Book Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

On the Island
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Released: July 17th 2012
Review Source: Purchased
Available: Amazon
OUaT Reviews: Yara's

Summary: (from goodreads) Two people stranded on an island struggle to survive—and slowly fall in love—in the runaway New York Times bestseller, now available with a reading group guide and a letter from the author

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.

As a book reviewer, I try to keep myself on a very strict reading schedule centered around the publication dates of upcoming new novels. When Yara, finished On The Island awhile back, she immediately mentioned, you must read this book! I added it to my Goodreads account, knowing that I would get to it when I could. Not, two hours later, a very close friend of mine asked, have you read On The Island? Coincidence, I think not. I am so thrilled that I squeezed it in. If my eyes hadn't failed me the night before, it wouldn't have taken 48 hours to read. On The Island receives 5 trees from me. I just finished the book and a quick virtual book talk with my friend, via text, who hung in there, waiting patiently for me to finish, twittering me are you done yet, so that we can talk all about the lives of Anna and T.J.

With Yara, already providing you with an awesome review, I thought about what else I could enlighten readers on regarding this beautiful story of survival, love, and patience. It goes far more deeper than the tutor and her student. It goes far more deeper than the older vs. the young. It's the deep feeling of inner love that not only rises from the words of the pages to the reader, but through the characters struggles, is the reader pulled within all the way to the very last page.

Some may think the author's writing may lack descriptions or development of our two main characters. However, I must disagree. It's the simplicity of the words, that makes the story so realistic, so believable, and so smooth for the eyes to read and for the heart to fall in love with Anna and T.J. Any more about this novel, might spoil the overall feeling that I received while reading. Just know that this book will not disappoint you. You will follow a tragedy, you will follow the hopes for survival, but above all you will follow the delicate writing of Tracey Garvis-Graves and wish for more.


  1. I really liked the book.
    I'm a new GFC follower.

  2. Great review. You are so right - the book was totally believable and easy to attach to the characters. I loved it so much and can't stop talking about it either. :)

  3. I ended up really liking this book too and I'm not too big on the romance genre.


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