Watching Traffic by Jane Ozkowski
Published by: Groundwood Books on August 1, 2016
Genre: YA, Coming of Age
Source: Borrowed from the library
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
Review: I was going through my TBR shelf on Goodreads and seeing which books I had yet to read and could find on my library’s eBook webpage. Saw this one and read this summary and knew I wanted to read this right away. It’s set during a time that I am sure a lot of people who’ve graduated high school will feel relevance to. She’s from a small town in Ontario and all her friends are moving on to bigger things and she is staying behind. You get to watch as she deals with her friend going off to another continent for the travel experience and her best friend moving to another province for university. It’s a feeling that I can relate to as I stayed in my home town when I pursued post secondary education but most of the people I knew decided to go elsewhere. I thought I was missing out on an experience but now years later I am happy with my decision (I definitely saved a lot of money!).
The characters were all unique and quirky and pretty believable in my opinion. Emily was definitely the quirkiest of them all! The writing was surprising for such a dull plot location. Being from Ontario myself it was definitely cool to see it in a novel!
I definitely recommend this for those graduating high school presently or in the future!