On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

4 Stars
Amazon link- On the Island

To sum it up: 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 sea-plane 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…

Wow.

All I can say is, this book really blew me away. I’ve avoided this book for quite a while, only because I wasn’t into the substantial age difference between the hero and the heroine. Personally, I prefer the hero to be the older one when it comes to my romance novels. But after reading so many great reviews, and hearing so many awesome things, I decided to just jump on in, and give it a try. And all I can say is, I’m certainly glad that I did!

For any of you that are avoiding this book because of the age difference, let me assure you that the romance between T.J. and Anna is very tastefully done. T.J isn’t your typical immature “teenager”… he’s battled through some hardships in life, which has brought about a maturity that most people his age wouldn’t possess.

A few things that I really loved about this story, is how the two main characters interacted on a daily basis, and how their relationship evolved. I was honestly engrossed from start to finish- their story was truly touching- they relied so heavily on each other, because in reality, they were each others’ reasons for surviving.

Tracey Garvis-Graves really did a fantastic job showing readers how tough life can be when thrown into an unimaginable situation. She captivated me with this carefully written story, in such a way, that anyone reading would be able to relate in one way or another. This is more than just your average love story- it’s also a story of survival. …and I’m happy to say, that this is definitely one of those rare books that draws you in until you forget the outside world entirely. 🙂

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