What Matters Most is the conclusion of  Maya’s story that began with Not-So-Simple Life and  It’s a Green Thing. Written in diary form, this installment documents Maya’s life as she begins her junior year of high school and the multitude of decisions she has to make. Not only does she have to deal with everyday teen issues such as classes, boys, and mean girls but Myra’s unique situation with a famous musician dad who is constantly traveling and an addict mother due to get out of prison any day make her life difficult at best. As a new Christian Myra is determined to make the right choices for her life. Given the opportunity to travel as a member of an all girl gospel rock group, she has a good time and learns a lot. But in the end Myra has to decide about what matters most in her life.

What Matters Most is a fun book for teens that constantly asks the right questions. Myra is a normal teen who has had a difficult life but has managed to thrive in spite of it. Her environmentally friendly tips at the end of each chapter are a bonus touch. If my daughter was still a teen, I would encourage her to read this entire series.

WhatMattersMostMaya’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. (65 words)

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.


Melody CarlsonOver the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past ten years, she has published more than a hundred books for children, teens, and adults, with sales totaling more than 2.5 million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List.

Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards including The Gold Medallion, The Christy, and The Rita Award. And most recently she is in the process of optioning some of her books for film rights.
She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

Visit the author’s website.

Learn more about What Matters Most at the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.