Maybe He Just Likes You

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

Overall, I was impressed with how Dee gets into the mind of MG students. I love how books like this allow us to have tough conversations with our students. We need more books like this .
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I decided to start reading this book before bed a few nights ago, and the next thing I knew it was midnight and I was finished. And I had shed tears. I was not expecting to have this reaction to this book. In fact, honestly, at the very beginning of the book I was feeling a tad bit skeptical. I was thinking, “Wait, is this going to be a book about a boy who squeezed a girl’s shoulder without asking?” But that’s sort of the beauty of the book. It starts off almost completely innocently—with Mila feeling a little bit uncomfortable in a relatively benign situation. The sort of situation that you could reasonably see people brushing off, including Mila herself. But then things start to spiral. The little shoulder squeeze turns into an unwanted hug, which turns into brushing up against her, and then the boys start making comments, and soon Mila realizes that many of the boys are in on some kind of game they think is funny—it’s not funny to her.

Dee does a fantastic job of showing a situation where things get out of hand without ever truly crossing into outright sexual territory(which is realistic in a middle school setting). She shows Mila’s confusion over the situation, wondering if she could be making something out of nothing, her fears about talking to someone about it, and the backlash she gets when she does speak out. All of this rang true, and it’s important for a MG audience to see. Even the fact that the boys didn’t seem to think they’d done anything truly wrong until they got in trouble feels realistic. I highly recommend this exploration of consent to MG readers and adults alike! This book will stimulate the types of conversations we need to be having.

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
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4.5 stars. Wow. I have heard rave reviews on this one, and it lives up to the hype. The first part is downright squirmy. It's easy to get into Mila's perspective as she feels repelled by what the boys are doing, but also as she second guesses herself. Is she overreacting? Does she just need a better sense of humor? She doesn't even have language to describe what is happening to her and how it makes her feel, which for me was one of the saddest parts of the story.

I love that she finds some strength through martial arts training. It's not the fighting, but the ideas of taking up space, asserting her right to her boundaries, and using body language as well as her words to push back.

By the end, when everything comes out, and Mila and her school and friends are dealing with the issue, I kept tearing up. I was so proud of Mila, pleased to see some adults stand with her while she claimed her truth and her right to go to school without harassment. I think this is an important book to have in homes and schools and libraries. Kids need this to acquire that language to describe when harassment occurs. They need to see what sorts of behavior is inappropriate and how to metaphorically push back. This would be an excellent read aloud or book group choice. I found this completely age appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students. This would pair well with Moxie for older teens. Highly recommend!
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As with Barbara Dee's other works, timely, important, and well done. The situations the characters are placed in will feel familiar to middle grade readers and serve as a good jumping off point for conversations both in schools and at home.
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A very good middle grade book about sexual harassment. It doesn't speak down to its readers and puts the importance of consent into a story and words its intended audience can understand. Even as an adult, this story struck me and brought up memories of my own tween years. Worth a spot in any library serving middle grade readers.
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This is an amazingly well done book on a very difficult topic. The author handles it beautifully and honestly. Every middle schooler, both boys and girls should read this book and discuss it.

Mila sounds so much like a typical teen. Her emotions and confusion about what was going on was spot on. As were the many varied reactions of her friends. I also felt her frustration in finding it so difficult to talk about it with the adults around her, even though she has a great relationship with her mom. The need to not burden her mom when she was having difficulties of her own, is felt by many a teen. I really enjoyed watching her grow and find the inner strength to finally do something and to tell someone.

The pacing of the book was also solid and it was very difficult to put down once I had picked it up. I meant to just start it one morning, but discovered myself finishing it in one sitting. I don’t think the words sexual harassment is ever really used, although questions of bullying are brought up. But the reader can tell that what Mila experiences is different than bullying. Also, one of her friends tries to convince her that the boys are just flirting with her, but Mila knows that she is wrong and does call her on it. The final resolution with the boys was done in a way that that I think kids will be able to relate to, although maybe a bit more could have been done.

My one small issue with the story is the ending and the resolution of Mila’s difficulties felt a bit rushed, and maybe not quite resolved the way it should have been. Also it is hinted that something similar was going on with her mom at work, but I’m not sure kids will pick up on that. It would have been nice to see her mom talk more directly to Mila about her issues and what was happening to Mila.

This is a book that I highly recommend you get for any middle schooler you know. It should also be on all library shelves. It is a well done book, that felt authentic and realistic on a very tough topic.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Aladdin for the advance readers copy of this book. Al opinions are my own.
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 for this immensely important middle grades book. When a group of boys start harassing Mila at school, she is uncomfortable. They do not seem to be doing anything that seems bad to a casual observer, but weeks of unwanted touching, bumping, and comments lead her to spiral downward mentally and shrink into herself. She does not feel like she can explain the feeling to anyone, even her friends. I think EVERY middle school student should read this book.
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In Maybe He Just Likes You Barbara Dee captures the feel of middle school perfectly. They’re on the line, Mira and her friends, sometimes leaning over into childhood and other times into adolescence. Mila’s body has moved into adolescence of its own accord, and even her green sweater doesn’t do enough to hide the changes she’s not ready for. Her friends, too, are dealing with the changes—or lack thereof--and it’s causing strain in the group. So, when a group of boys begins to give Mila a lot of unwanted attention, she doesn’t know what to make of it or where to turn.

It’s so easy to sympathize with Mira in this story. When everything is new: the shape of your body, the crushes your friends get, the social scene in middle school, it can be hard to determine what’s okay and what’s not. But Mira quickly comes to the conclusion that what’s happening is not okay. Yet, faced with an overwhelmed single mom, distracted teachers and male counselors, she cannot bear to explain. Finally, one night, Mira has the opportunity to retaliate against the leader of the group of boys, and that leads the way to help, learning, and restorative justice.

This book makes an excellent resource for middle school girls and dare I say male middle school teachers and administrators since the painful situations Mira is in are presented in such an unflinching and clear manner. In addition, Barbara Dee presents a realistic situation where the adults are clearly trying to do well by the students and yet Mira has good reasons to fear approaching them. I would hope that the resolution of the story would give any girl faced with this problem the courage to seek help.

I did have one big beef with the book, and it comes at the end, so if you don’t want spoilers, stop reading now. At the same time that Mira is dealing with sexual harassment at school, there are hints that her mother is encountering the same at work. In addition, the small family has some serious financial problems caused by the fact that Mira’s father refuses to pay child support. In the end Mom’s male boss fires her. Although Mira saves the day by pushing her mother in the direction of a new job with a female boss, the conclusion of the sub plot made me want to spit. Mira’s mom gets a new job she loves in a woman-owned business…at an even lower wage.

Suffice it to say my reader’s high in Mira’s success was spoiled by the message that in adult life women are at the mercy of men—whether ex-husbands or bosses—and that in order to be happy they must also be poorly compensated.

My conclusion? This book has a great message as it relates to middle school, and that’s probably reason enough to buy it, because that part of the plot’s masterful. But if my daughter were in middle school, I’d hand it to her with the requirement that we talk through what happened with Mira’s mom after she was finished reading. Unfortunately, I’m guessing most middle school girls won’t share this book with their mom.

I received an advance reader copy of Maybe He Just Likes You from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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This terrific middle grade fiction book is about Mila, who is just trying to get through middle school.  Her mom is struggling with her work and her dad is pretty much out of the picture.  Mila has a little sister who is a pain and a group of friends that she trusts.  But a group of boys is making Mila miserable-they keep making excuses to touch Mila, in ways that she finds uncomfortable.  She tries to roll with it but they persist.  She tries to talk to them and they persist.  She tries talking to the guidance counselor, her teachers, her friends, and her mom, but no one really gets it.  This is an excellent story about standing up for rights, listening to your inner voice and persistence when people aren't paying attention.  I thought this one was great.
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Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee is an excellent story that tackles a tough subject. The title phrase is one that has been said to many girls when encountering some uncomfortable situations. This is an important book for middle school students! Realistic, engaging and thought-provoking which are all important factors when tackling such a topic! Highly recommend reading!
Thank you to NetGalley for providing an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Mila is in seventh grade and has her core group of friends, like most middle schoolers do. Unlike her friends however, Mila is starting to get a lot of unwanted attention from the boys. From hugs to more serious groping, Mila can't seem to get away from them. One of her friends acts jealous of the attention, and one of her friends identifies the behavior as bullying. Mila is too scared to talk to her mom because her mom is super stressed at work. It's not until things explode at the fall band concert that a teacher identifies the behavior as sexual harassment. 

I loved this book, however I know that some people will not be happy with the treatment of the harassment or how Mila resolves things with the boys in the end. I think this book has an important message that we should not be ok with the idea of "he/she is just treating you that way because he/she likes you". An important read for middle schoolers and educators.
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Mia is starting seventh grade, and has a nice group a friends, a younger sister and a lazy dog at home. Her mother is struggling at work and to make ends meet. At school, a group of boys on the basketball team begin to sexually harass Mia. They begin by tricking her to hug them and telling her that her fuzzy green sweater is "lucky." They touch her, even though she tells them not to. Her friends observe what is happening and there are mixed reviews. Max tells her to to tell the principal, but Mia worries that the gossip wouldn't be worth it. The principal is also the coach of the basketball team, and she does not assume he will be fair. Mia's mother begins taking the girls to a fitness center and Mia takes karate lessons. 

I will definitely be telling people to pick up this book and read it. I was very annoyed about how the situation was handled, because no one would expect a traumatized student to confront her abusers without plenty of set-up. Also, the boys would be suspended and should be, restorative practices does not mean sans punishment. There needed to be a cooling off period between the concert and the community meeting. Also I do not appreciate that there was not an open discussion of the boys touching Mia's butt. Why wasn't that discussed more thoroughly? Why wasn't the toxic environment created by the sports mentality/scorecard mentioned? This part was disappointing.
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This is an incredibly important book for 5th/6th grade and up, boys & girls, adults. And it needs to be discussed! So much of what happened to Mila happened to me in upper Elementary & Middle School- accidental brushes, bra snapping, comments about my body, butt grabbing/smacking, and more. Another reviewer mentioned that Mila wasn’t raped or sexually assaulted, but what happened to her is still awful and unacceptable. The mental struggles she went through was heartbreaking to me, probably because I was thinking about my own 12 year old self. The phrase, ‘Maybe he just likes you’ needs to leave our vocabulary, and we need to believe girls (and boys) who tell us these kind of things are happening. Thank you for the digital ARC. I highly recommend this book.
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As I was reading Dee's latest thanks to an ARC provided by the publisher, I was already starting conversations with my own daughter, my nieces and those families I work with every day. Dee presented the #metoo movement in a way that made it easy to discuss with even young readers. There is a fine line between flirting and intimidating and ultimately that line is determined by the person it is happening to and not anyone else. I immediately recommended this book to everyone I came in contact with and reminded parents to have conversations with their girls and their boys and to read it together. My hope is that this book becomes a classroom read-a-loud in upper elementary and middle school classes everywhere. The earlier we start the discussions and the more often we have them, the less likely girls and boys will have to deal with these uncomfortable and disturbing situations.
I HIGHLY recommend this read!
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I was given a free review copy from #netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  What an amazing and necessary book for our middle-grade girl readers!  Mila starts being "teased" by a group of boys, but she starts to wonder, is this really being teased?  They play a game where they touch her or make comments about her body parts for points.  At first, she doesn't quite know how to handle it, and even her friends think she's over-reacting.  However, in time, she finds her courage and her voice to speak out for herself.  This title will be great for both boys and girls and will be sure to open up channels of communication about appropriate and inappropriate touching and actions.
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This book is such a powerful example of sexual harassment. It does a phenomenal job at showing many different things.

1. Its hard to talk about it.
2. Your friends aren't always going to understand.
3. More often than not, if you ask the offender(s) to stop, they won't. 
4. Your friends might not even believe you, at least at first.

I'm not sure if I can put into words the strong feelings I have towards this book. So many women, and men, face this kind of harassment all the time. The author does a wonderful job showing the progression from "haha" to "This isn't right". Because you don't want to jump to the worst case scenario. You want to give people the benefit of the doubt. And once it became clear to Mila, the MC, that it was definitely something, she started to feel . . . weird. 

She looked at herself differently and felt odd in her own skin. She didn't feel comfortable wearing clothes that she enjoyed because now she was worried that it drew to much attention to certain parts of her body.

And when she went to her friends, some didn't even believe her. Or thought she was over exaggerating, or that the boys were "just flirting with her, she just doesn't know what it looks like." 

The name for this book is an amazing fit. In Maybe He Just Likes You, and in real life, there are people that make you feel like your feelings don't matter, when your feelings most certainly DO matter.

The author also did a lovely job blending in family concerns into the plot, and not making it completely about the harassment. Part of me feels like it was worse for Mila because of the family problems at home. Well, maybe more than part of me.

I also like that even those boys were mean to her, she was forgiving, and didn't completely hold it against them. (Although she only saw one or two of the boys after a big confrontation.) People make stupid mistakes especially if its a group of hormonal boys, but she was able to forgive him. At least a little.

I absolutely loved Maybe He Just Likes You. It is a stunning story of dealing with sexual harassment in a school setting, the feelings that it brings, and finding out who are true friends and who are not.

5 out of 5 hands down.

This review will be posted onto Goodreads, effective immediately. This review will be posted on Amazon on 10/1/2019, give or take the time it takes to process the review through there system. And finally I will be posting it on my blog, Reading Rambler on 9/9 /2019. The link I have added will not be effective until the date I have specified.
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A powerful yet highly relateable book about harassment in the Me Too era. Sadly there must be countless girls out there who have faced this unfortunate predicament. Kudos to Barbara Dee for tackling this subject.
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Wow. This was a hard book to read and I so wish I had read something like this when I was younger. I experienced so many of these kinds of actions and comments and know that it's really difficult to process and you even question your own perceptions. Barbara Dee really managed to convey that feeling of not even knowing how to name or discuss exactly what feels wrong about what people are doing. She also really made it clear that a person going through this can feel helpless and isolated especially when people don't take it seriously when an attempt is made to share about these things. The "boys will be boys," type of response is so disappointing when you really need people to see that things are not okay.

It is a fairly intense read for anyone who has experienced these types of assaults. For anyone who hasn't, it is still likely to be a bit emotional. Dee really takes readers through the many emotions one could have while dealing with such a situation. 

She also shows that it may not be so black and white with the perpetrators. Some may be doing it wanting to exert control or actually intending harm, but others may just not realize how far across the line they have wandered. Books like this can really provide an opportunity for really helpful discussion between parents and children or in classrooms about consent and boundaries.

This is a book that middle school and even upper elementary students should be reading and discussing. It's compelling storytelling - I read it in one sitting when I was supposed to be doing something else.
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This is a first purchase type of book. Told in a relatable, yet nuanced manner, Dee takes readers into the situations where a girl is being harassed. As a reader, you can feel the discomfort coming off of the page. As a female, I knew what Mila would say and think before she even did it herself because she was so relatable. This is an important book for all readers, but especially those in middle school. This is a timely topic dealt with in a completely age appropriate manner.
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I was lucky enough to receive an Advance Read copy of Maybe He Just Likes You from #netgalley.  The story focuses on a middle school girl who is being sexually harassed, but it is excused as flirting by her friends. Will she speak up?
A must read for middle schoolers!  Release date:  October 1, 2019 #mgreads #hottingerhighlights #middleschoolela #middleschool #booklove #booknerd #netgalley #maybehejustlikesyou
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