Book Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

On the Island
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Reading Level: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 10th 2012
Review Source: Plume

Summary: (from goodreads) 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.

Its always a amazing experience when you pick up a book and are completely blown away by it and you never expected that book to cause that kind of a feeling. On the Island was that book, I picked it up in the middle of the night after just having finished a great book and hoped basically that it wouldn't suck. That's what all reviewers don't say out loud but think every time you get a book your not too familiar with or its not in the norm of what you read. So if last night someone would have said Yara, when you start reading On the Island, get ready to stay reading all night long, you won't be able to put it down. I would have said, sure will see about that. Its so hard to read books that are amazing back to back. Well my plan last night at reading 1-2 chapters turned into me forcing myself to put the book down at around 5am. Then finishing it at my desk while I worked today. This book is just pure bliss. 

Where to begin on how just truly amazing the book is. This is one of those books, I will tell everyone to read, even random people I don't know. I had no clue that it existed until I got the email from the publisher. I wished somehow I could had heard about the story when Tracey had gone the self-publishing route first. This is why I hardly turn any review queries down. You never know which of those self-published books will be THAT book. Tracey's writing is just so poetic, it flows so nicely when you read each line. Everything she created or describes connects in such a level, you are just enraptured by the story. I don't have a single flaw to point out. When a story connects with the reader and makes the reader smile, laugh, hurt or cry. That is what I call perfection. I can sit here and type all day how much I fell in love with this story. I didn't want it to end and felt a little pang of pain when it did but then I was back in my happy place. On the Island is that book that stays with you hours, days and months after you finished it. 

On the Island is told in 2 point of views. Its based on Anna and T.J. Anna has been offered a really great opportunity to tutor T.J. during the summer while his family vacations in the Maldives islands. How awesome is that, can you imagine, I would have jump on that chance in a heartbeat. T.J. is not your typical teenager, because he is in remission from his cancer. He lost almost 2 years of school and his parents set it up so he can catch up during the summer with Anna's help. The day has arrived for both of them to head to the Maldives from Chicago. The last plane they have to board is booked and they have to jump on a charter plane instead. The pilot is a real nice guy, then the worst happens, the pilot begins to have a heart attack. They all try what they can to save him but he dies before they even hit the water. Anna and T.J. survive and wash on to the shores of one of the many inhabited islands in the Maldives. This is when the true journey begins for Anna and T.J. How will a teacher and a cancer free teenager survive living on this island. You will cry, hurt, suffer and laugh while you read this story and take the journey with Anna and T.J. 

On the Island - remember that title, so when you head to the store or look online, you add it to your reading list. You will not be disappointed. Even though the book is adult, I think the older YA readers will enjoy this story as well. Some YA books have more sexual content or bad words then On the Island. Its a MUST READ this summer!!!! 


  1. This sounds really good. And what a perfect summer read! Thanks for the review. I think I'll pick this one up.

  2. I just finished this book, and have to agree with you. I wasn't expecting to be blown away by it like I was. I literally couldn't stop reading it. This is going on the keeper shelf.

  3. I picked up On The Island because of the generosity of the author in sharing tips about her publishing experience. I didn't know what to expect, because I had never read anything in the Romance genre ... and like Yara I had to force myself to put it down in the middle of the night. Tracey and On The Island deserve all the kudos coming their way. What a wonderful story!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...