Rummanah Aasi
Description: When boys in her class start touching Mila and making her feel uncomfortable, she does not want to tell her friends or mother until she reaches her breaking point.

Review: Maybe He Just Likes You tackles sexual harassment and gaslighting in middle school. Mila is being targeted by a group of boys with unwanted attention. It began with a coerced hugging and then escalates to distressing incidents of lewd comments and touching. Mila's friend Zara seems envious of the boys' attention and tells her that she's overreacting while her quiet friend Omi doesn't like confrontation. Confused, frustrated, angry, and scared Mila tries different tactics to avoid being the boys' spotlight. She tries wearing bagging clothes and avoids being alone in the same room as them. Whenever she attempts to stick up for herself, Mila is effectively silenced by accusations of “overreacting.” She does not want to burden her mother with school issues because she can barely hold on financially to a toxic job. As Mila's anxiety and fears of sexual harassment grows she begins to find an outlet of karate classes which teach her to stand up for herself and empower her to speak the truth. She finally takes Max's advice and reports the harassment to her teachers. Max also faced discrimination on account of his sexuality. The group of boys are disciplined though the conclusion is a bit rushed.  This is a great discussion starter for parents and educators who want to teach their children and students about consent and harassment. The description of the harassment is not gratuitous but it does convey Mila's extreme discomfort. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are scenes of harassment. Recommended for Grades 5 and up.

If you like this book try: The Prettiest by Brigit Young
1 Response
  1. I read this one a while back and think it is really well done. It deals with such important issues and does it well.

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