About This Book
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?
“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