May 17, 2013

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

Title: On the Island (On the Island #1)
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Publisher: Plume
Release date: June 7th 2012
Reading level: Ages 18 and up

Rating: 5/5

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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.

This book reminds me of the movies Cast Away with Tom Hanks and Blue Lagoon with Brooke Shields, it has romance and adventure in the style of these films.

On the Island tells the story of Anna a teacher that agreed to tutor T.J. a sixteen years-old boy on her summer vacation that because he was sick with cancer and he needs to catch up in class to not fail the year. And what can be better that tutor a boy on the island Maldives, so that´s a win-win situation for her.

Anna and T.J. didn´t known each other before these vacations/tutorials and they end up making the trip to the island together, since T.J.´s  family traveled days before. And is during that trip that their seaplane crashes into the ocean and they end up on a deserted island, there they must learn to survive the day to day.

Something I did not see how it would work it was the romance, as there is a difference of thirteen years between them and T.J. was a minor at the beginning of the book. But the romance was not instantaneous and neither was something like "because we are the only man and woman on this island ......" in fact the romance takes time to come, as they first became very good friends and spend the time necessary for T.J. ceases to be a minor, also they come to rely heavily on each other and although T.J. attraction toward Anna develops before, Anna takes a little longer to see T.J. as more than a friend, because she was very aware of the age difference. Also very important is that she was aware that the romance could only be possible on the island, but what would happen to them if one day they were rescued and they returned to their old lives..

I LOVED On the Island! love it, love it!, This is a beautiful story that I will definitely read more than once. This book has adventure, survival, suspense (there were several scenes that include a shark...i was a nervous wreck), romance (I loved the romance), all very balanced and most importantly it has a happy ending. On the Island is an epic love story.


  1. wait, WHAT? 13 YEARS? and he's 16? I'm sorry but that is just... I don't know.. I am not a big fan of romances where the guy (or should I say boy here) is younger by a big difference. Heck, in other books if the girl isn't at least 17 then THAT is also weird.. I heard really good things about this book but I just can't seem to get over that big age difference.

    nonetheless, great review!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  2. I agree with Maji. The 'cougar' concept of her being 30 and him While I lovethe idea of it being kind of similar to castaway, The age difference turns to off. Now, give him another of life experience then it isn't so bad.

  3. I thought it would be a major turnoff for me but I really enjoyed the story. I think the age difference was really approached in a realistic fashion. They and others had to deal with it and it seemed authentic.

    Tsuki @ Tsuki's Book Blog

  4. hmm...the guy is much younger than the heroine..and also her student....
    not my cup of tea but ur review is good..thx :)

  5. Despite the big age difference, I can see how feelings would develop when two people are thrust into a situation where they must depend upon one another and are isolated from others. Sounds like it would make a great beach read!

  6. Cool review. I like the story line of being trapped on an island; sounds like a good summer read.

  7. Blue Lagoon... It has been a long time. But I do know that I loved it. This sounds like a very good story based just on the synopsis. Plus your review? I think this one may be a must read. Thanks for the review!

  8. I'm not so sure when I read the blurb but after reading your review, I think that the book is worth giving a shot even if it's not my usual kind of book. Thanks for reviewing! :)