Sunday, February 23, 2014

**Review** 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.


Beautiful!  Amazing!  Fabulous!  Awesome! Outstanding!  I could go on and on and it still wouldn’t be enough to describe how I feel about this book.  I have had On the Island on my TBR list for the longest time.  I have no idea why I waited so long to buy it and read it. This little gem has been immediately added to my ‘Favorites’ list.  

This story is so beautifully written!  I cannot stop thinking about Anna & TJ, their story, the hardships they endured and their love they had for each other that grew stronger every day.  I absolutely devoured this book and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the main characters.  They were so well-developed, so very likable, so beautiful.  I can’t say enough nice things about this book!  As soon as I finished it, I wanted to start over and read it again.  This story and its characters will own your heart from beginning to end.

I felt so many emotions while reading.  This book made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me sad, it made me tense up during those nerve-racking moments – and I loved every single minute of it.  This book captured my attention from the very beginning until I reached the very last page.  It is a story that will stay with you long after you’re done reading.  Ms. Garvis-Graves definitely has a new fan.  I cannot wait to read more of her work.  

I highly recommend this one – you won’t be disappointed.  It gets 5+ beautiful & amazing hearts from me.   



Tracey Garvis-Graves is the author of On the Island and Covet. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. 

She blogs at using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood. You can e-mail her at She’d love to hear from you. 

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