Diary of a Teenage Girl Series, Maya #1: A Not-So-Simple Life   -     By: Melody Carlson
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Diary of a Teenage Girl Series, Maya #1: A Not-So-Simple Life

Multnomah Books / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

Fifteen-year-old Maya Stark seems to have it all-fame, fortune, a Beverly Hills lifestyle, and an eighties pop star dad who's making a comeback. But looks can be deceiving, and on the inside, Maya is miserable. Her parents are divorced, her dad is away on tour, and being biracial, she struggles with her identity. Then, to make matters worse, her mother has returned to using drugs and is quickly depleting their finances. In a plan to become emancipated from her messed-up mom, Maya takes a job on Rodeo Drive. Selling designer clothes compromises Maya's earth-friendly "green girl" values, but she is desperate.Just when Maya thinks she's got it all worked out, her life caves in. Her mom "embezzles" Maya's savings and is later arrested on DUI and cocaine possession charges and is facing jail time. With nowhere to live, Maya is sent to spend the summer with her relatives. In the collision of two very different worlds, Maya must figure out where she fits in-or does she fit in at all?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Multnomah Books
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 1601421176
ISBN-13: 9781601421173
Availability: In Stock
Ages: 14-18
Series: Diary of a Teenage Girl

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Publisher's Description

Fifteen-year-old Maya Stark seems to have it all–fame, fortune, a Beverly Hills lifestyle, and an eighties pop star dad who’s making a comeback. But looks can be deceiving, and on the inside, Maya is miserable. Her parents are divorced, her dad is away on tour, and being biracial, she struggles with her identity. Then, to make matters worse, her mother has returned to using drugs and is quickly depleting their finances. In a plan to become emancipated from her messed-up mom, Maya takes a job on Rodeo Drive. Selling designer clothes compromises Maya’s earth-friendly “green girl” values, but she is desperate.

Just when Maya thinks she’s got it all worked out, her life caves in. Her mom “embezzles” Maya’s savings and is later arrested on DUI and cocaine possession charges and is facing jail time. With nowhere to live, Maya is sent to spend the summer with her relatives. In the collision of two very different worlds, Maya must figure out where she fits in–or does she fit in at all?

Author Bio

Melody Carlson is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than two hundred books for teens, women, and children. She and her husband enjoy an active lifestyle of hiking, camping, and biking in the beautiful yet mysterious Pacific Northwest, where she says, “A new story seems to lurk around every corner.”

Editorial Reviews

“As Maya Stark pours her heart out in her journal, readers are treated to an inside view of a life that is at times exotic and unfamiliar, and at other times hauntingly similar to our own. Maya’s struggles become our struggles, her pain our pain, and her successes, therefore, even sweeter. A Not-So-Simple Life is another triumph for Melody Carlson.”
- Virginia Smith, author of Sincerely, Mayla and Stuck in the Middle

“Fantastic book! Maya is so easy to like–this is a hard story to put down!”
- Erynn Mangum, author of Miss Match

“Melody Carlson has proven her skill once again at writing gritty stories about characters in difficult situations. In A Not-so-Simple Life, Maya Stark seeks to escape life under the controlling hand of her drug-addict mother by acting on a plan for independence with admirable determination.”
- Michelle Buckman, author of Maggie Come Lately and My Beautiful Disaster

“I just finished Melody’s book and loved it! The journal format makes the story, and Maya, so real and believable. Readers will easily be able to identify with the realistic approach to a prevalent situation.”
- Patricia Rushford, author of the Max & Me Mysteries

Product Reviews

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  1. Arizona
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Wonderfully edgy, but very realistic too!
    November 30, 2012
    Michelle Sutton
    Arizona
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This story was incredibly edgy, but that's what made it real. And the cool thing is that I read the second book first so I got to see her after she became a Christian. She is still learning what that means all through the next book. She struggles with things like real people do even after they find faith. Anyway, back to this book, which is the first in the series... Maya's feelings are so real. She sounds so much like a teenager even down to the honest thoughts and feelings about her parents.

    There is no attempt by the author to be politically correct. I appreciated that a lot. I also liked that she was trying to find who she was and become independent, but at the same time she just wanted to be loved and live a normal life in a regular family. Given her background, I could see the appeal of having a simple life.

    I loved the fight scene with her mom where her dad came and rescued her before they killed each other. I sensed the real emotion in that one. And even the desire to commit suicide made sense. Very realistic reactions and emotions in this book. Maya sounded just like a hurt, confused, depressed and hopeless-feeling teen would think and feel. Yet she doesn't follow through for good reasons. She knew she was missing something...peace...and where to find it. Well done!
  2. Tauranga, New Zealand
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Living the Green Way
    February 11, 2011
    The Phantom Paragrapher
    Tauranga, New Zealand
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Review : A Not So Simple Life - Book #1 : Diary of a Teenage Girl: Maya - Melody Carlson - July 2008

    As I said above in the preview , I didn't really get into this series a few years back when I tried. However I really enjoyed reading Maya's story and noticed that in the last few pages - the previous Diary Girls : Chloe , Caitlin, Kim are all featured. In Maya's story we see her as a fifteen year old turning sixteen in a few months , her not so simple life includes being Nick Stark "The famous musician's daughter" whose currently on tour at the moment and her life with her mum Shannon -who is an alcoholic and drug addict. In A Not so simple life we watch as Maya gets her first job , her second job and then her third job all within two months and her third job she becomes a model . All is going well for Maya until her mother goes on another binge and wipes out Maya's savings. Maya then heads to live with her cousin Kim and Uncle Allen -who is talked about in Diary of a Teenage Girl : Kim. Maya who has been homeschooled since she was 12yrs old , enrolls in Kim's High school and meets Chloe , Caitlin who are the other two girls in the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and is introduced to God. Read as we watch Maya start to become closer in discovering who God is and whether he truly is right for her.

    One thing I really liked about Maya's diaries , is that Maya is a Vegan for life and each day features an Organic Green Tip for the Day.
  3. Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    October 14, 2009
    Jill Williamson
    Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Maya Stark might have a celebrity dad and live in Beverly Hills, but that doesnt mean her life is easy. Her parents are divorced, her dad is touring, and her mom is on and off the drug and alcohol wagon so often Maya never knows who to expect. The problems with her mom force Maya to be the adult in the family. She cooks and cleans and hides what money she can from her mom. Its not enough. Despite Mayas earth-friendly values, she gets a job at an upscale clothing boutique in Beverly Hills. Her plan: save up enough money to get legally emancipated from her parents so she can take charge of her life.But just when Maya thinks its all going to work out, life falls apart. She has no choice but to spend the rest of the summer with her cousin. Will Maya ever find home sweet home?A Not So Simple Life was a great read. Maya drew me into her world. I loved seeing her fight for her freedom and stand up to her parents. Despite her attempts, shes proof that we cannot control what happens in our life. That only God is in control. It was a relief to see Maya figure that out. I hope more of us do. Melody Carlson is off to another great series with Maya. Highly recommended.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    June 5, 2009
    Amanda
    Maya is such an interesting charater and is such a RAD read. I loved it!
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 26, 2009
    Jean
    I like all of these books. If you've read the Kim books you've already met Maya. Kim never talks about Maya getting saved in her last book, which I get, but I would have liked it to line up better, and if she had gotten saved sooner in the book it might have been easier to finish it because her character is a little negative, not that you can blame her. And also the green message wasn't pollitical, it was just simple things about not wasting what we have, which I really liked. All in all it's not a bad book, but although I love melody's writing I don't think this is a good way for a new reader to start the series, so that beings said start with caitlyn instead, then get acqainted with Maya.
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