On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

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Title: On the Island

Series: On the Island #1

Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves

Release Date: August 16th 2012

Publisher: Penguin

Pages: 347

Genre: Romance, Chick Lit

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Blurb: 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.

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I liked the book from he beginning I started reading it. I haven’t read about survival stories before and I just had to turn page after page to find out more. I really liked how their relationship slowly grew and how they manage to come out of every situation, to find different solutions and support each other.

A plane crash leaves Anna and TJ floating in the ocean, but luckily ocean floats them on an island. They hope they will be rescued in a few days, but nobody comes, they are left alone. Despite their age difference, it is not noticeable at all, TJ is mentally older than a regular 16-year-old boys.

They use all their knowledge and skills to make their life as good as possible. Waves bring some suitcases on the shore, so they can use some toiletries, jewellery, clothes and medicines to make their life a bit easier.

Romance is not missing from this story, but it is perfectly handled. Anna and TJ won’t get involved before he is almost 19. I liked how they were celebrating birthdays and holidays and dreamed about life, when they are finally saved from the misery.

It truly is an amazing book. Prepare yourself to be sucked into an adventure of survival.

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Favorite quotes: 

  • “I don’t fit in your world.”
    “Neither do I,” he said, his expression tender yet resolute. “So let’s make our own. We’ve done it before.”
  • “I’ve been in love with you for months. I’m telling you now because I think you love me, too, Anna. You just don’t think you’re supposed to. You’ll tell me when you’re ready. I can wait.”
  • “Is your life better with him, Anna, or without him? I decided right then, standing on that sidewalk, to stop worrying about things that might never go wrong.”
  • “I’ve never been so scared in my life. I thought that shark was going to eat you.”
    TJ hugged me, resting his chin on the top of my head. “It didn’t though.”
    “We’re going to eat him now, aren’t we?” I asked.
    “Oh, hell yes,” he said, a big grin on his face.”
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