Southern Book Tour 2012
I’ve got a little something special for y’all today. My beautiful bride, Rebecca from Bending The Spine, is stopping by today with a review of On the Island. Stick around after the review to enter the giveaway for a *signed* print edition.
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.
Rebecca’s reviewFirst let me start out by saying like many of you after reading the synopsis I was like whoa, how is this story going to work? The woman is thirty and the boy is ALMOST seventeen! How am I going to be OK with that? Then I read Ashley’s awesome review at Into the Hall of Books and was put a bit at ease. So I decided to give On the Island a chance. I could not have made a better decision! And I am forever indebted to Ashley for helping me become aware of the writing genius who is Tracey Garvis-Graves.
On the Island is one of *those books* you know what I’m talking about right?!?! The moment you finish the book you are on the phone telling your friends how they HAVE TO READ this amazing book you just finished…Well, I literally put my reader in my BFF’s hands looked at her and said “you have to read this tonight so that I can talk to you about it tomorrow. And we did! We got together the next day just to gush about how much we loved this book.
On the Island grabs you from the very start.
I was thirty years old when the seaplane T.J. Callahan and I were traveling on crash-landed in the Indian Ocean. T.J. was sixteen, and three months into remission from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The pilots name was Mick, but he died before we hit the water.Crazy amazing opening paragraph right?!?!
I loved that Tracey Garvis-Graves wrote on the Island with alternating points of view between T.J. and Anna so that we could know what each were thinking . Anna and T.J. were exactly who they needed to be. Anna was always portrayed as a thirty year old woman who was caring and responsible. I wanted her to survive and have the full life she deserved. Anna was so easy to like. T.J. starts out as the typical teenage boy, though he was a bit more mature than most I know. His maturity is due to battling a life threatening illness that he is now in remission from, I was thankful that every nuance was explained in the main characters. As their time on the island extends T.J. naturally grows into a man. Yep, that’s right They are on the island for years. I loved T.J.! He was funny, caring, and just such a guy. I couldn’t help but fall for him.
Anna and T.J. are on the island for such a long time and they go through so much together, that by the time the romance really started to happen I was begging for it! Don’t worry! By the time Anna becomes OK with any type of romantic feelings T.J. is very much a man who has had it bad for Anna for a long time.
Once the romance was off the ground you would think it would be happy sailing with all they had survived so far on the island. But let me tell you, with every page I was wondering what horrible thing was going to happen to them next, or if they would even make it off the island at all.
I had long since abandoned the notion that I held any kind of rank over T.J. I may have been older and had more life experience, but that didn't matter on the island. We took each day as it came, addressing and solving problems together.The island is a beautiful and treacherous place.Anna and T.J.’s everyday survival is so well written and amazing that I could not put On the Island down. I wont tell you if they made it off the island or even if they managed to stay together if they did get it off. What I will tell you is that when I finished this book I was left satisfied, satisfied in a way that has not happened while reading in a long time.
I’m telling you go read this now! You will not regret it. I will be reading everything Tracey Garvis-Graves writes from now on.
Loved it! I want to know about everything this author writes.
About the author
My name is Tracey Garvis Graves and I'm the author of On the Island (subsidiary rights represented by Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management). I like reading, writing, martinis, karaoke, 70's music, my dog Chloe, my kids, my husband Dave, wine, and my suburban neighborhood.
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