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Title: On the Island
Author: Tracy Garvis Graves
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
BUY ON THE ISLAND
SUMMARY: 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.
On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves is a tale of survival, and keeping hope alive that steals your heart. I have to say that On the Island is one of those spectacular books that will stay with you for years to come. The story starts out with Anna who takes a job to spend the summer tutoring cancer survivor T.J. Callahan. After multiple flight delays, Anna and T.J. decided to take a small chartered seaplane instead of having to wait until morning. Their pilot, Mick, suffers a heart attack, and their plane crashes into the Indian Ocean. T.J. and Anna manage to survive and make it to a small island, to wait for rescue.
Even as hope of being rescued right away dwindles, T.J. and Anna work together to make sure they survive. With alternating viewpoints, as a reader you get to experience what both Anna and T.J. are feeling. I think it adds an additional layer to the story, which a single viewpoint could not provide. T.J. and Anna survive multiple deadly situations including tropical storms, sharks, and just meeting their basic survival needs.
This story is just an amazing story, and it is so beautiful written. The author, Tracey Garvis Graves, writes these characters in such a way that you just fall completely in love with them. I experienced their story right along with them. I admit that I laugh, and I cried (at times like a baby), and any book that makes me that emotional wins in my book. While there are plenty of stuck on a deserted island stories out there, On the Island uses these elements and Tracey really makes them her own to weave her story.
This is a book I know I will be recommending to friends and family for years to come. As I said before, On the Island is just one of those stories that will stick with you. I suggest everyone pick up this book, and enjoy the amazing adventure that is On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves.
**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book as part of the tour in exchange for an honest review**
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