Comics & Graphic Novel, Young Adult/Children

Enemies by Svetlana Chmakova

I have not read other graphic novels based in this world, but I was drawn to the idea of this one. I am glad I gave this a shot because it was a fun book to peruse. Fun, mostly because I am not obliged to be part of that confusing world of school anymore as an adult. I was the girl who ate lunch at her desk with a book throughout middle and high school. I watched from the sidelines as people had squabbles and patch-ups, and I never understood the need to be in the centre of all of it. There are few instances of such situations that I am sure we all face as adults, but it feels scarier to have to walk into that situation every day!
Felicity has big ideas but loses steam partway through her progress. Her sister has more official things to be a part of and keeps herself busy. The latter still finds the time to poke at Felicity’s indecision. Our leading lady is part of two main groups at school. Her art group and the people she hangs out with virtually as part of her game group. In the fringes of both groups is her ex-best friend, who suddenly stopped talking to her, and she is unsure of what exactly happened there. I have not met any of the characters before (having not read the other book based in this world), but this works well as a standalone.
I remember feeling wise at that age, feeling like I knew more about the world around me and myself than adults gave me credit for. Only when I have thought back to certain instances as actually older and wiser, have I seen all the things I have missed. Especially some of my own behaviour. This book captures that time quite effectively. Felicity is uncertain about her exact ambitions in life, but she feels like she is in the right and that she is assessing everything that happens around her accurately. She is not inherently a bad person, and therefore it is interesting to watch her learning curve. The situations the children find themselves in may seem mundane, but I am sure a little thought would bring the seriousness at that age to the forefront.
The author and illustrator has done a brilliant job in making this school life seem accessible to all ages.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.


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