Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Posted April 10th, 2012 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, HJ Top Pick!, Review / 4 comments

An absolutely Awesome Read! ‘On the Island’ was author Tracey Garvis-Graves debut novel and it was just phenomenal. This is the story about two individuals marooned on a deserted island surviving to stay alive over a period of over 3 years.

Do not be put off based on the premise of this book, ‘On the Island’ is much more than just an older women / younger man romance; it is about survival, friendship, perseverance, courage, trust, faith, hope, dreams, companionship, support and deep abiding love that breaks through barriers.

I’m so glad to have come across this book browsing through Amazon. The writing was flawless; the descriptions were vivid. I liked reading the book through both Anna and T.J’s point of view.

Anna and TJ’s story was heartbreaking at times and heartwarming at others; I laughed, I cried and cheered for them. I was sorry to see this book end and that’s saying something.

If you could read only one book this year – I would highly recommend ‘On the Island’

Quotes from the book:

“I don’t fit in your world.”
“Neither do I,” he said, his expression tender yet resolute. “So let’s make our own. We’ve done it before.”

“[T.J.] I kissed her as soon as we were inside her apartment, and I wasn’t gentle about it, holding her face firmly in my hands and pressing my lips hard against hers. She wasn’t anyone’s to own – I knew that – but right then she was mine.”


Published June 7th 2012 by Penguin (first published September 3rd 2011)
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.

4 Responses to “Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves”

  1. Anonymous

    I don’t usually read romance/love stories. But I would recommend this one. So good. Read it in two days.

  2. Danmark

    Wow, i don’t know where to start. I guess it would come to this considering there is so much emotion involved in romantic situations; and this is probably the first genuine romance novel I’ve read. I felt like the author set-up everything perfectly. Everything was rather subtle. This is a story about two people who have to lean on each other to survive both physically and emotionally. I feel like love was bound to happen.