‘Maybe He Just Likes You’ – Barbara Dee

A timely read, and one I’ll be highly recommending to my students – male and female.

Our main character, Mila, is a student like so many others. Shy in some situations, self-conscious and keen to do the right thing. Very aware of how her peer relationships are changing, her experience will resonate with many readers.

One day Mila finds herself caught up in a situation that she is uncertain how to deal with. A group of her male classmates trick her into giving someone a birthday hug. Over subsequent days she finds the boys coming up with excuses to touch her. This makes her feel uncomfortable, but she worries about who she could talk to.

Her best friend Zara says it’s flirting. Others in their group suggest she should tell someone about it. They recognise it’s making her feel bad, but none of them are able to articulate what is happening.

Following events from Mila’s perspective allows us to identify with her and her reactions. It was fascinating to see how some of the characters reacted to events, and this is certainly a book that would make people pause awhile and consider what part they might play in encouraging all to feel comfortable in themselves and their environment.