On The Island
Tracey Garvis Graves
Amazon Blurb -
Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.
T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.
Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.
At first, their only thought is survival. 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. Did you get that? No? Let me repeat it then WOW!!! For those who read my blog, you've seen me whining about not finding a book that just lit me up. One that made me laugh, cry and not want it to end. Well guess what? This is it! I LOVED this book. I'm not saying I haven't enjoyed books I've been reading, but I haven't felt like this since I read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
Anna is headed for a tutoring job in a tropical setting with 16 year old cancer survivor T.J. His parents don't want him to repeat the 10th grade and high school English teacher Anna takes the job on. After delays from one flight to the next, hours spent in airports, and no record of passenger status, with what really should have been an omen to chuck the whole thing, they finally manage to get on a private sea plane.
The plane crashes, and the two survive the wreck to wash ashore onto this deserted island. Hoping that they'll be found in days slowly turns to months, to years. Anna struggles with the reality of maybe never being found, the fear of T.J.'s cancer possibly returning and of the fact that he is becoming a man.
The two slowly turn to each other not as teacher and student or adult and child, but as man and woman who have very real, strong feelings for each other.
This was a gut wrenching, heartwarming and at times nail biting story of survival and overcoming some of the most horrific obstacles one could ever imagine. I don't know what I would have ever done, and this story takes you on the roller coaster of emotion ride as you get lost in the life of these beautiful people.
This is one of my favorite parts, Anna likes to cuddle and in her sleep she will often snuggle up to T.J. After an amorous dream she gropes at him in her sleep this is their exchange -
"I am completely mortified." I said
T.J. sat down next to me. " Don't be. "
"You must have wondered what the hell I was doing. "
"Well yeah, but then I just rolled with it."
I looked at him with my mouth hanging open. "Are you insane?"
"What? You're the one that said I was adaptable. "
I LOVED both Anna and T.J. What a breath of fresh air these two characters were. Real and warm, not smarmy or whiny. I laughed at times, at times tears fell, I even held my breath at certain points. The pages turned so fast it was amazing. Please read this book Tracey has done a stupendous job crafting a tale that will leave your heart feeling happy. I give it a 5 and that is rare from me!