Series: On the Island #1
Published by Plume
Pub Date: July 17th 2012
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | 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. But as the days turn to weeks, and then months, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.
It would seem the right words to tell you how much I loved On the Island will not come to me. I just keep replaying scene after scene from this book in my head because I’m not ready to let it go just yet. I lay down to read it Saturday night and finished it at three in the morning. I couldn’t go to sleep and lay awake wondering what would happen next to Anna and T.J. It was a journey I’d gladly read through again in one sitting.
I guess my biggest worry, and what might make others apprehensive, is that when you read the first paragraph we learn Anna is 30 and T.J. 16. I automatically thought, “How is this going to work?? Especially if she’s his teacher.”
After a few chapters I realized my worries about that didn’t need to be there. On the Island is a romance, but not one about a teacher and her underage student. It’s one about a couple of people, stuck on an island, that form an unbreakable bond and help each other heal and survive. There were times where I was on the edge of my seat, thinking that one or the other character wouldn’t make it another day. There were times where my heart soared for them and times when it broke for them too.
It’s difficult to say too much about this story without spoiling it. Just know that it has heart and hope and love pouring out of it in waves. Thank you, Tracey Garvis Graves, for giving me one of my favorite reads this year and I urge all of you to read it. It will most certainly steal your heart.