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Two people stranded on an island struggle to survive—and slowly fall in love—in the runaway New York Times bestseller from the author of the forthcoming novel COVET.

Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.

Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.

At first, their only thought is survival. 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.
Published: Penguin Group on Jun 7, 2012
ISBN: 9781101609095
List price: $7.99
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A word of warning: Do NOT start reading this book unless you have several free hours ahead of you because seriously, you won't be able to put this out of your hands! I did not move from where I was sitting for hours and I don't even think I looked up from my Kindle until I finished the last page. It was so riveting and addictive- I couldn't have put it down even if I had wanted to! I can't believe I came so close to not reading this book. I never took the time to figure out what it was about and had figured it was just a regular adult romance which I rarely read. Turns out this is a survival book. I love survival books!

As the title suggests, this book is set on an island. Not just any island though; a desert one on which our two main characters find themselves stranded. T.J (16) and Anna (30) are on their way to T.J's parents when their plane crashes and they end up on this island, with no way to contact anybody. The first few pages were okay but once they reached the island, I was completely invested in the story and the characters and couldn't stop until I found out what was going to happen to them. T.J and Anna are stuck there for years. They have to quickly learn survival skills and they do a great job! They manage to stay fed and watered for a long time and were always coming up with solutions to the next problem.

The book wasn't perfect. Unlike many people, I wasn't really feeling the romance that inevitably formed after about 3 years. I didn't have an issue with the relationship itself but I just didn't find it very compelling or interesting. I also thought Anna and T.J could have thought some things out better which would have made surviving easier but other than that, I really loved this book and I'm so glad I read it! It was fascinating watching them try to live against all odds. The novel moves at an excellent pace. Sometimes we get to read about several days in a row and other times, it skips ahead months. This was great because it stopped the book getting boring and it didn't drag at all!

Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone, especially anyone who loves reading survival stories. It kept me on the edge of my seat and was just the book I needed to pull me out of my boring reading slump. I will most certainly be reading anything this author publishes in the future. I'm already excited for her next book, Covet, which won't be out until Autumn of this year. On The Island was definitely a gem!read more
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I had seen this book on a number of “Best of 2012” lists and decided it looked like an interesting read. So I picked up a copy from the library. It ended up being an interesting and engaging read. It would have been an exceptional book, except at times the dialogue between characters sounded a bit awkward to me.This was an engaging read about a woman named Anna who is tutoring a teenage boy named T.J. T.J. is in remission from cancer and is supposed to be catching up on school work over the summer with Anna’s help. On the way to meet up with the boy's parents their plane crashes on a deserted island. They learn to survive on the island dealing with storms, general survival, sharks, disease, and malnutrition. Anna and T.J. are both excellent characters. They both really keep their cool when they crash on this deserted island. Because of this they figure out ways to cope with the obstacles in their path to survival. I found them both to be very engaging and very realistically done.There were a couple of things that bothered me about this book. At times the language and talking sounded a bit awkward to me. Also I thought that the fact that these two very attractive people were on this island by themselves so long and kept their relationship platonic was a bit unrealistic. Especially since they were so obviously attracted to each other and pretty much had nothing else to do. -------SPOLIER START---------Graves makes a big deal about pointing out how Anna and T.J. wait until T.J. is nineteen before doing anything sexual. It was a bit odd and forced feeling.-------SPOLIER END---------Still this ends up being a very engaging and quick read. You are constantly wondering if they will be rescued, if their relationship will go past friends, and if they are rescued how they will deal with the fall-out.It's a quick fun read. It does go into some issues; like what society thinks about people who fall in love who are vastly different in age. It also delves into the issue of trying to balance happiness with society's demands.Overall I enjoyed reading this book. The story and writing wasn't anything spectacular but it was entertaining. There are parts of the book that are a bit awkward, but it is still a very engaging read. I would recommend to those who like contemporary romance and enjoy survival stories.read more
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I actually thought On the Island was a young adult book when I ordered it, but it definitely isn't! Anna is a thirty year-old teacher accompanying her new student, seventeen year-old cancer survivor T.J., to his parents' holiday house in the Maldives for some summer tutoring. As it happens, books are going to be the least of their worries, as their plane crashes between Malé and their final destination, leaving them marooned on one of the many uninhabited islands dotted across the vast sweep of the Maldives.About two thirds of the novel consists of the trials and tribulations of desert island life for T.J. and Anna, and I was thoroughly absorbed in their daily experiences. Watching these two all-modern individuals learning the skills they needed to survive was fascinating, and made me wonder how I would have coped in their shoes. The intense microcosm of island life neatly paved the way for the romantic element of the book. Some readers might wonder about the appropriateness of a relationship between a student and a teacher, but actually, in this unprecedented situation it's hard to imagine how a bond WOULDN'T form between T.J. and Anna. As the weeks turns to months and then to years, their boundaries inevitably start to crumble, they get closer with every shared difficulty and joy, and as T.J. becomes a grown man it might be considered odd if their relationship didn't become more complicated at some point. I was definitely rooting for them, as mutual tenderness and respect, growing love and a unique shared experience cemented them together into an inseparable couple.What I deeply appreciated about this book was the fact that Graves doesn't resort to a cliched 'And then a plane flew over and we waved and got picked up' way of ending her characters' island stay. Instead she cleverly ties it in with real-life events and orchestrates a far more gritty and interesting escape. The last part of the book follows Anna and T.J. back to 'real life' - something usually missing from stories like this - and explores how they adjust to being back in America with their families around them, modern conveniences at every turn, and the press desperate to hear their story and dissect the propriety of their relationship. This section wasn't quite as gripping or immersive, but it rounded off the novel in a far more satisfying and realistic way than if it had simply ended at the moment they got off the island.I only really had a couple of little niggles while I was reading. One was that the dialogue was slightly clunky at times, particularly because of the frequent overuse of names. My other tiny gripe was with the occasional over-idyllic moments, like the dolphins that come to play in the lagoon and befriend T.J. and Anna. Not that this is completely out of the question, of course - but it did smack a bit of a child's fantasy desert island at times! Other than that, however, I found this to be a stellar bit of storytelling and a great read for a dose of holiday escapism. I was genuinely caught up in T.J. and Anna's fight for survival and their budding romance, and their isolation meant that every moment of happiness, sadness or fear cut that much more deeply, both for them and for the reader. I teared up a few times, and smiled along with them in others. This will definitely be a keeper for me - in fact, reading it outside on a hot sunny day might have to become a new summer tradition!read more
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Wow. Just wow. What a powerfully beautiful book with a perfect HEA.

I'm a huge fan of any sort of book which involves characters having to fight to survive while developing a relationship and this certainly fit the bill.

30-year old Anna is hired to tutor 16-year old cancer survivor T.J. during a summer while the family is on vacation. T.J. has stayed home for an additional week to attend a party and he and Anna are flying out together.

En-route the pilot suffers a heart attack and the plane crashes in the ocean. Anna & T.J. survive only to find end up alone on a small tropical island. Months become years as these two survivors eek out an existence with what has washed ashore.

This story follows the survivors, in alternating chapters, as they live their lives. It’s amazing to follow progress of their relationship and what they need to do to survive.

I highly recommend this book.
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This book had its moments. Sometimes interesting, sometimes predictable, often contrived, it was at least able to hold my attention. There were some pretty ridiculous and far-fetched aspects that really bugged me. The writing was a bit simple-- it wasn't descriptive, it wasn't beautifully lyrical. In fact, it reminded me of my own writing when I attempt to write fiction, and I always feel that my writing falls so short. There wasn't much success in really bringing me into the story and making me feel like I was there. It was just "he said this, and she said this, and the wind blew and it was hot, and they were hungry and sad and lonely". It was very straight-forward and simple writing.And I just didn't get some things. For instance Anna's preoccupation with what would happen if they got off the island? What would people say? I just didn't get why she was so stressed over what people would think about their unorthodox relationship.I think I actually enjoyed the last half of this book, as it seemed more believable, if not the more exciting half. And this was a bit of a disappointment, as it was the first half that I was really looking forward to experiencing.Considering the author chose to self-publish this novel, you've gotta give her credit. She has had the best success I've seen thus far from a self-published author! Her book has been well received and is showing up on actual bookstore shelves and has become a bestseller. That's impressive!My final word: This was an "okay" book. I was left with the same feeling I usually have after reading most romance novels. As if it were a bit of fluff and little substance, although the last half of the book is more substantial. Read this one when you are looking for a little fluff. I'd give it 3.5 stars.read more
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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 post as a teacher in my opinion never truly floated. They crashed before she took up teaching him and there was no activity as a teacher either on the island. I didn't mind the age aspect at all, in fact I read the book for it, because I wanted to read a well-written book about just such an age-gap.

I'm not going into the numerous problems I had with basic writing skills I expect from a book, such as are relative to grammar, punctuation and style. Or that I'd expect the stream of consciousness from two people that apart in gender, experience and age to be at least somewhat different and not uniformly juvenile. I do have much more problems with the story however.

Let me state it clearly: any female shaving her legs, underarms and pits, hung up to the point of ridiculousness about natural body odours and wildly applying hair conditioner as well as being crazy about recovering a suitcase filled with beauty items while stranded on a tropical island has to have her head examined. From that moment onwards I lost every shred of respect for this female character.

Just as it rather soon started to grate on me that neither Anne, nor TJ ever had any even halfway deep conversation or addressed any of the obvious problems bound to arise between them. I had trouble believing in the aliveness and reality of both of them. TJ was too good to be true, and stayed that way, and Anne came over as shallow and immature despite all her protestations to the contrary.

The romance felt contrived, there was no build-up, Anne being too prude to even contemplate the topic realistically until the last moment and TJ is suddently the big seductor and superb lover quite out of the blue. Anyone who had hoped for even a tiny bit of sensuality or on-screen sex will be disappointed by the way. This book is practically sex-free, even though going by the blurb you're led to believe it's one of the main topics.

What truly enervated me though was the moralising. You might expect some openmindedness from a book about a reversed May-December couple, but what liberal view at this topic there was, was mere window-dressing. It felt as forced as the turn of the heroine towards dogoodieness, while the real message below the alleged liberalism was 1) women have to have (lots) of babies, and 2) people just have to marry, then whatever they do is acceptable. Yes. That.

Nowhere were the real issues of an age-gap relationship truly taken up, even the people who were critical still behaved with a restraint I found entirely unbelievable and things proceeded too smoothly just about in every respect. After the candyfloss HEA with a marriage, multiple babies (of course the 15 y/o TJ had his semen frozen) and everybody's problem nicely solved and tucked safely into a cozy bed, I was left gnashing my teeth.

This story idea had a lot going for it, but it sure has been turned into one of the soppiest and most sugar-coated romances I read, ever. The 2* are exclusively for the excellent idea and the one or two times I laughed out loud over some particularly funny faux pas.

I can't recommend this. Especially not if someone looks for a well-written story about an age-gap couple!read more
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I read On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves. It was another Kindle book that I downloaded for really cheap (99 cents maybe?) and have been meaning to get to ever since. I also read it because I noticed that its not very well-known on LibraryThing. I think only two members had it in their libraries at the time.That's really a shame, because its actually a very good book, and very well written. It might be less popular because the subject might be a little uncomfortable for some people. The story is about a middle school English teacher who agrees to tutor a private school student for the summer while his family is on vacation on some tropical island. They end up becoming stranded on a tiny island when their pilot has a heart attack. Basically, they end up stuck there for a really long time, and they fall in love. Personally, I think the author did a really good job with the topic. Much of the book is about the uncomfortable transition from living on the tropical island alone to traveling back to society, and how their relationship changes. Mind you, the kid is over 18 when the relationship takes place, so its not terribly discomfiting I think for most people. I really enjoyed the book, and I think that most other people who enjoy love stories would like it as well. Maybe even more than me, because I usually don't care for books about relationships (they always make me cry)!read more
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I absolutely loved this book, which seems to be the consensus of most of the reviews that I have read. After being hired as a tutor for 16-year-old T.J. who has just gone into remission after a battle with cancer, Anna is looking forward to spending her summer in the Maldives, as well as having some time and space to think about her own relationships. She agrees to fly with T.J., who wanted to come out a few days later than his parents. After encountering a series of obstacles and then finally embarking upon the last leg of their journey, the small sea plane they are traveling on crashes after the pilot has a heart attack. Anna is unconscious and T.J. manages to hold onto her and eventually gets them to shore. This is the beginning of their nearly 4-year journey together, on the island. As they learn to adapt and survive on little or nothing, the bond between them grows, and they become first and foremost, the best of friends. They face numerous life-threatening situations including predators, starvation, and illness, each one only making them stronger, and they each face their loneliness and need for companionship. As month's turn into years, and T.J. turns into a man, the relationship begins to change, but what will this change mean for T.J. and Anna, not only on the island, but when and if they are rescued?I absolutely fell in love with both T.J. and Anna. Tracey Garvis Graves has written this book in such a way that enables you to feel like you get to know each of these characters intimately. The story is told from both Anna and T.J's point of view, which I really liked, because you got to get into both of their heads and experience what they were thinking and feeling. Anna is sweet, kind, loving, and very sincere in her actions and her emotions. T.J., well I adored T.J. He was young, but he wasn't afraid to speak his mind or express his opinions, and he knew what he wanted and wasn't afraid to go for it. He was funny, had a great personality, and was quite a mature young man. The relationship these two share is real, and built on trust, friendship, and love, love that knows when to hold on and when to let go. They each saw the other for the person they really were, not construed by the normal opinions of society. I loved the plot, the story line, and the pace of the story. I was hooked from the beginning and very pleased that the book ended so very well. I really love a book that ends well. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say this, I think that just maybe the hardest thing these two had to face wasn't on the island. This book moved me deeply, and in a way that as a reader, you must experience for yourself. On the Island is one of those books that come along that mark you and stay with you for a long, long time. That being said, I encourage those who read this book not to begin with any preconceived notions, just dive on in and experience it for yourself. I can pretty much guarantee you won't be disappointed.read more
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My curiosity is tempered by the fucking price. The hell did Penguin even *do* to justify charging so much? Slapped a new cover on it?read more
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Fast, plot driven read. Much better beach read than expected. I look forward to the next novel by this author.read more
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This book is all about the setting, the concept. Garvis-Graves takes us through one permutation of "What will happen?" on the islancd, and while she stays away from anything remotely controversial, just laying this scenario out is compelling. T.J. and Anna are more placeholders than characters, even with T.J.'s note perfect portrayal of a beta hero. I do like how the author handles the tittilation of their age difference, and the meta nature of readers' expectations taking on the voice of the press at the end.read more
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This is my new favorite book of all time!! It was kinda long but it still wasnt enough! I could have read this book FOREVER!! I love how Graves tells the story from both points of view! After awhile its like watching a really great movie!! I will be reading this book again in the near future and looking out for more books by this author! If you have not had a chance to lose yourself in this book yet I suggest you run to get your copy! (Just a tip I got my copy as an EBOOK for $3!)read more
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It's a romance. A romantic fantasy. There is the drama of the plane crash and surviving on an island for years. Then the drama of the May-December romance when reunited with family. Has to be one of THE MOST schmaltzy, heavy-handed, candied epilogues I have ever read. Two stars for the story. One star for the tiger shark vs. dolphin scene. (you don't get many romances with that!)read more
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Unbelievably bad story of a shipwrecked teenage boy and his 30 something female tutor. Combines cancer remission, plane crash, shark, jelly fish, possibly rabid bat, skeleton, tsunami, and undying love into one teenaged romance. Even after five years on the island she still has lotion and razors to shave her legs.Very poor narrator..characters came off sounding like Valley Girls.read more
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This book grabs your attention from the very first sentence. It is the story of a 30-year old teacher who crash lands on a deserted island in the middle of the Indian Ocean with the 16 year old student she was to tutor for the summer. It is first and foremost a story of their survival, daily hardships and ultimately a beautiful love story as the characters encounter sickness, sharks, dolphins, hurricanes, and even a tsunami. Will they ever make it off of the island? What happens if they don’t and almost scarier what happens if they do?Both of the main characters, Anna and TJ, are extremely likeable, which is something that is vital for me to enjoy a novel. By the end of the book you have laughed with them, you heart has broken for them, and you have cried with them. You will be routing for them from page 1. I appreciate that the author didn’t take the easy option with the character’s ages. While at first I was hesitant about the 13 year age difference between the hero and heroine I ultimately loved the depth of challenge and even heart-ache that it added to the story. The only complaint I would have about this novel was that I wanted more! There were months that flew by with only a couple sentences from the author, I loved this book so much I didn’t want it to end. I will definitely be recommending this book.read more
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Amazing. Read all at once, couldn't put it down.read more
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I don't know what it is about this book that totally appeals to me. My reading slump has just been bringing me down lately, so I reread an old favorite to cleanse my reading palate, and boy did it work. I'm not a fan of romances, but this doesn't really read like a traditional romance novel, and the may/december relationship with an older woman was/is refreshing and very organically done. Such an easy read, great for the beach. Looking forward very much to the new novel from this author! 4 stars.read more
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Read on July 17, 2012I'm torn between 3 & 4 stars...I'm thinking it's over 3, but not quite 4.I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It's definitely a romance, but much more than that, it's a story of survival. At times, it moved a little slow and there were moments where I couldn't remember if I was reading an Anna or TJ chapter because they didn't differ much. But again, I enjoyed it.read more
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A word of warning: Do NOT start reading this book unless you have several free hours ahead of you because seriously, you won't be able to put this out of your hands! I did not move from where I was sitting for hours and I don't even think I looked up from my Kindle until I finished the last page. It was so riveting and addictive- I couldn't have put it down even if I had wanted to! I can't believe I came so close to not reading this book. I never took the time to figure out what it was about and had figured it was just a regular adult romance which I rarely read. Turns out this is a survival book. I love survival books!

As the title suggests, this book is set on an island. Not just any island though; a desert one on which our two main characters find themselves stranded. T.J (16) and Anna (30) are on their way to T.J's parents when their plane crashes and they end up on this island, with no way to contact anybody. The first few pages were okay but once they reached the island, I was completely invested in the story and the characters and couldn't stop until I found out what was going to happen to them. T.J and Anna are stuck there for years. They have to quickly learn survival skills and they do a great job! They manage to stay fed and watered for a long time and were always coming up with solutions to the next problem.

The book wasn't perfect. Unlike many people, I wasn't really feeling the romance that inevitably formed after about 3 years. I didn't have an issue with the relationship itself but I just didn't find it very compelling or interesting. I also thought Anna and T.J could have thought some things out better which would have made surviving easier but other than that, I really loved this book and I'm so glad I read it! It was fascinating watching them try to live against all odds. The novel moves at an excellent pace. Sometimes we get to read about several days in a row and other times, it skips ahead months. This was great because it stopped the book getting boring and it didn't drag at all!

Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone, especially anyone who loves reading survival stories. It kept me on the edge of my seat and was just the book I needed to pull me out of my boring reading slump. I will most certainly be reading anything this author publishes in the future. I'm already excited for her next book, Covet, which won't be out until Autumn of this year. On The Island was definitely a gem!
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I had seen this book on a number of “Best of 2012” lists and decided it looked like an interesting read. So I picked up a copy from the library. It ended up being an interesting and engaging read. It would have been an exceptional book, except at times the dialogue between characters sounded a bit awkward to me.This was an engaging read about a woman named Anna who is tutoring a teenage boy named T.J. T.J. is in remission from cancer and is supposed to be catching up on school work over the summer with Anna’s help. On the way to meet up with the boy's parents their plane crashes on a deserted island. They learn to survive on the island dealing with storms, general survival, sharks, disease, and malnutrition. Anna and T.J. are both excellent characters. They both really keep their cool when they crash on this deserted island. Because of this they figure out ways to cope with the obstacles in their path to survival. I found them both to be very engaging and very realistically done.There were a couple of things that bothered me about this book. At times the language and talking sounded a bit awkward to me. Also I thought that the fact that these two very attractive people were on this island by themselves so long and kept their relationship platonic was a bit unrealistic. Especially since they were so obviously attracted to each other and pretty much had nothing else to do. -------SPOLIER START---------Graves makes a big deal about pointing out how Anna and T.J. wait until T.J. is nineteen before doing anything sexual. It was a bit odd and forced feeling.-------SPOLIER END---------Still this ends up being a very engaging and quick read. You are constantly wondering if they will be rescued, if their relationship will go past friends, and if they are rescued how they will deal with the fall-out.It's a quick fun read. It does go into some issues; like what society thinks about people who fall in love who are vastly different in age. It also delves into the issue of trying to balance happiness with society's demands.Overall I enjoyed reading this book. The story and writing wasn't anything spectacular but it was entertaining. There are parts of the book that are a bit awkward, but it is still a very engaging read. I would recommend to those who like contemporary romance and enjoy survival stories.
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I actually thought On the Island was a young adult book when I ordered it, but it definitely isn't! Anna is a thirty year-old teacher accompanying her new student, seventeen year-old cancer survivor T.J., to his parents' holiday house in the Maldives for some summer tutoring. As it happens, books are going to be the least of their worries, as their plane crashes between Malé and their final destination, leaving them marooned on one of the many uninhabited islands dotted across the vast sweep of the Maldives.About two thirds of the novel consists of the trials and tribulations of desert island life for T.J. and Anna, and I was thoroughly absorbed in their daily experiences. Watching these two all-modern individuals learning the skills they needed to survive was fascinating, and made me wonder how I would have coped in their shoes. The intense microcosm of island life neatly paved the way for the romantic element of the book. Some readers might wonder about the appropriateness of a relationship between a student and a teacher, but actually, in this unprecedented situation it's hard to imagine how a bond WOULDN'T form between T.J. and Anna. As the weeks turns to months and then to years, their boundaries inevitably start to crumble, they get closer with every shared difficulty and joy, and as T.J. becomes a grown man it might be considered odd if their relationship didn't become more complicated at some point. I was definitely rooting for them, as mutual tenderness and respect, growing love and a unique shared experience cemented them together into an inseparable couple.What I deeply appreciated about this book was the fact that Graves doesn't resort to a cliched 'And then a plane flew over and we waved and got picked up' way of ending her characters' island stay. Instead she cleverly ties it in with real-life events and orchestrates a far more gritty and interesting escape. The last part of the book follows Anna and T.J. back to 'real life' - something usually missing from stories like this - and explores how they adjust to being back in America with their families around them, modern conveniences at every turn, and the press desperate to hear their story and dissect the propriety of their relationship. This section wasn't quite as gripping or immersive, but it rounded off the novel in a far more satisfying and realistic way than if it had simply ended at the moment they got off the island.I only really had a couple of little niggles while I was reading. One was that the dialogue was slightly clunky at times, particularly because of the frequent overuse of names. My other tiny gripe was with the occasional over-idyllic moments, like the dolphins that come to play in the lagoon and befriend T.J. and Anna. Not that this is completely out of the question, of course - but it did smack a bit of a child's fantasy desert island at times! Other than that, however, I found this to be a stellar bit of storytelling and a great read for a dose of holiday escapism. I was genuinely caught up in T.J. and Anna's fight for survival and their budding romance, and their isolation meant that every moment of happiness, sadness or fear cut that much more deeply, both for them and for the reader. I teared up a few times, and smiled along with them in others. This will definitely be a keeper for me - in fact, reading it outside on a hot sunny day might have to become a new summer tradition!
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Wow. Just wow. What a powerfully beautiful book with a perfect HEA.

I'm a huge fan of any sort of book which involves characters having to fight to survive while developing a relationship and this certainly fit the bill.

30-year old Anna is hired to tutor 16-year old cancer survivor T.J. during a summer while the family is on vacation. T.J. has stayed home for an additional week to attend a party and he and Anna are flying out together.

En-route the pilot suffers a heart attack and the plane crashes in the ocean. Anna & T.J. survive only to find end up alone on a small tropical island. Months become years as these two survivors eek out an existence with what has washed ashore.

This story follows the survivors, in alternating chapters, as they live their lives. It’s amazing to follow progress of their relationship and what they need to do to survive.

I highly recommend this book.
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This book had its moments. Sometimes interesting, sometimes predictable, often contrived, it was at least able to hold my attention. There were some pretty ridiculous and far-fetched aspects that really bugged me. The writing was a bit simple-- it wasn't descriptive, it wasn't beautifully lyrical. In fact, it reminded me of my own writing when I attempt to write fiction, and I always feel that my writing falls so short. There wasn't much success in really bringing me into the story and making me feel like I was there. It was just "he said this, and she said this, and the wind blew and it was hot, and they were hungry and sad and lonely". It was very straight-forward and simple writing.And I just didn't get some things. For instance Anna's preoccupation with what would happen if they got off the island? What would people say? I just didn't get why she was so stressed over what people would think about their unorthodox relationship.I think I actually enjoyed the last half of this book, as it seemed more believable, if not the more exciting half. And this was a bit of a disappointment, as it was the first half that I was really looking forward to experiencing.Considering the author chose to self-publish this novel, you've gotta give her credit. She has had the best success I've seen thus far from a self-published author! Her book has been well received and is showing up on actual bookstore shelves and has become a bestseller. That's impressive!My final word: This was an "okay" book. I was left with the same feeling I usually have after reading most romance novels. As if it were a bit of fluff and little substance, although the last half of the book is more substantial. Read this one when you are looking for a little fluff. I'd give it 3.5 stars.
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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 post as a teacher in my opinion never truly floated. They crashed before she took up teaching him and there was no activity as a teacher either on the island. I didn't mind the age aspect at all, in fact I read the book for it, because I wanted to read a well-written book about just such an age-gap.

I'm not going into the numerous problems I had with basic writing skills I expect from a book, such as are relative to grammar, punctuation and style. Or that I'd expect the stream of consciousness from two people that apart in gender, experience and age to be at least somewhat different and not uniformly juvenile. I do have much more problems with the story however.

Let me state it clearly: any female shaving her legs, underarms and pits, hung up to the point of ridiculousness about natural body odours and wildly applying hair conditioner as well as being crazy about recovering a suitcase filled with beauty items while stranded on a tropical island has to have her head examined. From that moment onwards I lost every shred of respect for this female character.

Just as it rather soon started to grate on me that neither Anne, nor TJ ever had any even halfway deep conversation or addressed any of the obvious problems bound to arise between them. I had trouble believing in the aliveness and reality of both of them. TJ was too good to be true, and stayed that way, and Anne came over as shallow and immature despite all her protestations to the contrary.

The romance felt contrived, there was no build-up, Anne being too prude to even contemplate the topic realistically until the last moment and TJ is suddently the big seductor and superb lover quite out of the blue. Anyone who had hoped for even a tiny bit of sensuality or on-screen sex will be disappointed by the way. This book is practically sex-free, even though going by the blurb you're led to believe it's one of the main topics.

What truly enervated me though was the moralising. You might expect some openmindedness from a book about a reversed May-December couple, but what liberal view at this topic there was, was mere window-dressing. It felt as forced as the turn of the heroine towards dogoodieness, while the real message below the alleged liberalism was 1) women have to have (lots) of babies, and 2) people just have to marry, then whatever they do is acceptable. Yes. That.

Nowhere were the real issues of an age-gap relationship truly taken up, even the people who were critical still behaved with a restraint I found entirely unbelievable and things proceeded too smoothly just about in every respect. After the candyfloss HEA with a marriage, multiple babies (of course the 15 y/o TJ had his semen frozen) and everybody's problem nicely solved and tucked safely into a cozy bed, I was left gnashing my teeth.

This story idea had a lot going for it, but it sure has been turned into one of the soppiest and most sugar-coated romances I read, ever. The 2* are exclusively for the excellent idea and the one or two times I laughed out loud over some particularly funny faux pas.

I can't recommend this. Especially not if someone looks for a well-written story about an age-gap couple!
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I read On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves. It was another Kindle book that I downloaded for really cheap (99 cents maybe?) and have been meaning to get to ever since. I also read it because I noticed that its not very well-known on LibraryThing. I think only two members had it in their libraries at the time.That's really a shame, because its actually a very good book, and very well written. It might be less popular because the subject might be a little uncomfortable for some people. The story is about a middle school English teacher who agrees to tutor a private school student for the summer while his family is on vacation on some tropical island. They end up becoming stranded on a tiny island when their pilot has a heart attack. Basically, they end up stuck there for a really long time, and they fall in love. Personally, I think the author did a really good job with the topic. Much of the book is about the uncomfortable transition from living on the tropical island alone to traveling back to society, and how their relationship changes. Mind you, the kid is over 18 when the relationship takes place, so its not terribly discomfiting I think for most people. I really enjoyed the book, and I think that most other people who enjoy love stories would like it as well. Maybe even more than me, because I usually don't care for books about relationships (they always make me cry)!
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I absolutely loved this book, which seems to be the consensus of most of the reviews that I have read. After being hired as a tutor for 16-year-old T.J. who has just gone into remission after a battle with cancer, Anna is looking forward to spending her summer in the Maldives, as well as having some time and space to think about her own relationships. She agrees to fly with T.J., who wanted to come out a few days later than his parents. After encountering a series of obstacles and then finally embarking upon the last leg of their journey, the small sea plane they are traveling on crashes after the pilot has a heart attack. Anna is unconscious and T.J. manages to hold onto her and eventually gets them to shore. This is the beginning of their nearly 4-year journey together, on the island. As they learn to adapt and survive on little or nothing, the bond between them grows, and they become first and foremost, the best of friends. They face numerous life-threatening situations including predators, starvation, and illness, each one only making them stronger, and they each face their loneliness and need for companionship. As month's turn into years, and T.J. turns into a man, the relationship begins to change, but what will this change mean for T.J. and Anna, not only on the island, but when and if they are rescued?I absolutely fell in love with both T.J. and Anna. Tracey Garvis Graves has written this book in such a way that enables you to feel like you get to know each of these characters intimately. The story is told from both Anna and T.J's point of view, which I really liked, because you got to get into both of their heads and experience what they were thinking and feeling. Anna is sweet, kind, loving, and very sincere in her actions and her emotions. T.J., well I adored T.J. He was young, but he wasn't afraid to speak his mind or express his opinions, and he knew what he wanted and wasn't afraid to go for it. He was funny, had a great personality, and was quite a mature young man. The relationship these two share is real, and built on trust, friendship, and love, love that knows when to hold on and when to let go. They each saw the other for the person they really were, not construed by the normal opinions of society. I loved the plot, the story line, and the pace of the story. I was hooked from the beginning and very pleased that the book ended so very well. I really love a book that ends well. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say this, I think that just maybe the hardest thing these two had to face wasn't on the island. This book moved me deeply, and in a way that as a reader, you must experience for yourself. On the Island is one of those books that come along that mark you and stay with you for a long, long time. That being said, I encourage those who read this book not to begin with any preconceived notions, just dive on in and experience it for yourself. I can pretty much guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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My curiosity is tempered by the fucking price. The hell did Penguin even *do* to justify charging so much? Slapped a new cover on it?
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Fast, plot driven read. Much better beach read than expected. I look forward to the next novel by this author.
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This book is all about the setting, the concept. Garvis-Graves takes us through one permutation of "What will happen?" on the islancd, and while she stays away from anything remotely controversial, just laying this scenario out is compelling. T.J. and Anna are more placeholders than characters, even with T.J.'s note perfect portrayal of a beta hero. I do like how the author handles the tittilation of their age difference, and the meta nature of readers' expectations taking on the voice of the press at the end.
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This is my new favorite book of all time!! It was kinda long but it still wasnt enough! I could have read this book FOREVER!! I love how Graves tells the story from both points of view! After awhile its like watching a really great movie!! I will be reading this book again in the near future and looking out for more books by this author! If you have not had a chance to lose yourself in this book yet I suggest you run to get your copy! (Just a tip I got my copy as an EBOOK for $3!)
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It's a romance. A romantic fantasy. There is the drama of the plane crash and surviving on an island for years. Then the drama of the May-December romance when reunited with family. Has to be one of THE MOST schmaltzy, heavy-handed, candied epilogues I have ever read. Two stars for the story. One star for the tiger shark vs. dolphin scene. (you don't get many romances with that!)
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Unbelievably bad story of a shipwrecked teenage boy and his 30 something female tutor. Combines cancer remission, plane crash, shark, jelly fish, possibly rabid bat, skeleton, tsunami, and undying love into one teenaged romance. Even after five years on the island she still has lotion and razors to shave her legs.Very poor narrator..characters came off sounding like Valley Girls.
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This book grabs your attention from the very first sentence. It is the story of a 30-year old teacher who crash lands on a deserted island in the middle of the Indian Ocean with the 16 year old student she was to tutor for the summer. It is first and foremost a story of their survival, daily hardships and ultimately a beautiful love story as the characters encounter sickness, sharks, dolphins, hurricanes, and even a tsunami. Will they ever make it off of the island? What happens if they don’t and almost scarier what happens if they do?Both of the main characters, Anna and TJ, are extremely likeable, which is something that is vital for me to enjoy a novel. By the end of the book you have laughed with them, you heart has broken for them, and you have cried with them. You will be routing for them from page 1. I appreciate that the author didn’t take the easy option with the character’s ages. While at first I was hesitant about the 13 year age difference between the hero and heroine I ultimately loved the depth of challenge and even heart-ache that it added to the story. The only complaint I would have about this novel was that I wanted more! There were months that flew by with only a couple sentences from the author, I loved this book so much I didn’t want it to end. I will definitely be recommending this book.
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Amazing. Read all at once, couldn't put it down.
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I don't know what it is about this book that totally appeals to me. My reading slump has just been bringing me down lately, so I reread an old favorite to cleanse my reading palate, and boy did it work. I'm not a fan of romances, but this doesn't really read like a traditional romance novel, and the may/december relationship with an older woman was/is refreshing and very organically done. Such an easy read, great for the beach. Looking forward very much to the new novel from this author! 4 stars.
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Read on July 17, 2012I'm torn between 3 & 4 stars...I'm thinking it's over 3, but not quite 4.I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It's definitely a romance, but much more than that, it's a story of survival. At times, it moved a little slow and there were moments where I couldn't remember if I was reading an Anna or TJ chapter because they didn't differ much. But again, I enjoyed it.
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