Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

On the IslandOn the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary: Two people stranded on an island struggle to survive—and slowly fall in love
Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.
T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.
Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.
At first, their only thought is survival.  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.
J'adore, j'adore, j'adore!
If you're like Rachel, the huge age difference between Anna and T.J. is a major "no no." I'm going to tell you the same that I told her, partly mocking her since she actually says this phrase but being completely honest since the book was really good. I said for her to give it a whirl.
The age difference is definitely taboo, but the book is a beautiful and realistic love story. Under the circumstances, being trapped on an island with only each other, obviously the two would become pretty close.

I was very much into the series "LOST." I enjoy dramatic survival stories that are fictionalized and add in other elements than the harsh challenges of survival. I liked that "LOST" focused on character development and relationships, and I thought that this book did that too.

I will admit that some of the situations T.J. and Anna get in and how they get out of them regarding the other indigenous creatures is a bit far fetched, but the vast majority of the actual living on the island details seemed like they could have happened.

This is the first self published book that I've read, and I was really impressed. And now it is a Penguin book.

This was optioned for a movie, so I'm interested to see how it plays out. I think too many people will be
opposed to the age difference, but I'm rooting for it to happen.

Would I recommend to a friend? Yes*
*I'd recommend to a mature friend, perhaps someone sick of YA and wanting to go in the adult fiction direction. The writing is pretty simple, but the content obviously more mature.

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