Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

Publisher: Plume
Pages: 336
Released: 2012
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5


Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old high school english teacher, stuck in a dead-end relationship. Anna doesn’t know why she’s still with her boyfriend, he’s adamant that he doesn’t want marriage or children, which are both something Anna would love. Looking to distance herself from him, Anna accepts a summer job tutoring a sixteen year-old boy who recently won his battle with cancer. TJ Callahan really doesn’t want to study in the Maldives all summer, but his parents want to spend the summer together in an exotic location. When Anna and TJ board their chartered plane, Anna notices their pilot is in distress. In mid-flight the pilot suffers a heart attack and they have no chance to call for help. For the next couple of years, Anna and TJ learn to rely on each other and live on a deserted island.


I was really surprised to read so many positive reviews of this book. I went into it, expecting not to like the book. Originally, I thought the storyline was really strange; having Anna and TJ fall in love but honestly, Graves did an amazing job setting up the relationship. Their relationship was a slow process, a natural progression and Anna really grappled with her emotions. TJ is almost nineteen when Anna gives in; they had been on the island for almost 3 years. They only had each other, and no hopes of ever being found. It didn’t seem like any planes were looking for them and eventually they stopped hoping. They knew that their families thought they were dead. Anna and TJ formed a teacher-student bond, a friendship and eventually a romance.

Their survival story was realistically portrayed. They ensure hardship, and setbacks. Living on a deserted island with very little food, made them resourceful. I really didn’t want to put this book down. I wanted to see how it would end and wondered what would become of Anna and TJ. If they ever left the island, would they manage to stay together? I highly recommend this one! I was skeptical, but all those positive reviews really did have merit.


  1. A good friend of mine read it in January and said upon finishing it would be on her favorite books list of 2012. It's on my shelf and I'm glad to see you enjoyed it.

  2. Wow, this sounds really intriguing. I need to read this because I am so curious about what her thought processes were giving in to those feelings!

  3. I loved this one too, but like you was skeptical since the who idea about and older woman and young teen made me uncomfortable, but Graves did an excellent job.

  4. When I read the synopsis of this book, I didn't think it sounded great but, I swear, every review I've read has been positive. I need to get hold of a copy!

  5. I hadn't heard of this one yet, but it does sound strangely appealing to me. I wouldn't think that the romance aspect would go over well, but apparently it really fits the story well. Thanks for giving me a new author and story to focus on. It sounds really absorbing!

  6. I couldn't put this one down either. So glad you loved it! I thought the romance was well done, too.

  7. I've heard lots of good things about this one. I'm glad the author did a good job making it realistic.