By the end of Chapter 1, my blood was boiling for what teenager Libby had to deal with at the hands of her customer at a local restaurant. And I am not just referring to the sexual comments, which are disgusting any way, but particularly disgusting for an adult to say to a child, but also the touching. But perhaps the most frustrating of all part is that Libby feels she has no choice, she has to allow Perry Ackerman to sexually harass and assault her because he saved the town and she needs the job.
The reason she needs the job is also mind-blowing and horrible as are a number of other things she is forced to deal with – the fact no one in town will hire her because of her father, who has made enemies wherever he goes; the bullying when she pours an entire pitcher of sangria on Ackerman’s head, which causes her to be fired and the only way to save her job is if she apologizes to the man who attacked her; and then there is the sneaking suspicion that perhaps enthusiastic consent was lacking with a boy her own age.
Despite it all, Libby is tries her best, keeps up her sense of humour and works hard in order to realize her dream of going away for school and getting as far away from her hometown as possible.
Libby is having a rough senior year. “Her dad just told her she’s got to pay for college herself, and he’s evicting her when she graduates so he can Airbnb her room.”
Libby went from a somewhat normal, but not really, life to one that got crazy quick.
While she doesn’t have the support of her parents for anything – including anything to do with Ackerman, nor her brother who quit medical school and fled to Greece with his education money, she has a great support network in her best friend Emma (and her amazing family), her friend Yaz and the boy she really likes, Noah, who seems like a genuinely nice guy.
#HeMustLikeYou is frustrating; Libby is thrust into a world where no kid should be and the hopelessness of her situation seems real. However, the young adult book by Toronto author Danielle Younge-Ullman, due out in July ($21.99, Viking Books , PenguinTeen), was a fast read – was a quick read – I finished it in a day – with great information about consent and standing up for yourself. I found Libby to relatable and I was cheering for her throughout the book.
The ending was great and I can only hope a better future lies ahead for Libby and her friends.
I will be interviewing Younge-Ullman for Book Time in July.
I reviewed Younge-Ullman’s book Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined. Read my review here.
Read my Q&A with the author here.
A copy of this book was provided by Penguin Teen for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.