I can’t tell you all how excited I am have this post up today as part of the blog tour for On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves. About a month ago I was lucky enough to receive a review e-copy, courtesy of Plume and Net Galley, and I have been dying for this day to come so I could share my review!
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.
Oh wow! As soon as I finished reading On The Island I felt a bit lost without Anna and TJ. I consoled myself by raving about it on twitter and telling anyone who’d listen. No one escaped! For a debut author this book is AMAZING!!! I read it in 2 sittings, just stopping briefly to go to sleep!
Anna is a 30 year old teacher who takes a summer tutoring job, mainly as a way of getting some space from her unable-to-commit boyfriend of 8 years.
TJ is a 16 year old boy who’s 3 months in to remission from Lymphoma. His parents decide the family needs to spend the summer away from the US and head to the Maldives. They hire Anna as TJ’s tutor to bring him back up to speed with his school peers.
As the synopsis says they are involved in a plane crash over the ocean, on the last leg of their journey, when their pilot suffers a fatal heart attack. They eventually manage to make it to an island …
This is a BEAUTIFUL story of survival, love, acceptance, coming of age, strength and courage. It made me laugh and cry in equal measures. The courage and mental strength of both Anna and TJ was extraordinary.
Witnessing TJ’s transformation from a sickly boy to a grown man was lovely, as was Anna’s strength and control when making decisions that their survival depended on.
There were so many stand out moments for me but I would be here for a very long time telling you about them all. When you read (not IF, but WHEN – you have to read it!) look out for the shark scene, the braces scene, “that” bathing scene(!), seriously I could go on and on so I’ll leave it there. I don’t think I have EVER loved a book so much.
On The Island was beautifully written. I fell in love with both Anna and TJ, they both felt so real and normal. Their story, especially the ending, was everything I could have hoped for and I can’t wait to read more from Tracey Garvis Graves
About The Author:
Tracey Garvis Graves lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children and her hyper dog Chloe. This is her first novel. She loves hearing from her fans and can be found on twitter @tgarvisgraves and on facebook at facebook.com/tgarvisgraves
Book Links:Amazon UK (Kindle) Amazon UK (Paperback Pre-order) Amazon US (Paperback)
Giveaways and Tour Info:
CLICK HERE to see the full list of blog tour stops.
CLICK HERE to be taken to the Rafflecopter giveaway entry page to win one of ten signed print copies of On The Island (US ONLY)
Thank you for participating in the ON THE ISLAND Event! This week in addition to reviews and posts, select blogs are hosting a word from the author’s favorite quotes in the book as a Scavenger Hunt! There is one quote from Anna and one from T.J. Visit each stop this week to find the hidden words (they will be numbered for order) and after July 22nd, submit your answer to the quotes here! Random winners for books and swag will be chosen and notified by July 29th.
Also, next week July 23-27, there will be even more events and chances to win the book and swag!
- Monday, July 23 at 8:00 pm CST – Chat with the author Tracey Garvis Graves! We will be chatting with the author on Savor Chat: http://www.savorchat.com/chat/on-the-island-chat Come join us! (You can sign in with twitter or facebook)
- Each day look at #ontheisland on twitter for random shout outs to win books and swag! @Tale_of_Reviews
- ON THE ISLAND released in bookstores Tuesday, July 10th! If you see the book in stores or ‘in the wild’ take a picture. Please tweet it and use hashtag #ontheisland. Or you can post it to facebook! Please submit twitter and facebook links of your post/tweet here! All entries need to be submitted by July 29th.