Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review of 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.

Completely the best way to describe this book.  I have never read anything quite like this and that is precisely why I love, love, loved it!

At first, I thought this was a coming of age story about a boy recovering from cancer who gets stuck on an island with his tutor.  I was correct, the story was about that and so much more.  I really enjoyed the depth this story had.  There were layers to the story that I was intrigued by as I peeled them back.

The story took an interesting turn somewhere and then became about two people on an island with an attraction to each other.  Then romance began and their age difference became the only reason for resistance.

When they finally are rescued, more complications ensue.  Not only has their age difference caused a small barrier, but now there is a student/teacher relationship being thrown into the mix.  Never once were they truly student/teacher, yet it isn't so black and white to the rest of the world.

Once they make it home, they have to adjust to life and all the growing pains from living an alternate life style for so long.  I found that this book had a satisfying resolution to it.  I enjoyed every minute of it.

This book has caused such a stir that it has been picked up by a publisher and is now optioned for a film.  Take my advice and pick up a copy, you won't be sorry.

 Buy it here on Amazon

Buy it here on B&N

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