Book Review: Diary of a Teenage Girl *Win Copy*

Title: Diary of a Teenage Girl:  What Matters Most

Author: Melody Carlson

Publisher’s Synopsis: Maya’s Green Tip for the Day: Recycled fashion is one of the most fun ways to go green. A pair of jeans could be transformed into a denim skirt. A sweater into a vest. A bunch of old ties into a dress. A blanket into a poncho. Accessorize it in new way–with beads, buttons, appliqués, buckles, stencils, or ribbons…your imagination is only the limit.

Sixteen-year-old Maya Stark has a lot to sort through. She could graduate from high school early if she wants to. She’s considering it, especially when popular cheerleader Vanessa Hartman decides to make her life miserable–and Maya’s ex-boyfriend Dominic gets the wrong idea about everything.

To complicate matters even more, Maya’s mother will be released from prison soon, and she’ll want Maya to live with her again. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. And when Maya plays her dad’s old acoustic guitar in front of an audience, she discovers talents and opportunities she never expected. Faced with new options, Maya must choose between a “normal” life and a glamorous one. Ultimately, she has to figure out what matters most.

This appears to be the third book of a series since the cover says “No. 3” on it, but I didn’t get the sense that I’d missed anything.

This book is obviously written for teenagers (that’s a shocking thought!) in mainstream America.  The book deals with typical school drama, coming of age uncertainties, insecurities, and all the little things that can become big ones in a hurry.  Maya is delightfully flawed without it getting old, has a compassionate side, and definitely grows throughout the story.  I think the average fourteen-fifteen year old girl would probably enjoy seeing the strengths, weaknesses, and growth of a girl who truly does, at the core of everything, love the Lord and wants to serve Him.

I found the “green notes” at the end of each chapter to be doable and yet a little disconnected from the book.  I wasn’t sure what the point of them being there was but I finally figured out that there was another book about her where she becomes (or promotes) environmentally conscious.

I’m not a good judge of the best audience for this book (I wouldn’t buy it for my girls), but I am guessing that if you have daughters or nieces, little sisters, etc who are average girls in average American schools, and who need encouragement in their walk with the Lord but maybe get a little tired of preachy devotionals or novels, this might just be a great alternative.

Win this review copy generously provided by Multnomah and see for yourself.  I’ll try to draw sometime this week.