Title: Watching Traffic
Author: Jane Ozkowski
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Release date: August 9th 2016
I received this books from some very lovely people over at Groundwood Books, in exchange for an honest review.
I'll be honest here, what makes Watching Traffic so great isn't the plot: the summer of a girl after high school? Nothing extraordinary here, so don't expect me to go on and on about it. Yet, despite that fact, it's probably the best story I've read this year.
Leaving the plot behind, one thing I found really nice was the writing. I'm not one to typically notice the writing style in a book, but Jane Ozkowski did something right because here I am, telling you about how great of an author she is.
Besides her writing, what really separates Jane Ozkowski from everyone else is how she's able to communicate a message in such a way that it goes straight to your soul. This summer is my summer after high school and that feeling of being in limbo? I get it. I feel it. And Jane Ozkowski manages to write it in words. Although I might actually be going out of town, contrary to Emily, I still have this feeling of excitement and anxiety mixed together as I'm standing at the edge of my life, at the beginning of a new chapter. I still have no clue as to what I'm doing or what next year will bring. I am in limbo. That's what made me love this book so much, to be able to relate to a character so much, to know that even in literature, where everything is often sunshine and butterflies, someone understands how I feel.
...remember this moment and remember how he looks, but it feels like I'm grabbing fistfulls of water out of a lake.
Well, that and the little things. Like the story with her mother, which was a really nice reminder that we are not defined by our past, that we can get passed it. How some diversity was subtly included in the story. Or this.
...and I remember that people don't just have sex to brag to their friends or to check off on their bucket list. People have sex because it feels good.
A bit silly I know, but it was moment like this that made this book so real, so exactly right.
Maybe it was simply a case of reading the perfect book at the perfect time for me, but I sincerely encourage every high school senior to read Watching Traffic, preferably during the summer after graduation. You are not alone. It's okay to be a little lost. Everything will find its way. You will find your way.