Tuesday, July 10, 2012

(92)On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

On the Island

Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Pages: 336


For the last several weeks, whenever I would log on to www.bn.com --------> that picture is the picture that is displayed on the nook screens.  I was intrigued by the picture alone, but not enough to read a synopsis. When the book became available for review through Netgalley, I snapped it up, just based on the cover alone.  I mean really, doesn't it just scream "vacation"??  It wasn't until I read the first page of the book that I really started to get an inkling for what this book is about, and it does not include a vacation that I would ever want to take.

It is June 2001 and Anna Emerson and TJ Callahan are on a small seaplane heading to an island in the Maldives.  Anna, a thirty year old English teacher, has been hired by the Callahan's to tutor sixteen year old TJ for the Summer.  TJ missed a lot of school while fighting a (successful) battle with Cancer, so they hired Anna to join them on the summer vacation to get TJ all caught up with the rest of the class.  They aren't on the seaplane long when their pilot has a heart attack and is dead before the plane hits the water.  TJ and Anna miraculously make it to an island, a deserted island.   In the early days they are both confident that they will be rescued and refuse to think anything less.  The days start to slowly pass and it starts to look like they will never be rescued. Thank God they have each other and the bits of their luggage that has washed up onto shore.  While they struggle through the next three years of Island Life their bond grows stronger and stronger, despite the horrible weather, broken bones, and shark attacks, they are hell bent on survival.  Then the infamous 2004 Tsunami hits and sweeps them both out to sea.  Will they be able to survive what Mother Nature has to throw at them, or will they finally get the rescue they have been dreaming about for years?

Some of you may have already read, On the Island, for Tracey Garvis Graves is another self published success story. Her stories have caught the eye of the Penguin Press Imprint, Plume and according to the author's blurb at the end of the ARC, the movie rights to On the Island have been picked up by MGM.  This kind of success is everything that aspiring authors dream about. And frankly, it could not happen to a better author.  Anna and TJ's story was so touching that I found myself moved to tears more than once.  I admit I was skeptical about the whole thirty year old teacher/teenage boy angle of the story, but I will just say that everything that happens in this book is aboveboard and legal.

Bottom line, On the Island, is a wonderful read about love, loss, and survival.  Anna and TJ are two of the most resourceful characters I have ever read, yet it never seems over the top or campy.  They are just two people lost in the world and all they have in the world is each other. While we may not be stranded on a deserted island I could certainly relate to Anna and TJ. With the job "mess" there have been times in the last few weeks that I have felt so scared and alone, about my uncertain future, and it was my husband's arms that gave me safe harbor. I am sure that many of you can relate to that in one way or another.  --- Go right now and click the "buy" button for On the Island, you will not regret it, I promise.

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Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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