Cover Image: Enemies


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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley for giving me an eARC in exchange for an honest review of Enemies by Svetlana Chmakova.

Enemies is the fourth book in the Berrybrook Middle School series, and follows Felicity, a middle schooler who loves art, video games, and her family. Felicity knows she’ll do something big; however, she struggles to actually finish things - something I’m sure a lot of us can relate to. Her younger sister, Letty, is a natural at everything, always winning first prize and her parents approval. Felicity feels like she’s constantly being compared to her sister, her is always teasing her about not finishing projects. In an effort to show her sister that she CAN get things done, Felicity decides to join her school’s Entrepreneur Club and try to win the club’s competition. Throughout the novel we follow Felicity as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school friendships, first crushes, and enemies.

Having previously read Chmakova’s other three graphic novels, including Crush, Awkward, and Brave, I knew I was in for a treat with this story, and boy was I right. Enemies is a wonderfully narrative novel that explores the ups and downs of friendships, singing rivalries, and school deadlines. This book, and the Berrybrook Middle School series as a whole, is a must read for any middle school, as it shows in an honest like, the relatable and everyday struggles that tweens go through. Enemies was a clear 5/5 star read, I really hope you guys give it a read, or recommend it to any younger siblings you may have!!!

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Svetlana has done it again!
Enemies is a perfect conversation starter for middle schoolers handling changes in their friendships, conflict, and the societal urge to always be a winner! Svetlana shows readers the importance of communication in all relationships, as well as the fluidity of friendship.

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Svetlana Chmakova’s Enemies is a pretty wholesome story about accepting yourself, exhibiting kindness, and learning from your mistakes. It’s easy to look at the cover and expect an entirely different story than the one you get, but I think the one readers will find is worth a great deal more.

This story follows Felicity in her endeavors to live up to an ideal of herself she allows her feelings of frustration and inferiority to mold. While her focus ends up being very one-tracked and selfish at the start, the people around her and the new life experiences simply living each new day offers allows Felicity ample opportunities for true growth.

I was truly pleased with the direction and overall theme Chmakova’s book presented. It is unquestionable to me that this is a story well worth immersing oneself in, especially for tween readers who are likely experiencing their own struggles, failures, and growth opportunities. This is definitely a book I’d be happy to see on many different shelves.

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Enemies is a story about miscommunication. And much like all of Svetlana Chmakova's graphic novels Enemies does an amazing job building up to and resolving multiple social-emotional issues that trouble late elementary and middle schoolers. Felicity is the older sister to what most would call a Whiz-kid. Her little sister Letty is good at everything she does and pokes constantly at the fact that Felicity never finishes anything. So when an opportunity comes in the guise of an Entrepreneur Contest Felicity jumps at the opportunity to show everyone that she is capable on her own. With the help of her best friend Tess, she should be able to win the $1000 dollar prize and awe everyone, but there is one big problem. Her old best friend Joseph is also in the club and Felicity has no idea why they stopped being friends. As things start to get more complicated and Felicity falls further into more and more stressful things start to spiral in a way that may not have been what Felicity wanted but possibly needed. A book about perspective, self-love, and learning that what you want may take more work than you anticipated this heartwarming graphic novel covers a myriad of social-emotional issues that span from friendships to familial relationships. I want this book in my library, like yesterday. I really loved the inclusion of a they/them character and the emotional follow-up that is usually not present in narratives nowadays.
Overall 5/5
Story/Plot 5/5
Drawing 5/5
Thank you to Svetlana Chmakova, Yen Press, and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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LOVED this story, it was such a realistic situation and I loved that there were layered issues going on throughout it. I loved that the main character was a Black girl too!! There was some great healthy representation in this story.

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As a classroom teacher for almost twenty years, I can speak to the power of books like this one to engage young readers. Enemies is yet another beautiful work from Svetlana Chmakova -- a master of the graphic novel form, and a voice for kids everywhere.

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I just love this series. Chmakova seems to be able to perfectly capture the wide range of experiences and emotions middle school kids go through...sometimes on a daily basis. Her stories are full of diverse characters (and I mean DIVERSE), and yet they are all written in ways that make them feel like a natural part of the community instead of a token or caricature. I love Felicity and her friends, the dynamics of her family, and the way she tries to mend friendships even after she's made mistakes.

Enemies addresses so many issues that tweens deal with: changing friendships, navigating multiple friend groups, crushes, comparison to siblings, getting work done on time...the list goes on and on. These books are one of my go-to recommendations for my students wanting realistic graphic novels, and this one is no different.

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Ok, so I love all of Svetlana Chmakova's books, but this one is my new favorite! It was just as cute and well-drawn as her previous books, but the subject matter really hit home for me.

Felicity (a Black middle-schooler) has her friend groups--the gamer kids and the art club--and her over-achieving little sister to keep her busy when she isn't creating her own online comic. She and her friend, Tess, (who is white) are obsessed with a Shark Tank-like show called Piranha Pit and they end up joining the Entrepreneur Club for the chance to win $1000. Felicity's elementary school friend, Joseph, (who is Korean-American) also joins the club and she's still not sure why he seems to be avoiding her.

In that summary, I left out one of the main things that Felicity worries about throughout the book: the ability to finish projects. Her younger sister, Letty, like all siblings, is gifted with the ability to point out her sibling's weak points and she makes sure Felicity has a cataloged list of projects that didn't get finished on time. There's some sibling relationship realness for you! Not gonna lie, I feel called out. I was just like Felicity when I was younger, except I didn't have as many situations pushing me to change my habits until later. So we learned some different lessons at different times and, happily for Felicity, she doesn't end up crying nearly as often as I did! I wish I would have had this book as a kid!

With the title "Enemies," Chmakova is referring to Felicity's relationship with Joseph and how their relationship has evolved. They used to be close and she's not sure what happened to change that and why he's mad at her. I love how Chmakova portrays friendships and how complicated they are and how important communication is to making them work. We get to see Felicity in a variety of different relationships and see both her actions and those of her friends.

Anyways, this is another fantastic book in the Berrybrook series! Thanks to Netgalley for the arc!

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Svetlana Chmakova is back and I'm thrilled to have read <i>Enemies</i> ahead of the release date. The world that Svetlana has built in Berrybrook Middle School becomes even larger as readers learn more about Felicity and by proxy her academically stellar sister, Letitia, and new characters in both Joseph and Alex, part of Felicity's gaming group. There's nothing like siblings to cause pressure whether academic, athletic, or another skill or talent, and Felicity definitely feels that pressure from younger twin Letitia's awards and (at times) boastful nature. When she sees an opportunity to prove that she can accomplish (and complete) a task, Felicity hops on and brings in her friend, Tess, from Art Club. However, things are not quite that easy, especially when it comes to building a start-up business, and it takes a lot of time, effort, and heart in order to accomplish anything.

Svetlana never ceases to amaze in how she crafts relatable stories and characters, and she really makes readers feel for all of the characters. They are humanized through their everyday trials, and readers end up celebrating their triumphs even when they happen at unexpected times. I relate so much with Felicity since even now as an adult I have a hard time finishing my own creative projects. But like her, it takes asking for help and both the time and effort given in order to reach the finish line/deadline. Many readers will be eager to read her story, and I think it's also a good jump-in place for new readers as well. It might also encourage them to read the other Berrybrook books if they haven't already.

Highly Recommended.

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Thank you NetGalley, Yen Press, and Svetlana Chmakova for the opportunity to read this e-ARC!

Felicity loves art and gaming, but struggles with following through on the things she starts. Her younger sister gets a lot of positive attention, so Felicity feels like she's falling through the cracks in her family. She decides to enter an entrepreneurial contest at school for an opportunity to win a lot of money. Along the way, Felicity runs into some challenges with an ex-friend, a current friend, her sister, and a group mate for her Spanish project. Felicity must learn who the real enemy in her life is.

The Berrybrook Middle School series has been popular in my class, and this book would be a perfect addition to our classroom library! Bonus: it doesn't matter if you read the books out of order!

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This book is another fantastic installment in the Berrybrook Middle School series! Felicity is a middle schooler who loves to draw and play video games with her friends. She has big aspirations, but has a hard time following through with them. She decides to get involved with an entrepreneurial club's contest with her friend, but things get complicated with her groupmate, her friends, and her sister. The story follows her journey as she tries to figure out what to do for the contest while simultaneously working out her social problems.

I felt the story and the characters were well developed and engaging. I feel like the author has a really good understanding of what middle schoolers are working through and is able to write great stories that are interesting to them. The students at the high school library I work at really love this series! This volume will be a great addition to our library.

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Svetlana Chmakova is great at writing stories that relate to the struggles and conflicts of middle school students. The characters and situations are realistic and the emotions are captured well. Also, how the students respond to the initial trouble; it's not always the best first choice to behave. The illustrations are great, as always!

Our students love these novels. Although this one was not my favorite of the series, it will still be very popular with our upper elementary and middle grades.

Thanks Yen Press and Netgalley for giving the opportunity to access this ARC. I really enjoyed the book and look forward to its release, so our students can enjoy it too!

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I am so glad that Svetlana is continuing with the Berrybrook middle school series, as it is so much fun. In the first book in the series, she introduces a group of friends, and each successive story is about one of those friends, and how they interact with the rest of the kids.

In this one, we have the cartoonist Felicity, who just wants to be good at something, and finish something, trying to enter a contest to start her own business. But all the ideas she comes up with someone else has already done, and she gets more and more frustrated.

And of course there are misunderstandings, and tears and friendships broken and brought back together again. And of course, because it is Svetlana, there is also humor.

If you have read her other books, you should read this one. And if you haven’t read her other books, you don’t lose anything by reading them out of order.

<em> Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.</em>

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Middle school is hard. No one knows that more than Felicity. Her younger sister is perfect and wins everything while Felicity can barely manage to finish a web-comic panel. She enters an entrepreneurship contest to prove that she can finish something and can be a winner, but she ends up alienating her partner. Other friendships also become strained because of other awkwardness. Can Felicity mend her friendships and learn to like herself?

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