On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

Title: On the Island

Author: Tracey Garvis Graves

Genre: Contemporary

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.

On the Island is a full-length adult romance novel. It explores the human need for more than mere survival, the meaning of bonds formed in isolation, and the ways those bonds are bound to change

I have to say start this review with that I was absolutely captivated by this book.  I’ve read about 50 books or more in 2012, and hands down this is my favorite book of 2012.  The book just flowed so fast that I pretty much read it in one sitting.

The book starts out with Anna and TJ at the airport leaving for the summer in the Maldives.  No fillers at all in this book – it jumps right into the event that lands Anna and TJ on a deserted island. **Mild Spoiler ahead** Majority of the books deals with the 2 characters on the island (for almost 4 years).  So yes when the book opens TJ is 16 but when they get off the island he is 20.  The characters are so well developed by the author that I felt like I was on the island with them.  I also believe that this is the first book written by this author. Wow – was I blown away by her writing and the story.

Don’t be freaked out that Anna is 30 and TJ is 16 when this book starts.  The author does a great job of handling their feelings for each other in an amazing progression.  Of course nothing happens sexually between the 2 while he is underage.

I’m not going to spoil and tell much more about this one – I recommend that you read it ASAP.  It’s only $2.99 for Amazon Kindle, so that alone is another reason to get this book.

Grade: A+



  1. Sasha H

    Blue Lagoon comes to mind but with the female lead 14 years older. Janon your review had me intrigued, plus the price is great. Thanks 🙂

  2. Janon

    Yes Sasha – kind of reminded me of blue Lagoon. It was such a great book!

    Oh and the price has gone up on Amazon since I wrote this review. I think it is now 5.99, but still totally worth it.


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