On the Island – Tracey Garvis Graves


BOOKISH_FotorPublisher: Penguin
Genre: Romance

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.

Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man. 

What an absolutely ridiculous story. On the Island reads like a poorly constructed high school student’s fantasy of dating an older woman with the writing style to match.

On the Island is ridiculous in every sense of the word. The characters feel like cardboard cutouts and the moments within the story are downright laughable.

Anna is a stereotypical woman with baby fever. She feels her biological clock ticking so she decides to take a tutoring job on a secluded island to ponder her unsatisfying relationship. Throughout the novel, she’s faced with life and death situations that need solving and every time she’s able to solve them. She knew the exact information suited to the situation. It was annoying and contrived.
T.J. is a stereotypical teenage boy only interested in playing video games and hanging out with his friends. I expected him to be more mature because of his illness, but instead he’s just a kid.

The relationship between the two isn’t believable. Despite spending so many years on the Island, the reader isn’t privy to many intimate moments between the two. There wasn’t enough touching moments to justify the ending of the novel and make it believable.

Overall, On the Island is an absolutely ridiculous novel with bland characters and laughable moments.

2 thoughts on “On the Island – Tracey Garvis Graves

  1. Wow, damning comment indeed. I almost want to read this because you make it sound so bad, but I’ll just stick to enjoying your review instead.

    1. Thanks for enjoying it! I love reading and writing negative reviews. There’s something about telling the truth about a book that feels so liberating, especially when its got such a high rating on Goodreads.

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