Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Review -- On The Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

When I first read about what On The Island was about, I must admit I was a bit taken back.  I also thought that the author had guts, which I liked.  On The Island is about a teacher, Anna age 30,  and her student, TJ age 16, flying to an island in the Maldives to spend the summer with his family when their pilot suffers a heart attack and dies mid-flight.  They crash in the Indian Ocean and become stranded on an island.  Without giving away too much, they of course become close and deal with the obvious hardships being stranded on an island entails.  

So, you automatically think to all of the possibilities and that's where my being taken back comes in.  Wow, okay.  She's 30 and he's 16.  They're on the island a while so he obviously grows up, that's good.  But, so does she.  Hmm, yeah.  Well, I'm intrigued, I'm diving in.

Am I glad I did.  This book draws out so much emotion in you.  From fear to sorrow, to love and giddiness.  Reading the adventures of Anna and TJ definitely leave you wanting more.  

Obviously, as I was reading, I was wondering what I'd do if I were stranded on an island.  I really think I'd go insane.  The struggles we read of Anna and TJ dealing with it were written so raw and emotional.  The lack of food, hygiene, shelter to name a few.  They make do with what they have and do it well but it really showed me just how primitive you'd have to be.  We are very spoiled and take for granted so much, reading this book really brought that home for me.

Another thing is that at the time of the crash, TJ is three months into remission from cancer.  His parents had hired Anna to tutor him over the summer to help him catch up in school.  Anna jumped at the opportunity to help give her some time and space from her life to think things over, to decide which path she should take.  Little did they know...

As the days turn into months, then years, they both grow very close and dependent on one another.  They face many challenges like what I discussed above plus horrible tropical storms, creatures in the sea, bats, and a scary illness.  The whole time I thought, "Does his cancer come back?  What if it does, what will they do?"  You worry that if one of them dies, what will the other do?  They only have each other.  You know having the other one there with them helps their sanity.  What would happen if one of them died?

The only way to find out the answers to all of these questions is to read the book.  This is my first review and I'm so happy that it's one I really liked.  Ms. Garvis-Graves grabs you from the beginning and you don't want to put it down until you find out what happens.  Will they survive?  Do they ever get off the island?  Do they fall in love?  And if they do, what about their age difference?  All these things are answered in the book.  

So my recommendation?  Read On The Island.  It's captivating and fun.  It's definitely the book to pick up after a long day to escape to.  Once you do read it, I'd love to hear if you agree with me.  And if you don't, why not?

On another note, I'm really excited to announce that Tracey Garvis-Graves is my next author feature and giveaway!  Make sure to come back on Monday Feb 20th to see just what we have in store for you.  You won't be disappointed.  

To get to know Tracey and what she's up to, please visit her at:



  1. I loved On the Island!!!!! It was my favorite read of 2011 :)

  2. I really enjoyed reading your review!!! It makes me really want to pick this book up! Thanks for sharing and I am a new follower!

    Tess @ My Pathway to Books

  3. Very excited to read this book!!!! LOVED your review on it and it definitely makes me want to dive in and read this book SOON!

  4. I love it when Authors have guts and aren't afraid to show it!!! This book is one of my all-time favs!!!

  5. Thank you for writing such a wonderful review, Laura. I am so glad you enjoyed Anna and T.J.'s story! I can't wait to be featured on your blog on the 20th.



  6. This sounds like an interesting book! I hadn't heard of it before, but now my curiosity is piqued :)

  7. I think I am a lot like you with your initial reaction to this book. The age thing freaks me out a bit but it also makes me even more curious as to what relationship they form during this hardship. Great review!

  8. It is a fantastic, thoughtful, well-written book first, and a romance novel second. I became so attached to the characters and their situation, I couldn't stop reading it. It made me think about what I would do in their situation, and it was really interesting to see how they dealt with it. It is a wonderful reflection on humans' most basic needs for survival. I can't wait for her next novel to come out.