Book Review

Book Tour: On the Island

Tracey Garvis Grave’s novel On the Island is generating quite a buzz. The story of survival against seemingly impossible odds coupled with a May/December romance has landed this book in many beach bags.

Synopsis: 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.

A Tale of Many Reviews Book Tours has shared with us some of the more memorable quotes from the book.

“Dude, your babysitter is smokin’ hot.” (Ben)

“I’m going to put us down on the water first and then one of you will have to get on the radio,” he gasped, trying to get the words out. “Put on life jackets. They’re in the storage compartment by the door. Then get in your seats and buckle in.” He grimaced in pain. “Go!” (Mick)

“It’s not like we had a choice, T.J. We either figured it out or we died.” (Anna)

I gathered up everything I needed. “I’m going to take a bath,” I said. “You can never go down to the water when I’m down there. Are we clear on that?” (Anna)

“You don’t have to keep apologizing, Anna. I said it confused me. I never once said I didn’t like it.” (T.J.)

 “I miss my family,” she said. “I have this daydream I play out in my mind all the time. I imagine that a plane has landed in the lagoon and you and I are right on the beach when it does. We swim out to it and the pilot can’t believe it’s us. We fly away and as soon as we find a phone, we call our families. Can you imagine what that would be like for them? Being told someone has died and having their funeral, and then they call you on the phone?” (Anna)

I stared at his broken hand and fought the urge to wash the blood off and hold it in my own. “I give up, T.J. You once said, ‘It’s easier if you don’t think they’re coming back’ and you were right. This one’s not coming back either. A plane will have to land in the lagoon for me to believe we might actually get off this island. Until then, it’s just you and me. That’s the only thing I know for sure.” (Anna)

“What did you decide about that guy, Anna?” (T.J.) 

T.J. walked over and held out his hand. “Give me the brush. I’ll do it. See? I’m paying you back for shaving me.” (T.J.)

“Well anyway, Patrick Swayze played this dance instructor named Johnny Castle at a resort in the Catskills. Jennifer Grey played Baby Houseman, and she was there with her family.” Anna paused for a second and then said, “Hey, I just thought of something. Baby and her family were spending their whole summer vacation away from home, just like you.” (Anna)

T.J. ran into the water yelling, “Swim Anna, swim!” (T.J.) 

He brushed the hair back from my face and smiled. “You puke a lot, too.” (T.J.)

Thank you for participating in the ON THE ISLAND Event! This week in addition to reviews and posts, select blogs are hosting a word from the author’s favorite quotes in the book as a Scavenger Hunt! There is one quote from Anna and one from T.J. Visit each stop this week to find the hidden words (they will be numbered for order) and after July 22nd, submit your answer to the quotes here! Random winners for books and swag will be chosen and notified by July 29th.
Also, next week July 23-27, there will be even more events and chances to win the book and swag!

  • Monday, July 23 at 8:00 pm CST – Chat with the author Tracey Garvis Graves! We will be chatting with the author on Savor Chat: Come join us! (You can sign in with twitter or facebook)
  • Each day look at #ontheisland on twitter for random shout outs to win books and swag! @Tale_of_Reviews
  • ON THE ISLAND released in bookstores Tuesday, July 10th! If you see the book in stores or ‘in the wild’ take a picture. Please tweet it and use hashtag #ontheisland. Or you can post it to facebook! Please submit twitter and facebook links of your post/tweet here!  All entries need to be submitted by July 29th.

Barnes & Noble
Author’s website
Twitter: @tgarvisgraves

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.