Mini Review: On the Island by: Tracey Garvis Graves

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Title: On the Island
Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves
Rating: 5 Teacups / 2 Handcuffs

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.” (via

Our Thoughts:

  • We really enjoyed this book which was a surprise for Lydia, who did not think she would enjoy a book where their is such a large age difference. It is a truly well written novel.
  • By the time the characters start their romantic relationship, you do not notice the characters age difference. T.J. matures a lot on the island.
  • Through their shared experiences on the island you get a sense of the tight bond that develops between the two lovers.
  • We fell in love with Anna when she understood and loved T.J. enough to let his go, so that he could experience a normal young man’s life.
  • We fell in love with T.J. even more, when he remembered that all she ever wanted was a dog and a family. Even though he was not there he was going to make sure her dreams came true.
  • His family was so focused on having T.J. going back to a normal life and picking up where he left off, but he understood he could not go back and needed to find what made him happy not everyone else.

Happy Reading!

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