Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review: ON THE ISLAND by Tracey Garvis Graves


When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter.

Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

About the author...
Tracey Garvis-Graves is the author of On the Island and Covet. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. She blogs at using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood. You can e-mail her at She’d love to hear from you.

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Review ~ 4.5 Stars
I had heard so many wonderful things about this book that I had to read it and see for myself what all of the hype was about. I loved it! It was so different from anything else I have read recently which made me love it even more. The writing was amazing. I could just picture this beautiful island so vividly in my mind. I felt every emotion that Anna and T.J. felt while being stranded away from everyone they loved. 

Anna has agreed to be a tutor for 16 year old T.J. for the summer. Due to having fought and won a battle with cancer, T.J. was behind in his studies. The catch was that the tutoring would occur while the family was vacationing the Maldives. On the flight there the unthinkable happens and the plane crashes into the ocean. The pure terror they felt when they were taken so many times by the waves made my stomach drop and I felt like I couldn't breathe. When they finally made it to the shore I was elated but not for long. The island was deserted and they had nothing but the clothes on their backs.

The obstacles they faced while on the island were heatbreaking and terrifying. Through it all, the bond they formed is what kept them going. That is until the end when the despair was starting to take over. I could go on and on but I don't want to giveaway the whole story.

Overall a brilliant and truly beautiful love story. Read this one! You won't be disappointed.


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