On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Pages: 346OTI

Goodreads rating: 4.14 / 5 Stars

My Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Publishing Date: August 6, 2012

Publisher: Penguin

Summary (Goodreads):

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.

My Review:

Review also posted on Goodreads

Anna Emerson is an English teacher and she accepted a job on tutoring a 16-year old boy (going 17), T.J. Callahan during summer. He wasn’t able to go to class because he had a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and underwent chemo. On their way in Maldives to spend summer, the pilot suffered a heart attack and their seaplane crashed in the Indian Ocean. It was a nightmare to be in shark-infested waters and they were stranded in an island.

Eventually, they have to survive to live in an unknown island with every resources they have and hoping somebody will rescue them. They’ve waited for days, months and it become years. Anna and TJ bonded and get to know each other during their stay in the island. I’m in awed of their teamwork and surprisingly, I enjoyed how their relationship grew more. Actually, what happened to them is a great adventure yet a death-defying experience. I just can’t imagine sharks and jellyfish in seawater. It is really scary to encounter those creatures.

It was nice to read this as an audio book and I really like its narration. I just can’t stop listening to it and eager to know what happens next for them. The characters just have this raw emotion and it felt real to me. Okay, I’m going to be honest, I don’t really mind characters with age gaps. I’ve read some books with characters like this but usually the guy is older than the girl.. It’s new to me in reading the girl is older than the guy. Anna is 30 years old and TJ is 16 years old.  I am skeptical at first and wasn’t sure if I’m going to like this kind of love story. I’m not being judgmental here, it’s indeed new to me and you think I’m going to stop reading this? No. Anna and TJ grew on me and ended up loving them. Their relationship is well developed and it wasn’t an insta-love. They were awkward at first and I think it’s cute and hilarious. I must admit, they do have a great romance story. Actually, everything is beautiful in this book and gave me butterflies. I totally didn’t expect it.

Anna and TJ simply proved that love knows no boundaries. I’m incredibly touched and emotionally invested with their story. I’m definitely recommending this book. Overall, I really enjoyed it.



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