TITLE: Traffic Jam
AUTHOR: Melissa Groeling
PUBLICATION DATE: May 6 2012
PUBLISHER: Black Opal Books
SOURCE: free copy from author in exchange for honest review
RATING: 5 STARS!!!
When you’re caught in traffic, you’ve got nowhere to go…
Val Delton’s life is spiraling and there’s nothing she can do to stop it. Her dad lost his job, her mom works fourteen hour days to pay the bills and yet somehow there are high-end shopping bags and an iPod in her older sister’s room. Naturally, Val becomes suspicious but her sister’s lips are sealed. Then by accident, she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret hidden behind her sister’s bright smiles and cool indifference. Val has no idea how far and how deep the repercussions of her sister’s secret will reach but she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her family safe. Will she succeed before her sister’s secret destroys everyone she loves?
This book has a very serious subject of human trafficking. I didn’t really expect it because the synopsis doesn’t give any clue whatsoever and i’ve never read a YA book like that.
Sam is the popular girl at school. Val is the nerdy type. Their family has been going through loads of stress and financial problems, add that to extreme sibling fight and you’ve got a disaster zone! That being said, i really loved this book. Val was an amazing protagonist and no matter how mean her sister is to her, she never forgets the fact that they are family. She had immense courage to pursue her mission for Sam’s safety and that really made me love her. She’s incredibly stubborn and doesn’t let Sam’s constant warnings get to her.
Val pretty much made me laugh at every encounter she had with John, her crush and her sister’s best friend. Every time he says a simple ‘hello’ she just freezes and doesn’t say anything else. I can absolutely understand her mortification but it was so hilarious!
The writing was simple and yet raw and very intense, the writer really makes us aware that this isn’t just a fiction book. This stuff actually happens all over the world while we’re complaining about chores. You get to see how a person slowly falls into this darkness and it isn’t lone before the whole family tumbles in. Val listens to snippets of conversations and watches as her sister seems to be more and more broken everyday.
Overall Val really proves that she’s more than just a nerd like everyone thought she was. The romance in this book is very subtle so as not to overcome the real gist and message of the book which i guess is solidarity and family. But the romance is still there! If you’ve read any of my past reviews, you know that i need romance in every single book i read. In this book, i ddin’t feel the lack of it. I didn’t want more of it and i found myself more intrigued with the story than i normally am with books having little romance.
I really enjoyed this book and i think everyone should read this eye-opening novel! It’s about love, family and all the tears and battles they loose but still standing together at the end. Melissa Groeling is definitely an amazing writer that can bring out real emotions with her books! I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!