KarenH's Reviews > On the Island

On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves
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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 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! SmileyCentral.com[image error]
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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♡Karlyn P♡ Great review, this one blew me away too!! Extra stars for the great epilogue, I agree! I was thrilled to read a book that finally lived up to the hype.

MelissaB Great review Karen! You know I enjoyed this one too.

KarenH Thanks Karen & Mel. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. She is one helluva story-teller!

♡Karlyn P♡ KarenH wrote: "Thanks Karen & Mel. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author. She is one helluva story-teller!"

Touché, i can't wait to see what she does next

message 5: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Great review Karen!

Crista Fantastic review Karen! I ended up reading this one into the wee hours of the night because I couldn't put it down! Your review takes me right back.....ahhh!

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