Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

4 Star

Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.

Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.

At first, their only thought is survival. 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.

Lydia - 4 Star

I really enjoyed this one! On the Island is a simple, ridiculously easy and quick read with a compelling story line. I do suspect all the hype might have prevented me from adoring On the Island as much as I might have without it, but it was still a solid read and I anticipate a movie will be made of this one, if it isn’t already in the works.

Both Anna and TJ’s characters were wonderful. Stuck in a precarious predicament, I sympathized with these two lost souls and cringed and cursed alongside their adventures as they tried first to survive, then lost hope, and finally as they attempted to carve out a life on the island they were stranded on. This novel made me think. I wondered what I would do in their situation and how well I would cope. I suspect I wouldn't have handled the situation half as well as they did. And I loved that I never knew whether they would be found.

I also contemplated Anna and TJ’s relationship. The underlying sexual tension between the thirty year old Anna and sixteen year old T.J. was palpable throughout and for some reason, things didn't become as explosive as I thought, which I felt it was appropriate. Everything was handled tastefully and I appreciated that Garvis Graves didn't go all Shades of Grey, which could have happened. As time passed, I constantly wondered how their relationship would be perceived if and when they would be found, regardless of whether they became intimate or not.

I had a smile on my face at the end of this novel, although I ached alongside Anna and T.J. every step of the way. On the Island is a fabulous, quick, absorbing read and is the kind of unique book that will stick with you for days, months and years to come. A movie please!?!?

Thank you to myself for buying this novel. All opinions are my own.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Lydia! I'm so happy that you enjoyed Anna and T.J.'s story.


    Tracey Garvis Graves



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