On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
God so many things to say about this fantastic book!!! Thorough review coming soon!!!! :)
*Breathes in and out*
Okay, so there is alot to discuss with this book I'm not even sure where to start. But I am going to go ahead and start with, this book blew my mind. Yep. Totally blew me into the water and back like 10 times. When I first read this book, actually I only read the first chapter, I was already hooked. Well I had to stop, so many reason to name. However, I had talked to Tracey a little on Twitter and got to see what a sweet and down to earth lady she is. I so wanted to read it, so bad. I loved the cover first of all, I mean look at the frickin cover. It screams GORGEOUS STORY READ ME. I honestly wasn't sure what I was expecting but it defintely damn sure wasn't this. I had bought it and kept getting distracted when I wanted to read it. Then I started getting more antsy after seeing so many great reviews. It bugged the Hell out of me. Then at first the premise kind of made me a little leary. But it didn't last long. So fine. Fine I decided to crack that baby open, and oh my Lord. The minute I opened it and started it from the beginning because I forgot the first part. It was like I was sucked into the book and sitting on some deserted island somewhere off the coast. I was like "What the hell?" So I grabbed me some popcorn and sat on a beach towel and watched the whole thing. I was not sure how a story about a kid and a teacher getting stuck on an island would be so interesting. But wow, it was everything I never expected. So many emotions ran through me at once, I wasn't sure what to feel.
After 16 year old TJ Callahan is cleared from cancer, his family is ready to whisk him away on a vacation on some island, eventhough he'd rather stay home for the Summer. His family leaves a few days early and he stays behind for a party with his friends. On the day of his trip, he leaves with Anna Emerson, a 30 year old tutor his parents have hired to tutor him for the summer since he's behind on his classes. At the airport there were complications with their flight so they have a seaplane take them to Maldives. About halfway there, the pilot starts showing signs of a heart attack and crashes the plane, but not before TJ and Anna are strapped in with life jackets saving their lives. In the water, they search frantically for each other and when they find one another they set sail for a place on the island until someone comes to find them.
Years later, they are still on the island and TJ is now a man. Things have changed and TJ and Anna are not the same people they were the first day they left for their trip. From surviving a sickness, a shark, a jelly fish, psunami and everything else you can think of, these two have been through more in the last 3 and a half years than most would in their lifetime. They must do everything they can to survive the island life, but with limited supplies. They work together to keep a roof over their heads. TJ actually builds a house with everything they can find, and they live off of rainy water, fish, chicken and bread. Life gets difficult but as long as they have each other, they can survive anything. But do they ever get off the island? Do they survive and reunite with their families? Well, you just have to read.
WOW, when I finished this book I was in awe, tears and so in love. My gosh I never suspected for this book to effect me so much. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that I would be so captivated, so consumed by this book. But I was. I was absolutely in love from the beginning. I'll be honest though at first the idea of a 16 year old boy and a 30 year old teacher made me think about my middle school years when a friend of mine was expelled for sleeping with our Science teacher. Though, I wasn't sure what to expect and I realized this was not at all the same. First of all, TJ was never a boy to me. He was sick for years with cancer and his story was heartbreaking. He seemed so much wiser and more mature for 16. And besides that, he never did anything with Anna until he was a consenting adult so really it was just fine. Anna had a boyfriend she left back home in Chicago, but they were together for 8 years and he still didn't want to marry her. She wanted a family, which is why she agreed to take the job in the first place. A summer away from home and from John was what she needed to realize, he was never the man for her. He was her past, but was TJ her future? How would they survive being ostracized if they ever made it back home and everyone found out about them? No matter how many days, weeks, months or years passed they never gave up hope completely that someone would find them.
I loved that this was in both TJ and Anna's POV. While I was reading TJ's perspective, I heard his voice in my head. It was like he was telling me his story and I was in complete awe of him. Hell it was no wonder Anna fell in love with him. He was perfect, completely sweet and such a gentleman. He had me swooning left and right and I was left panting here and there. I loved that he never gave up hope but as long as he was where Anna was, he didn't care about being stranded. He never felt love the way he felt with Anna. It was amazing to see him transform for a young boy to a man. I loved every minute of it!
Honestly, everything about this book was perfect. From the fresh and beautiful story, to the unforgettable characters you fall in love with instantly. I loved TJ. He was a wonderful boy/man. He took care of Anna so perfectly, it was painfully sweet and romantic. I had rooted for them and in once scene I was literally flushed from head to toe, feeling like I'd been suffering a fever for days. Holy crap! It was hot!! The only time we really thought about their age was when they decided to celebrate their birthdays together. Anna was incredible. She went to great lengths to help TJ become the man he always was. She loved him, even if she felt it was wrong. It never felt more right. He made her see her beauty inside and out. They complimented each other and saved each other so many times. You really hurt for them after all they suffered on the island. I feel like I'm reliving the whole story again and I just want to curl up in my bed and spend another day with them. I love them so much! I recommend this book to those that love romance and a good love story through the struggles of survival, pain, loss, love and happiness. This book will stay with me forever! I'm going to buy it on paperback because it deserves to sit on my shelf as well. WAY TO GO TRACEY!!!
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