Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee

Did anyone ever tell you that if a boy hits you on the playground, that must mean he likes you? I thought about this as soon as I saw this title and knew I had to read it to find out more.

Thank you Alladin books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: For seventh grader Mila, it starts with an unwanted hug on the school blacktop. The next day, it’s another hug. A smirk. Comments. It all feels…weird. According to her friend Zara, Mila is being immature, overreacting. Doesn’t she know what flirting looks like? But it keeps happening, despite Mila’s protests. On the bus, in the halls. Even during band practice-the one time Mila could always escape to her “blue-sky” feeling. It seems like the boys are EVERYWHERE. And it doesn’t feel like flirting–so what is it? Mila starts to gain confidence when she enrolls in karate class. But her friends still don’t understand why Mila is making such a big deal about the boys’ attention. When Mila is finally pushed too far, she realizes she can’t battle this on her own–and finds help in some unexpected places.

I don’t think this book could’ve come out at a better time than now. I personally experienced sexual abuse by a neighbor as a child and have been able to heal from it. But I think it’s important that we share stories to bring awareness of how to find strength, growth, and healing through it all. I was nervous to read it at first, but Mila is a wonderful character and I was so happy to read her story. The ending was so perfect and I think will help any girl (or boy) who has been in a situation like this.

5/5 Stars

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