Watching Traffic

Watching Traffic

Book - 2016
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Emily has finally finished high school in the small town where she has lived her whole life. At last, she thinks, her adult life can begin.

But what if you have no idea what you want your new life to look like? What then?

While Lincoln gets ready to go backpacking in Australia, Melissa packs for university on the east coast, and a new guy named Tyler provides welcome distraction, Emily wonders whether she will end up working forever at Pamela's Country Catering, cutting the crusts off party sandwiches and stuffing mushrooms. Is this her future? Being known forever as the local girl whose mother abandoned her in the worst way possible all those years ago? Visiting her spacey grandmother, watching nature shows on TV with her dad and hanging out with Robert the grocery clerk? Listening to the distant hum of the highway leading out of the town everyone can't wait to leave?

With poetic prose and a keen eye for the quirks and ironies of small-town life, Jane Ozkowski captures the bittersweet uncertainty of that weird, unreal summer after high school -- a time that is full of possibility and completely terrifying at the same time.
Publisher: Toronto : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2016.
ISBN: 9781554988433
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Ozkow
Characteristics: 190 pages ; 23 cm


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vpl_teens Oct 27, 2016

Watching traffic by Jane Oczkowski is full of wonderful quirky details. The story follows a recent high school graduate, Emily, who is extremely passionate, sarcastic and very blunt.In the early pages of the story, we learn that Emily's mom committed suicide when Emily was just a few years old. The suicide is one factor, but it is the grisly public details of the tragedy which have accounted for her somewhat notorious status in her small town. She has to overcome the tragic past, work through her issues of abandonment, and worry about her failing friendships as two of her closest friends are both going away to find their own place in the world and attempting to break free of their town. Through the sadness of her friends leaving her behind in the town, Emily finds someone who understands her and learns that everyone deserves to be cared for. Although the story is a bit dark, the novel was well-written and definitely a page turner with all the characters’ unique personalities. Overall, I give this book a three and a half out of five.
Reviewed by Anna L. for Teens Read it First,

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