4 star rating
Traffic Jam
By Melissa Groeling
ISBN #: 9781937329471
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie


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? (Goodreads)


I became interested in Traffic Jam right when I read the synopsis because of the main character’s name. Yup, my name is Valerie too, although I typically go by Valerie.

The summary isn’t very clear on what the plot focuses on. Traffic Jam is about a very prevalent issue today, human trafficking. It’s about the stories of the many girls who get lured into it, the pain from suffering, and the silence that everyone gives. It’s about how hard it is to speak up and how one person can make a huge difference.

Valerie, the protagonist of the story, is a very realistic character. She’s jealous of her sister, but she soon realizes that her sister has many flaws. At times I just wanted to shake Valerie’s shoulders, but she eventually realized her mistakes. She’s a good example of great character development. She gets a backbone, she gets to be a better person and fix her mistakes.

However, there are many characters in the story that need to be described in more detail. Many of the characters are simply glossed over, per se. They all play a significant part in the story, yet I feel like I didn’t know them at all. In that sense, I feel like this takes away from the novel.

Traffic Jam is about a figurative traffic jam, but in real life it’s an enjoyable ride/ read. I truly recommend it for anyone who wants to be inspired or for anyone who has experienced anything like what Sam and Valerie have experienced. So what are you waiting for? This book is a must-read-now type of book!