This book is absolutely amazing, but be forewarned... it will not fit into the perfect, orderly, sunshine and roses fairy-tale world that many of us rThis book is absolutely amazing, but be forewarned... it will not fit into the perfect, orderly, sunshine and roses fairy-tale world that many of us read to escape to. In fact, it steps way out of the box. It is shocking, it is heart-wrenching, and it will take you to a very dark side of real life that you might not know much about and are probably better off for it. Yet despite all that - or because of it - the sweetest love story takes root from the very beginning of the story, grabs you heart and soul, and doesn't let go until long after you've finished reading the last page. Ryan is a true hero in every sense of the word, and I can't imagine anyone not rooting for him and Sara to find the HEA they so desperately seek and so rightly deserve. If you have a Kindle or Kindle-on-PC, please do yourself a favor and download this book as soon as you can.
I thought the storyline sounded okay...42-yr-old divorced romance author hooks up with the 30-yr-old model who graces the covers of her novels. But thI thought the storyline sounded okay...42-yr-old divorced romance author hooks up with the 30-yr-old model who graces the covers of her novels. But the prudish author with very little personality pushed my willingness to suspend disbelief past the boundaries. With her 2 teenaged children staying the summer with her cheating ex and his new gf, Kelly Michaels plays the prick tease card with Derek during their stay at a romance writers' convention. Why? She has insecurities (which are understandable), she worries that Derek is only in this for a fling (and the problem with that is?) and she insists on being a June Cleaver role model for her children. Unfortunately, that lasted over half of the book and I just wasn't feeling the sexual tension that I am sure the author intended to project. When the couple finally made love, it was rather unremarkable.
The second half of the book did pick up as Kelly's inhibitions began to melt away; however, what bothered me was that Kelly, her ex, Alan, and their 2 kids together presented quite the dysfunctional family. First of all, while at the convention, Kelly learned that her 16-yo daughter, Mia, was seeing a 19-yo guy and promptly grounded her from 3000 miles away - even though Mia was staying with her father who had given his permission. In a state of rebellion, Mia slipped out of her dad's home, got drunk, had her naval pierced and promptly laid the guilt at Kelly's feet. When Alan brings the kids home & finds Derek at the house, Alan starts in with the insults about Kelly's "boy toy", Mia hurling remarks about Kelly being a hypocrite and wailing that she wants to live with "daddy". Infuriated, Kelly picks up "the first thing she can find" and throws the box of kleenex at Alan. Good thing it wasn't a paperweight. Later, Derek punches Alan when he boasted that his new gf taught him what good sex was because Kelly was such a dead lay. Alan storms over to Kelly's house to show her what "the neanderthal" did and Mia scowls at Kelly with contempt...urging her father to press charges. Kelly raises her hand to strike her ex but at the last minute refrains.
Ladies and gentlemen: June Cleaver has left the building...
...and this family needs some serious counseling! Derek, the package of total perfection...what is he willingly getting himself involved in? And, more importantly...why?
At this point, having listened to 6 hours of the 9-hr audio book and not being any more invested in the story than I was at the onset, I pitched the book into the dnf pit. Thunk!...more
Goodreads needs a new rating system. Again I've been blown away by a book that is so frigging good a paltry 5 stars does not do it any justice.
On theGoodreads needs a new rating system. Again I've been blown away by a book that is so frigging good a paltry 5 stars does not do it any justice.
On the Island is not your everyday romance novel and you will need to step out of the box for this one. The setting is an island...and I'm not talking the Bahamas. It is a small, deserted island with no food, no water and no shelter. What it does have is relentless heat and extreme humidity, rabid bats intent on sucking blood, and the human remains of a survivor who obviously did not live up to the moniker. And that's the lighter fare! The true "survivors" on the island are the protagonists of this story...a 16-year-old boy, TJ, and a 30-year-old woman, Annie. And, yes, it is a romance. But keep an open mind! It may breach your moral code but I can guarantee it will do so with your blessing.
TJ is a high school sophomore who has recently undergone treatment for cancer. He and Annie, the tutor his parents have hired for him to catch up on the schoolwork he has missed, are flying from Chicago to the Maldive Islands to join TJ's family on vacation. Bumped from their scheduled flight on the last leg of their trek, they charter a seaplane to take them the final few miles. Tragically, the pilot has a massive heart attack while en route and the plane crashes into the ocean. TJ and Annie both survive and wash ashore of the island.
What follows is a fantastic account of two people beating the odds and staying alive...day after day...month after month...and yes...year after year. TJ & Annie's "life story" is shocking and raw and brutal...and as a reader you become very connected with their ordeal as the story is told from their alternating points of view and supplemented with a great deal of dialog. TJ & Annie's "love story" is everything you could ask for in a true romance. They do not get together until TJ is nineteen and Annie is thirty-three, but when they do it feels natural and realistic and very, very right. You actually watch two people fall in love...and it really kicks ass over being "told" a couple is in love - which of course is standard fare for most romance novels. The author lets you into the very heart and soul of these characters; and when TJ & Annie return to real-life, you fervently pray they will find a way to beat the odds and make their extraordinary relationship work.
OK, I might sound like a drama queen but I can't help it...this is a dramatic story! I read a few reviews that described On the Island as a "light, easy read" and I was like WTF?? Maybe easy to read because it is written so well, but being in a plane crash and stranded on a deserted island for over three years with hardly anything more than coconuts to eat, a shark that is chomping at the bit for a good meal, no clothes, tainted water, feelings of panic, hopelessness and despair,as well as the grief that comes from knowing your family thinks you are dead and are mourning your passing...is NOT, in my opinion, "light" reading! And this story does not go away after you have read the last page and closed the book. How can it? This was your journey too!
Best of all, Tracey Garvis-Graves is undoubtedly one of us "die-hard romantics" because the epilogue she has given this story is absolutely fantastic - it is sweet and touching and pretty damn near perfect. It deserves 10 stars by itself!
Seriously, think of all the reasons you should treat yourself to this book - you will read something very different while still staying in the genre you love (and who knows, you might even learn how to start a fire with just your shoelace), you will successfully escape from real life (and if you're anything like me, you can never get enough of that), you will believe that anything is possible (even those of you with a strict moral compass), and best of all, it will make you happy. Without a doubt, you deserve that! [image error]...more