cover image A Not-So-Simple Life

A Not-So-Simple Life

Melody Carlson, . . Multnomah, $12.99 (248pp) ISBN 978-1-60142-117-3

Carlson’s bestselling Diary of a Teenage Girl series gets a new star in Maya, who is the cousin of previous Carlson heroine Kim Peterson. Like the other dozen-plus books in the series, this one features teens with serious family problems—in Maya’s case, a drug-addicted and abusive mom and a dad who’s rich and famous but has no time for her. The grounded Maya, with her environmental idealism and her resourceful maturity, is a plucky heroine. Carlson exposes the seamy underside of glamorous Hollywood, including the music and modeling worlds, so it’s no surprise that Maya doesn’t miss the fast lane when she goes to live a small-town life at her cousin’s. There she is exposed to Christianity and begins to explore faith. Fans of the series will welcome this new character even as they enjoy the crossover appearances of characters they’ve come to love. (July 15)