Roxane's Reviews > On the Island

On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves
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Jun 17, 12


This book is awesomely, awesomely ridiculous and hilarious and fun. Spoilers ahead even though you totally already know the plot by reading the book description! Take this book for what it is--an implausible love story! Set on a deserted island in the Maldives! Where two city people with NO survival instincts somehow manage to survive for nearly four years. Lots of incredulously convenient things happen. For example, Anna just happens to have packed a suitcase with a drugstore's worth of toiletries and then that suitcase coincidentally washes up on shore and the tampons are totes still dry. They are magic tampons. It's all good, though. Soon her period will go away because she's so skinny. THINSPIRATION, BABY! She also conveniently finds razors (and thereby shaves so she won't be hairy, even on a deserted island thereby adhering to a traditional standard of beauty even though it could not possibly matter). Other neat finds—shampoo, Woolite (LOLZ! ISLAND LAUNDRY!), toothpaste and her toothbrush, sexy underwears, bikinis. The whole suitcase is magic. It's not just the tampons.

This is a fun, fun book but so many things conveniently happen so that we know Anna and young TJ aren't really in danger. They make fire and fish and eat breadfruit and coconut and there are a few calamities but they make it through. Now, at the beginning of the book, TJ is 16 but worry not. He quickly matures and becomes of age and grows to 6'2" and fills out and becomes the most handsome man in the universe. There is lots and lots of sex and some voyeur/masturbation stuff (people have needs okay?) and swimming in the lagoon and little island adventures. It's all very cozy and charming.

The book is riddled with clichés and some of the most appalling metaphors you ever did see but the writing itself is not bad. Garvis Graves can tell a fairly addictive wish-fulfillment story and every once in a while she ups the ante with some kind of crisis to let us know that life and love are at stake. Disease! Shark attack! Tsunami! LOLWUT?!

There is some crazy nonsense too, though. For example, the book refers to the people that rescue Anna and TJ off the coast of the Maldives during the tsunami (convenient) the Coast Guard as if...the Coast Guard is an international force. It is not. Also, there's no talk of passports which Anna and TJ would need, particularly because 9/11 is invoked. Also, there are lots of extra convenient plot twists to make sure that the happy couple can live without really having to work.

Romance novels are all fairy tales and fairy tales can be fun. This is just a fairy tale that started ala Blue Lagoon with a little May December twist, or, as I like to call it, Fairy Tale Plus.
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message 1: by Nicholas (new)

Nicholas Ochiel You mentioned that this book has been optioned, and I began to wonder if you have attempted the writing of "light fiction". You are such a quick reader and writer that I imagine you could whip out something like this in, what, a weekend? An evening? Or is it the case that you simply don't want all that good, juicy option-money?

But seriously, you once mentioned that you were planning on pitching to write the next instalment of Sweet Valley University. Just don't let the money change you, okay?


Roxane Nicholas wrote: "You mentioned that this book has been optioned, and I began to wonder if you have attempted the writing of "light fiction". You are such a quick reader and writer that I imagine you could whip out..."

Ummm, I just write the books I want to write. I don't think I have a knack for this kind of story and there's never a guarantee about what will catch fire. It's folly to try and do it. Either it happens or it doesn't.

I'd love to write the next installment of the Sweet Valley adult books though.


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