Review: On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

Goodreads Description:

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.

Why did I pick this?

All three of my really good friends made me do it!! Haha just kidding. They didn’t make me but they hinted and hinted. Those good friends are the lovely Andrea, Autumn, and April. My book soul mates…… POD MATES. 🙂 (had to do a shoutout ;-))

All three of them had read the book and highly recommended it to me. So when it was on sale at Amazon for 99 cents, I snatched it right up.

What did I think?

I wasn’t sure how I would respond to this book. There is a lot of hype and a lot of excitement backing up this book. I was nervous about picking it up honestly.

I was not disappointed. This book was very special and very real to me. The most important and greatest thing about this book to me is how honest and true it was. Seriously.

This book was remarkable. Very much so. I’ll start with the characters.

First there was Anna. I really liked her. Sadly, I didn’t feel that connected to her. She seemed a little distant…and not generally warm. It took a while to warm up to her character. She was very sweet and had a lot of strength in her that I think she didn’t really realize.

Then you have T.J. *swoons*. I have to say that if it wasn’t for getting the chance to read T.J.’s POV, this book probably wouldn’t have been as good. I connected with T.J. in a way that I’ve never really connected to a character. It was an instant spark. Instant connect and it grew more and more with every page I got to read. I just absolutely LOVED T.J. His strength, understanding, compassion, endurance, and passion. I wanted more of him.

I also really loved the relationship between T.J. and Anna was so sweet and sincere. It was awesome and so touching. They both grew together in a way. Even though Anna was older, she still had things to learn. They grew. It was so freaking wonderful to see that.

I thought that this book would be boring because….well….I’ve seen Castaway. It gets boring on a deserted island. LOL Even when you have someone else there. This book was not boring. At All.

There were some parts in the book that had me thinking “ummmm….really?” But only a couple lol. The dolphin part was a little bit much but still cool in it’s own way.

This story was very captivating and kept me entertained throughout the entire thing. While I was reading this story, I was in their world. On their island. It was all-consuming in the way that I could. not. stop. reading.

Graves’ writing was really fluid and truly beautiful. From the very first chapter, she commands your attention and keeps you captivated.

Favorite Quote:

What I didn’t admit, though, was that she could have brought me to my knees with one tough of her hand, if she put it in the right place. I wondered if she knew that.-34% Kindle Edition


9 thoughts on “Review: On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

  1. the why they grew together as a couple was awesome, because a lot of times it’s insta-love garbage. Which I believe, but I really like to see the slow burn.

    I was’t expecting to love this book as much as I would, so the surprise was definitely part of it’s appeal.

    I loved the baby oil scene. <— yes, know what your thinking.. because i'm pervy. whatev. lol. but really it was real. Because you better believe I would not go years with out getting myself of somehow. I'd be rubbing my shit up against trees all day long because wtf else is there to do.

    great review dear! :o) and happy friday!

    • I was so not thinking that! I almost put that in my review but couldn’t lol. I thought that was a very real part ya know? Who else would write something like that? It was REAL! LOL People do it. It’s honest. I loved it. I agree…one of the best parts. 🙂

  2. This isn’t my normal type of book but since you all are recommending it I’ll probably read it. Here’s the thing…does their age difference come off as creepy at all in the book? Does it even come up?

    • The age difference does come up but only in the beginning. Even though TJ is 16 when they crash, she watched him grow you know? It was really cool. I was weirded out by that too at first. Then I was like, “oh ok….I see it”. It really is a good book though.

  3. Sigh….I am still so freaking in love with this book. Would you think I’m weird if I said I loved Castaway? Like, I watch it every time it’s on tv. I own the dvd. I’m really glad you enjoyed On the Island and I’m thrilled you gave it a chance.

    Love you!

  4. Oh My! I just finished the book. I read a review of it at thing I read it coz I can’t put it down..It is a refreshing read. You feel what the characters undergo because their emotions are told so vividly and in both the characters’ point of views. The steamy scenes are steamy but it didn’t detract from the quality of how the story was told.

    I read somewhere that a movie will be made out of this book!! If this is so then I already have my preference to who will play Anna and T.J.

    It is always a habit of mine that whenever I read a novel/ story, I first imagine what they would look like. I’m an imaginative reader so this helps me a lot with my reading. Most of the time I read the first chapters and get a sense of the characters and from there I envision it. Usually, I imagine some actors.

    It is no different with this book. Putting these actors’ faces on the characters made the scenes in the book more exciting, dramatic (or whatever the author wants us the readers to feel) in the story.

    I imagined NATALIE PORTMAN for ANNA and BEN BARNES for T.J. I always find Natalie to have both the look of maturity and intelligence in her yet at the same time, she has this effervescence that makes you wonder whether she’s younger than her actual age. She is sweet and charming and at the same time she is sexy. I had a hard time thinking of T.J. Who would play a 16-17 year old boy who will rock the brooding ill look with braces. Someone who could play a young man and evolve into an adult. I thought of Cam Gigandet at first but he wouldn’t pass the sickly type..Others will fit the sickly look but will not pass into the T.J. with long hair, dark tan and lean muscles. One who will exude the vulnerability and strength, the innocence and the maturity, and one who can radiate both youthfulness and manliness. Suddenly, I remembered this actor who acted as Prince Caspian in Narnia who also portrayed the same youthful yet manly roles in Easy Virtue and Dorian Gray. He would be terrific because he will be able to play a teenager with the pale almost bald look with a brace on his teeth then one who grew into a man who is tanned with beautiful long hair and with lean muscles. He could smile with naivety and could like at you with smoldering eyes like he’s already experienced.

    If it will really turn into a movie, I do hope that Natalie Portman and Ben Barnes get cast as Anna and T.J. because they would be perfect for the role, personally speaking.



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