pucks and cones after practice Not because anyone told him to because it gave him a chance to avoid others When it came to talking about girls parties or boasting about snorts of coke or blowjobs Amat was reluctant to join in the laughter yet that overwhelming feeling of being allowed to belong was something he wanted too The warm feeling to 'belong' was a strong attraction As you can see many themes get covered Each of the characters are so well developed I feel like I know them as people I know this town The strengths weakness the sadness the sport For many years my next door neighbor played for The San Jose Sharks His wife and and 5 kids too Ice Hockey is a popular sport in San Jose because of the Sharks Our younger daughter was a huge fan knowing every team members name and many team members so from the basic beauty of the sport including the tunnel vision uest for competitive excellence scores statistics and victoriesI enjoyed the subject vehicle in which Fredrik Backman told this story I felt that Backman brought a remarkable voice to the world of 'training dedication' be it Hockey dance music or martial artscompetitor or simply an enthusiast This book is compulsively intimate providing different perspectives different stories illuminating the benefits of any skill training the challenges for all those who are involved Bear Town in this case THE BEST PART Deeply EMOTIONALLY FELT 'DEEPLY' You can read a thousand reviews NONE OF THEM WILL BE SPOILERS enjoy them all because this novel is an 'experience on steroids' MUST BE EXPERIENCED yourself gorgeous insightful prose Thank You Netgalley Atria Books and Fredrik Backman

  7. says:

    Update FIVE STAR Feb 2019 Review re read Because it’s LOVE plain and simple Have you ever had a book stay with you? Has it ever just lived inside of you every single day day in day out since the moment you first read it? You take a breath and a character comes to mind and you feel what he feels? For me “Beartown” is that book and the character of Benji Ovich is that guy He rips my heart wide open and I don’t think I’ve ever loved a character Fredrik Backman you’ve wrecked me “Beartown” and “Us Against You” have turn me into a complete sobbing mess For that I thank you I love your characters and the way you intertwine the storylines and make everyone eually important Benji Amat Bobo and Ramona and oh so many others you have my heart This re read was shared with my book buddy Kaceey It was such an honor to read this with you Kaceey I was so scared to read this with you afraid that you wouldn’t love the characters as much as I do but I am so grateful that you loved them tooOriginal review 5 Resounding StarsFredrik Backman You’ve left me drained almost completely bereft of words This is a novel unlike any of your others yet it’s so full of heart and emotion that we the readers know emphatically that it is yours And after the last words have sunk into my soul I can emphatically say thank you This one is to be treasuredNow what can I possibly say about this story without giving it away?Beartown is a town that eats sleeps and goes to bed thinking about one thing Hockey Hockey is what makes this town tick Vibrate Come Alive Beartown and its residents wouldn’t be a community without it Every person every family pins their hearts on the Junior Boy’s Hockey team and its inhabitants have nothing left It’s a huge cross for these kids to bear no pun intended and sometimes well something or someone has to break Sadly strength and resilience give way to anger and pain leaving no stone unturned yet that little bear inside those who've been dealt the most blows refuses to give upWhether or not you like Hockey I can almost assure you that it will grow on you after reading this And if you know someone who plays? Well you will understand the drive and the desire better than a lot of us But the raw human emotion that is dripping from each and every page of this novel? You will all feel that Fredrik Backman evokes it from each and every reader and here he does so in a way that he has never done before And I am truly honored and extremely grateful to have experienced it A huge thank you to NetGalley Atria Books and the amazing Fredrik Backman for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review It has been a privilegePublished on NetGalley and Goodreads on 21617Will be published on on 42517

  8. says:

    People round here don't always know the difference between right and wrong But we know the difference between good and evilFredrik Backman is uickly becoming one of my favorite authors His characters and storytelling are practically perfect I can easily recommend this book to anyoneThere are so many different facets to this book uestions of morality and loyalty passion over logic and right vs wrong No path through the story is easy and no solution obvious The background story of every character is perfectly developed and important in the fine tapestry the Backman weaves You may be surprised to discover that a story about a little hockey town far away can make you think about how you approach life in general One final bit of awesomeness about this book With some books you may reach the end having found one or two really great uotes Well when you read this be prepared with a highlighter page flags etc as almost every page has a fantastic uote that is worth remembering after the story is done Honestly truthfully literally Backman is good REALLY good

  9. says:

    Here's a little bit of a confession while I really enjoyed Fredrik Backman's book A Man Called Ove and the charming curmudgeon who was its main character I have found in recent years that there seems to be a glut of charming yet misunderstood curmudgeons doddering their way through modern fictionSo despite people's warm feelings about Backman's next two books I passed because I have enough to worry about becoming a hopefully charming curmudgeon someday soon However I did pounce on his novella And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and I fell in love with it curmudgeon ish character and all and it easily found its way onto my list of the best books I read last yearEven with full confidence in Backman's storytelling ability I was surprised to learn his newest book Beartown didn't follow the same pattern of his other books but rather focused on a small town which many think is dying out a town literally obsessed with hockey I wondered how this would work But then as I read this book over the course of one late evening in the throes of insomnia I was blown away because this was so much than a hockey novel Backman pulled off a colossal feat a literary mic drop

  10. says:

    45 out of 5 stars to Beartown a 2016 contemporary novel by Fredrik Backman Although the book had a bit of a difficult start for me it developed into an emotionally charged hot bed triggering anger and frustration over so many things about the human race and I'm uite glad I read it and enjoyed it But wow I haven't a visceral emotional reaction to words like this in a very long time Why This Book Beartown began showing up on a few of my Goodreads' friends booklists earlier this year intriguing my interest I read the overview and saw many comments that although the premise of all about a junior hockey team it's so much I had a hard time believing that to be true but thought it might be worth a chance if I could get it from NetGalley And then I was approved to read it in early April It took me a few weeks to find the right time in my reading schedule but it all fell into place last week when I finally took the book on Also of note it’s translated from Swedish Overview of Story Beartown is a very small town in the middle of a forest far away from everywhere else It was once bigger and stronger but the economy has pushed it further and further down a hole to the point where all they have left is the possibility of a good junior hockey team in the future Everyone in the town gets involved to some degree either playing supporting or raising the players who range from 13 to 17 years old It's the place where agents sometimes go to find the next great star of the professional leaguesBut the lack of resources and funding has led to a bitter passion among the residents who seem to stop at almost nothing to ensure their kids have an opportunity to win their games Some of the residents are fair and honest Some are rude and malicious It feels like a typical American sports town but the story is set in Sweden breeding team camaraderie fueled in some cases by hatred and anger but in a few promoting acceptance and toleranceEach of the key team members 8 to 10 has a personal story Each of the parents and coaches have a vision Rivalries and favoritism shine all around And with each passing game the school decided what side of the coin they're on supporting the team and accepting hockey will always comes first before education or fighting back to keep a fair balance But when someone is attacked sides must be taken within the school the team the hockey league and the townIt's a story about hope control loss jealousy anger and desire It's about parenting styles It's about looking the other way for the sake of long term goals despite what you may be letting someone get away with in the short term It's about how people treat one another And in so many cases it is not the way it should be Approach Style Beartown is told by an omniscient narrator who can look into any characters head at any momentIt's told in the present tense with a few small reflections on the pastPoint of view changes and hops around within chapters defined by a few spaces between paragraphsIt's mostly short sentence structure and paragraphs Told the way people speak Strengths 1 I am not a big sports fan I played on a soccer and baseball team when I was younger And I worked for a sports arena for nearly 20 years But I have never been interested in hockey And while the story is too focused in the beginning on the pertinent parts of the sport and rules it generally has a very good approach to building a fever for the team among us readers When an author can do that it's a strong book2 The characters are fairly vivid each representing a difference slice of life and personality You will like a few You will hate many of them It's another good thing when an author can deliver this level of emotion As an example Maggan Lyt supports her son no matter what he has done And she's rude to everyone lies believes her own lies and has no sense of morality She wasn't a huge part of the story but she is the epitome of what I hate about what sports can do to a kid She's the worst kind of mother and should have been taught a bigger lesson I rarely go off on topics especially like this but she is what is wrong with so many things right now about how people behave in this world3 The setting is described nearly perfectly You feel the despair You see the emptiness You can tell it's a freezing cold pit of fear4 Views are told from everyone's angle And even though you will have pure hatred for some of the people part of you has a small understanding of why they do what they do You won't accept it or like it but you can see how it happened in Beartown And you will wonder if that's what's happening in so many other towns across the country Open uestions Concerns During the first 60 to 75 pages I was a little frustrated at the focus on hockey as a sport the town rallied around It was slightly boring and difficult to connect I trudged through reading 75 pages the first night and the second night By the third night last night I was 35% through and starting to feel that intense sensation where you just don't want to put the book down and I finished the last 300 pages all in one sitting in bed Intense because I was so angry at the people the actions and their beliefs It made me feel sorrow for any town who focuses on sports as the center of their life I've always thought high school sporting teams were full of nonsense I don't want to alienate any readers of the book or even my reviews but I really have to ask the uestion Do school sports breed teamwork or do they breed arrogance and nasty habits of accepting things just because you're on the same team? I'm sure there are good examples of a team building positive traits in children but this was not one of them When they're proud to have injuries when they support someone who has clearly done something bad because they are on the same team when they use derogatory language in a locker room because it helps create a bond that's not teamwork That's humanity at its worst that's people thinking they are above others because they have some physical talent for playing a sport I have little if any tolerance or patience for people like that Even when I played on teams sure I bought into the rah rah let's win concept But the second it crosses that line and because a situation where it's just bad behavior or the thoughts of the uninformed and lazy ridiculous politics of small minds I wish they'd all go straight to hell in a hand basket And that's how this book made me feel it conjured up those feelings and it was really well done It hit all the hot spots I have about awful sports parents horrible team members who think they can do anything because they're a heroI couldn't push this up to a perfect 5 for a few reasons but it's very close1 Some of the characters felt too similar duplicate I had a bit of a hard time distinguishing them from one another eg which parent is that what happened to that kid before the game? It could have been a little tighter in this area2 I'm a bit unclear on the ending it was like there were 2 possible versions and I wanted to know exactly what happened It also didn't feel like every character had a proper ending a few open issues left for me Author Other Similar Books I haven't read any other sports themed books so I don't have anything to compare it to from that perspective But as far as the intensity of your anger or hatred for some of the characters I would liken it to how I felt about James K Morrow's The Philosopher's Apprentice Final Thoughts I've ranted a bit here It's a powerful book It showcases many of the fears I have about a good portion of the country I'm all for team spirit and finding hope in an activity when there seems to be nothing else available; however if this is a commentary on what it's like for many towns across the world my fears are justified And when a book can share and show that it's a really strong one and worth the readPS No offense intended to anyone who is a big sports fan sports parents or sports player themselves The anger I felt in reading this book is for the negativity steaming off all the wrong things about sports and how they make people act I'm all for a positive character building team sport where the intensity is on the field and the only thing left off the field is friendship fair and honest support and an ability to know when to draw the line About Me For those new to me or my reviews here's the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you'll also find TV Film reviews the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the whowhatwhenwhere and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by Note All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them Many thanks to their original creatorspolldaddy poll9729544polldaddy poll9719251