Book Review : What Matters Most

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.

I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and sincerity of this book. Author Melody Carlson is wrapping up her Diary of a Teenage Girl series with this book What Matters Most. Maya is a character that any young teenage girl can relate to. While her story may be unique, her experiences and struggles are things that many young girls struggle with and wonder about.

I appreciated that there was a nice balance between entertaining fiction and biblical values throughout the book. The book is written in the context of a diary which allows the reader to relate to and understand the intimate emotions of Maya. The author shares Maya's thoughts candidly and moves from storytelling, to emotional sharing, to the personal struggles of being a Christian teenager fluidly.

At the end of each chapter you find "Maya's Green Tip for the Day" which creates a natural mental break from the intensity and emotion that is evoked in some of the chapters. Plus it's a fun way to engage readers in an issue that is an important topic without overwhelming them.

I would absolutely recommend this book to all young teenage girls. It is a great example of what teen fiction should be. It relates to the struggles of young girls but also reminds them of the importance of holding to their values and convictions.

You can find more about this book here.

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