Monday, July 9, 2012

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."

Title: On the Island
Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves
Release Date: (Re-Release:August 16, 2012 PB) September 3, 2011
Publisher: (Re-Release: Penguin/Plume)
Pages: 368, Paperback

Wow, you guys, seriously. One of the MOST. Phenomenal books I have read this year.

Read it.

But actually, the entire premise was breathtaking and engrossing. The whole time! I don't think I've ever read so long at a time. (3-4 hours straight? Yeah, I think so.) I was captivated because the dangers and adventures that T.J. and Anna went through was just extremely intense. I loved it. And it's inspiring. So, so inspiring.

I would like to let everyone know that this is not a YA novel. It's targeted toward Women's fiction (I'm pretty sure), but it does have YA crossover appeal. I had no problem reading it, since one of the main characters start out as a 16 year-old boy.

ON THE ISLAND is not your typical read. At first, reading the synopsis, I was a little… disappointed. Another story about a plane crash, and getting stranded on the island? First thoughts: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. But still, I went on with it and boy was I wrong. The growth of Anna and T.J.'s relationship was beautiful. I was reluctant about their romance as well, but then I thought about it and it kind of just seemed.. Natural after awhile. I would be pretty darn close to someone if I were stuck on the island with them for 4 years, too. In the end, it was all perfect and myheartjustdied. In a good way.

Pretty much what I'm saying is, go read this book. I clearly have a hard time writing a decent review for miraculous books. And this one was just beyond miraculous. Exceeded my expectations.

Grade: A+

Source: Publisher via Netgalley--Thank you Penguin Group! 


  1. SADFGHJKL; YOU MAKE THIS SOUND SO GOOD. GAH. I've been wanting to read this one for a while. >-< I'm *trying* to get into the adult genre, and apparently this seems like an awesome one to start with. >:D <3 Eeeep, I LOVE breathtaking and engrossing books. <3 <3 ESPECIALLY ONES I CAN FINISH IN A DAY! :D (The Duff, anyone? ;D)OMMMGG, you make the ending sound so sad and beautiful and I'm just sitting here going like, ";_________;"

    Okay, you've definitely made me want to read it ASAP! :P Must add this to my to-buy list. XD Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I really liked this review since it was quick, but still managed to keep me hooked throughout the whole shebang :P

    1. Well, it IS good. :D I will read the Duff, I promise! No problem, thanks for reading & commenting! <3