Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “On the Island” as Want to Read:
On the Island
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

On the Island (On the Island #1)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  49,854 ratings  ·  6,473 reviews
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
ebook, 270 pages
Published September 4th 2011
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about On the Island, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about On the Island

Conjuring Darkness by Melanie  JamesBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuireThe Rise of Chaos by AnnMarie StoneRunaway by S.M. KnowlesHopeless by Colleen Hoover
2014 Must Reads
357th out of 1,994 books — 2,252 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Aestas Book Blog
Wow. 5.5 stars!! (New review - edited after re-read)

LOVE LOVE LOVED this absolutely beautiful , unique and unforgettable story about survival and love.

Its well-written, riveting and heartfelt. The HEA ending is just perfect with an epilogue that brought the happiest tears to my eyes. I honestly don’t have one single complaint to make about the this book.

One of my top favorite reads ever!

I just finished reading it for the second time. I read it once a year ago and absolutely adored it but it w
♡Karlyn P♡

Awesome, awesome, awesome!

wow, what a great book this turned out to be! It's one of the few 'hyped' books I've read lately that really live up to the hype.

At first I really wasn't sure about it. The book description didn't sound like my cuppa, and in a way it wasn't, but the author really made this one work and made me a believer.

Seriously, don't shy away from this one! Yes, there is a whopping age difference between the H/h, with the heroine being the older of the two. 13 1/2 years actually,
Before I even start my review I need to ask the most important question.....
How is this Tracey’s first book? I’m skeptical, I don’t believe it.
She writes so flawlessly.
The story was amazing!

I mean, she wrote about two people living on a island, how entertaining could that possibly be?
Turns out more than I knew.. I truly could not stop reading this book.

I read this during a nasty cold. Now thats dedication people!

T.J. is a sixteen year old, that is in remission from cancer. Anna is a 30 ye
Kristin (KC)
Utterly breathtaking!

A friend of mine (Amy aka, Foxy) persuaded me to read this book and helped me through it since I was initially concerned about the subject matter. I couldn't be happier that she finally convinced me! If you are someone who, like me, tends to shy away from books involving sickness and/or tragedy, don't cross this one off your list; its focus lies on a very positive outcome and is substantially more encouraging than it is tragic.

Anna is T.J.'s tutor and agrees to attend a vac

4.5 stars

I was thirty years old when the seaplane T.J. Callahan and I were traveling on crash-landed in the Indian Ocean. T.J. was sixteen...

Treatment for cancer has left T.J. behind in his studies. His parents hire teacher Anna Emerson to tutor T.J. over the summer at their rental on one of the small islands off the main island of the Maldives. When the pilot suffers a fatal heart attack, the seaplane crashes into the ocean and T.J. and Anna make it to a small, uninhabited island.

To pare down
Buddy read with my darlings Nab & Basuhi & Pavlina, Jerry aka 9 3/4 and Monisha (click on names to see their reviews)

FINAL RATING: ★★★★/★★★★★

"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.”

This was interesting and nice book, with a different setting from usual and refreshing love story. I liked it and enjoyed it and i am glad that i have read it!

This is a story of two people, Anna and T.J. who
Jan 06, 2012 ♥Rachel♥ rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ♥Rachel♥ by: Bethany
I started this books thinking I'd just read a few chapters but then couldn't put it down until I finished. Wow!

Anna is a thirty-year old teacher who has accepted a tutoring job on a Maldives island over the summer. Anna is to tutor to sixteen year-old T.J., while he and his family vacation in this island paradise. Anna is more than happy to do this, she needs to get away to make a major decision in her life. Should she stay with the man who she's lived with, John, for the last seven years, or s
My goodness...what a WONDERFUL book!!

Anna Emerson is a 30 year old English teacher who is offered a job tutoring 16 year old, T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives. Almost seventeen, T.J. is in remission from cancer and now he's on his way to spend his first summer, free from radiation and chemo, with his family; along with a stack over overdue assignments. Understandably, he is not looking forward to his summer. However, Anna jumps at the chance to spend the entire summer
Pavlina loves Dex ❤❤
Revie to come soon :))

Buddy read with Kristalia,Nab,Basuhi,9 3/4 (Jerry :)) )Monisha

on 9th July :))

Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
5 STARS!!!


This is my second time reading it and loved it even more than the first time around! Wow, just simply amazeballs!

This is a book where the blurb jumped out to me. A much older female tutor and an in-remission teenager crash in the ocean and end up on a deserted island? Well sign me up! A very realistic, heartwarming, and thought-provoking read, On the Island will always remain a top favorite on my shelf!


The story is told from dual POVs. Enter Anna, a 30 year old English teacher who is h
5 Stars!!Absolutely loved it!! Wow...the writing style, the characters, the storyline, the romance...everything. Once I started I could not stop. TJ was awesome and so was Anna. My goodness, how they survived and the love that developed between them, was a bond that would prove to stand the test of time. Anna was so strong and composed, and TJ, forced to become a man at young age, handled his circumstances better than most mature men could. He faced death twice by the age of 16 and I think that ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
What a beautiful story this was.

First, off, I would like to thank my friends who have taken the time to read books like these and recommend them to me. At first glance, I had sort of bypassed the book, not thinking much of it.

After seeing that On the Island was gaining buzz on GR for being a sleeper book, I gave it a second look. The cover? Basic; nothing too impressive. The summary? It peaked my interest a little. I had a guilty fascination with movies like The Blue Lagoon and Return to the Blu
What a pleasant surprise! I had On The Island on my radar for a while, but was finally pushed over the edge when I saw quite a few of my GR friends were really enjoying it. I have to say I totally agree. Pay attention authors! The most important thing is creating likable characters, and this is how you do it.

After a long battle with cancer, T.J's parents have decided the entire family is going to an island for a little R and R and family QT. Because of T.J's illness he had fallen behind in his
 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*
Jan 25, 2013 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* by: 5-Star Reviews from Goodreads Friends
5 Stars!!! - Also reviewed at: Lady Jayne's Reading Den

WOW. SO DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED! Beautiful, real and moving.

It’s been a long while since I finished a book the same day I started it, but I did with this. I couldn’t put On the Island down! Even though I was meant to be doing work at home this past weekend. I was THAT hooked!!!

Sometime last year, I saw many 5-Star reviews for this book, and I added it, just waiting for the right time for when I was in the mood for a Blue Lagoon type of sto
Opening Line:"I was thirty years old when the seaplane T.J Callahan and I were travelling on crash-landed in the Indian ocean."

Gawd this left me shattered, easily one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s taken me ages to get a review organized because I just couldn’t figure out how to write one that would do this amazing story justice.

There were just so many things I loved about this; a survival story, a forbidden romance, a tropical desert isle location, action, suspense, (freakin shark
Akanksha❤ Søren♰
I started this book thinking 'Ah, seems like a weird book with a huge age gap beween the main leads and the story seems like its going to be dragged'
Holy hell, how wrong was I.
God fucking knows why I haven't read this book when I've had it since like Aug!! I feel like kicking myself, HARD!!

Author, I love you and I've got only one thing to say to you

^ ^ ^ I was like this after finishing the book. ^ ^ ^

Totally touch me to the core
My eyes should really stop leakin
Abbi Glines
Fantastic book. One of my favorite romance reads… of the year. Can I say that? I mean I started reading it in 2011 and finished in 2012… so um….
Anyway it is awesome.
Kristen (Peddler of Smut)
4 to 4 1/2 stars

On the Island turned out to be a wonderful surprise for a free ebook. Amazing actually! It's engaging, thought provoking, realistic, and heartwarming. Not to mention, I fell in love with the two main characters. I highly recommend this book.
Alexis *RealityBites! Let's Get Lost!*
Spoiler Free Review
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!

-I had every reason to dress up. Dinner was always special when you killed it, instead of the other way around. -Inner thoughts of Anna On The Island

This is a story about Survival, Love and Purpose. T.J. is 16 he has just finished a bout with lymphoma. Its the summertime and his parents want to wisk him away to a tropical vacation. The problem is TJ just wants to spend the summer with his friends. When he stays behind instead of catching his
Duchess Nicole
I've had this on my virtual shelf for so long that it had sort of become part of the background. Not any more. It's changed places to my "Favorites of all Time" shelf.

I was so moved by T.J. and Anna's entire story. It's not one that I would ever have chosen to read had it not also been on everyone else's favorites shelves. Well, it more than worked for me. I fell in love with this book!!!!

The Goodreads blurb:

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callah
5 SUPER BRIGHT Stars!! WOW, this was a very powerful story of two extraordinary people who survive the most amazing journey together. I devoured it and just could tear myself away. I can't even describe how much I loved everything about this book. I had such anxiety through out every chapter, the obstacles were so unbelievable. First, you have the age difference where Anna is 13 years older than the 16 year old TJ when the story begins. Next, surviving for 3 years on a deserted island which incl ...more
It's not easy for me to give this 2* only and I've thought about this long and hard. Normally I would have either not rated this at all, or given it a 3* and shrugged. However, I am a bit too angry about the way this was written for comfort and a shrug. So allow me to explain...

(there may be spoilers)

I was prepared to like this and--quite unlike American readers--I live in a country where 16 is the age of consent, even for relationships between much older adults and youths, and Anne's alleged po
Buddy read with my spectacular buddies Kris, Basuhi, Nab, 9 3/4 aka Jerryand Pavlina

4 "Age is just a damn number" Stars


I was a bit of a skeptic at first...I couldn't figure out why all these people were loving this romance between a sixteen year old boy and thirty year old woman.
I was thinking what you're probably thinking...until I read the book.

So what’s it about?

A devastating event that is pretty much everyone’s worst nightmare.

You’ve seen this before (sorta) in the past with a certain m
Lisa Kay
White sand beaches of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.
I’m sure Anna and T.J. wished they’d had this hammock.

★★★★½ Oh, this is a good one. I have a bookshelf entitled “mrs-robinson” that this one is placed on; however, don’t let the age difference put you off about the relationship between Anna and T.J. Their story of survival and love is a wonderful read, which goes so fast and is so engrossing it was hard for me to maintain the slower pace of my “buddy read.”

Speaking of which, I loved reading
What an awesome reading experience this was! I swear I went through every emotion that I have while taking this journey with TJ and Anna. This couple will be forever ingrained in my head, and I won't ever forget them. Tracey Garvis-Graves is a brilliant writer, and considering this is her first book I am beyond impressed.
Honestly, the biggest reason I stayed away from this book for so long was the age difference between the characters. TJ is was a 16 year old boy who was in remission from his ca
Feb 06, 2012 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: ♥Rachel♥
4.5 Stars

Age seems to define us in our society. Drive, graduate, go to college, get married, and have kids by this and then. You are way too young for that or too old to do this. Past your prime. Cradle robber. Sugar Daddy. Cougar….and on and on. BUT is age really the best judge of when someone is ready for something in life or where we should be in life?

On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves is a touching story about two people in a struggle to survive, which just might make your heart think soc
Absolutely amazing. I couldn't put it down. First paragraph: I was thirty years old when the seaplane T.J. Callahan and I were traveling on crash-landed in the Indian Ocean. T.J. was sixteen, and three months into remission from Hodgkin's lymphoma. The pilot's name was Mick, but he died before we hit the water.

Anna is a teacher who's agreed to tutor T.J. over the summer at his parent's getaway island home in the Maldives. He's missed a year of school due to cancer and chemo. Because of mechanica
Tarryn Fisher
With every page, I kept asking myself, why did this author self publish? Who was the fool that turned her down? Her writing is extremly polished, her character's are deeply likeable. I could not put it down! The only part I found unbelievable were in fact, the dolphins :)
I am an immediate and lifelong fan of this author.
Mimi Smith
4 stars

If it hadn't been for my GR friends I never would have picked this book up for 2 reasons:

1)I've never enjoyed survival, on a deserted island story. This traces back to my Robinson Crusoe experience, since at 11 I found the book hopelessly dull.

2)The older woman-almost underage guy thing. It's not that I have a problem with the heroine being older, but when he's 16-18, it's a big difference. Yes, the physical relationship only began when he was almost 19, but it's not something I looked f
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
MOVIE!!! 95 1759 Nov 04, 2014 01:25AM  
Who would play T.J and Anna? 19 321 Aug 09, 2014 06:23AM  
Women older than the guy. 102 429 Dec 08, 2013 04:50PM  
Bibliophile Beauties: On The Island - July 2013 4 33 Jul 15, 2013 08:56AM  
Kindle Love Stories: On the Island giveaway!! 1 28 Jun 12, 2013 05:11PM  
  • The Sweet Gum Tree
  • The Education of Caroline (The Education of..., #2)
  • Fallen from Grace
  • Finding Home
  • Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror, #3)
  • Sempre (Forever, #1)
  • Painted Faces (Painted Faces, #1)
  • Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3)
  • At Peace (The 'Burg, #2)
  • A Different Blue
  • Surviving Raine (Surviving Raine, #1)
  • Slow Twitch (Brenna Blixen, #3)
  • Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2)
  • How to Kill a Rock Star
  • Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2)
  • Crow's Row (Crow's Row, #1)
  • The Wreck
Tracey Garvis-Graves is the author of On the Island, Uncharted, and Covet. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. She blogs at using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood. You can e-mail her at She ...more
More about Tracey Garvis-Graves...
Uncharted (On the Island, #1.5) Covet (Covet, #1) Every Time I Think of You Cherish (Covet, #1.5)

Share This 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 pulled my arms out from underneath her body and tucked her hair behind her ears. “I love you, Anna.”
The surprised look on her face told me she hadn’t seen that coming.
“You weren’t supposed to fall in love,” she whispered.
“Well, I did,” I said, looking into her eyes. “I’ve been in love with you for months. I’m telling you now because I think you love me too, Anna. You just don’t think you’re supposed to. You’ll tell me when you’re ready. I can wait.” I pulled her mouth down to mine and kissed her and when it ended, I smiled and said, “Happy birthday.”
More quotes…