PJV Quickie: On the Island was nothing at all like I expected; I can’t believe I almost passed on this book!!

Title: On the Island
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Type: Romance
Published June 7, 2012 by Plume (Penguin)
Personal Copy
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Review
Anna Emmerson is a 30-year-old teacher who will be spending her summer break in the Maldives tutoring 16-year-old T.J. Callahan  while he’s vacationing with his family.  T.J. has been battling cancer (he’s in remission now) and has missed a lot of school; Anna’s job is to catch him up so he can go back to school with his classmates in the fall.  When their charter plane goes down in the Indian Ocean, Anna and T.J. know they just have to survive until the rescue planes come.  As they wait…and wait…and wait…they eventually realize help is not coming, and they’ve got to rely on their wits (and luck) to survive tropical storms, shark infested water, illness, and lack of basic supplies.

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Here’s where I confess that, based on the blurb I passed on this book a few times because I thought it was going to be some titillating story about a teacher/student relationship, which I was not at all interested in.  A co-worker mentioned she loved it and suggested I read it… Oh, I’m so glad I did!!

This is one of those books where I’m not sure what would be considered spoilers, so I’m not going to go into detail, but be assured it’s not your typical “shipwreck” story.  I was pulled right into the story from the beginning – the crash, the routine of their days on the island, the dangers, surprises, and dependency upon each other.  Ms. Garvis Graves  manages to make an unbelievable story believable.  Fans of the survival reality shows that are currently popular on TV will enjoy the abundance of scenes in the book where the characters use ordinary items in interesting ways.  (I don’t know if all the survival tricks are actually doable, but I was so into the story it didn’t matter, lol) The romance is not at all squicky – I promise it works and is actually beautiful (there is no underage sex in this book).  I finished reading On the Island almost a week ago and I can’t stop thinking about it – it’s an extremely interesting story, well-written, with a good romance and conflict and a satisfying ending.  Once you start reading this book you won’t want to put it down!

Recommendations:
Fans of Survivor, Lost, Castaway. Romance readers who enjoy a slow-building, strong-burning romance (not too explicit) will like this one too.

Other Novels you might like, similar to ‘On the Island’:
Wicked Games by Jill Myles