“The relationship between Anna and TJ was sweet and sexy and very real...the idea of their age difference was neither a shock nor unbelievable. The bonds created between individuals under duress are strong and enduring. And the romantic in me loved it as well. ” - Cricket, Mostly Fantasy
“The hero is perfect. The heroine is perfect. They are human and flawed and make mistakes but when I say they're perfect, I mean that I really LOVED them as characters, as people. It's rare to read a character that's genuinely good. Inherently good with nothing to dislike about them. ” - SunFlowers
“Who can resist a "stranded on a deserted island" story?! This one did not disappoint. The progression of the relationship between Anna and T.J. was very honest, honorable, and beliveable--and respectable. It was a wonderful story that held my attention throughout the book. This book has plenty to make it a good book club discussion.” - Vicki Moran
In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?
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 has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends.
Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met 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.
"On the Island is a clever, captivating story. The characters will live in your thoughts long after you turn the last page." ~ Meira Pentermann, author of Firefly Beach
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This was a very light, and easy read and I found myself wanting more when I knew that it was coming to a close. I read this book in about 12 hours, and even in that short time I found myself invested in the characters of Anna and TJ. This is one of those books where you cannot judge it by it's cover or by it's sleeve description. You have to let yourself go and overlook the age gap very early on, because it's not about their relationship in the romantic sense. This is a story about survival and human nature and how these two seemingly different people lean on each other, come to trust one another and depend on one another so that they can survive on a deserted island.
If you want to believe that people are genuinely good, and can genuinely care about one another, then this is a good piece of light fiction that you can get hooked on very quickly. I started this one evening and finished it the following day. It's a quick read. My one complaint is that the author doesn't go into enough details with the characters. I found myself wanting more internal dialogue on each of their parts, what they were thinking about each other and about their situation. There were parts in the book where they were fighting for their lives and I just didn't feel it - they should have been more terrified and it was a little bit of a let down. I think that with some more character developments and internal dialogue, I would have become more attached to them. This is also a very good first book for an author. - Lindsay Carpenter (Collegeville, PA United States)
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About the Author
Tracey Garvis-Graves lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. This is her first novel. She blogs at www.traceygarvisgraves.com using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood. She is hard at work on her next book. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She'd love to hear from you.
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