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On The Island

On The Island


4.3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars66%
  • 4 Stars17%
  • 3 Stars10%
  • 2 Stars3%
  • 1 Star3%
4.38 / 5 based on 29 Reviews

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On The Island
On The Island
Reviews (29)
Q&A (4)
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Jaime A.
West Allis, WI
16 reviews
I absolutely loved this book.


We first meet thirty year old Anna Emerson as she is being dropped at the airport by her boyfriend of 8 eight years. A teacher, she's decided to take a tutoring position with a family that will take her to the Maldive Islands for the summer. She's hoping to use the time to make some major life decisions... see, she's ready to take the next step with her boyfriend, marriage and children, but he's not.

Sixteen year old T.J. Callahan missed his last year of school due to a diagnosis of cancer. Instead of being held back a year, his parents decide to take him to the island where Anna can tutor him and get him up to speed.

Unfortunately, making it to the island isn't in the cards for these two. On the final flight of their trip, their pilot suffers a massive heart attack and the small plane they are in crashes into the Indian Ocean. When they finally make it to land, it's to an uninhabited island and Anna and T.J. struggle to make do.

The obstacles these two encounter are a test of their strength and will to survive and as weeks turn into months, they may have given up on being rescued, but they never give up on each other.

I fell in love with the characters that Garvis-Graves has created. T.J. especially. This almost seventeen year old has gone through hell and is on his way back when his entire world crashes around him. But he doesn't wallow... instead he figures out a way to keep going. And the bond that formed between he and Anna made my heart beat a little extra fast. The transformation of him as a character was amazing to watch and then to see it through Anna's eyes was even better.

By then, I knew if we were ever rescued, T.J. would have to be a part of my life in Chicago. In what capacity, I didn't know. He'd missed so much, and it wouldn't be fair of me to take up too much of his time. The selfish part of me, however, couldn't fathom not falling asleep in his arms or being with him every day. I needed T.J., and the thought of being away from him bothered me more than I wanted to admit.

The book is told in alternating first person points of view from Anna and T.J. and their relationship builds and develops slowly over the time they are together. To be honest, I often forgot T.J.'s age in this story. At some point I really only saw him as the man that he had become.

"I've been in love with you for months. I'm telling you now because I think you love me too, Anna. You just don't think you're supposed to. You'll tell me when you're ready. I can't wait." I pulled her mouth down to mine and kissed her when it ended, I smiled and said, "Happy birthday."

BUT knowing that a big issue here was the age difference between the two I was waiting for the ax to fall, and fall it does. (just want to stress that he is of consenting age by the time anything happens) I won't lie about that, but it happens in an honest and real way.

This book has a bit of everything... the survival aspects weren't shorted at all. The romance was sweet and real, and you will fall in love with these characters.

Definitely go give this a read- you won't be able to put it down once you start.

Also - I just read that MGM has optioned the film rights for this! I can't wait to see the end result!
Alyssa L.
Lancaster, PA
2 reviews
Although it took me a while to get into the story line and the characters, I ended up LOVING On The Island! The story is about thirty year old Anna who is hired as a private tutor for sixteen year old TJ, who is fighting cancer. TJ's family decides to fly their family and Anna to spend time in the Maldives, hoping that it will be good for TJ's health. Everything is set to go, when the pilot flying Anna and TJ's plane has a heart attack and the plane goes down in the thousand of uninhabited islands in the pacific. Anna and TJ spend years stranded on their island and have to battle everything from sharks to illness... and of course, the two end up forming a romantic relationship.

Think... LOST and The Beach... and your favorite romance, all rolled up into one. On the Island had a survivalist aspect that I have NEVER encountered before and it was amazing. The only part of this book that caused me to react negatively was TJ and Anna's relationship... when the two meet, she is thirty and he's sixteen and I couldn't let it go at first. But the two characters grow up so I didn't feel like I was reading a story about a teacher preying on her student.
Nida M.
Colleyville, TX
19 reviews
On the Island is a good coming of age type story. If you like movies like Blue Lagoon and ship wrecked type themes, then this is a good one. It tells the story of a teenager and his tutor surviving a plane crash and they live on the island together trying to survive. Once the boy turns 18, things start to change and they start developing feelings for each other. I won't spoil whether or not they get off the island, but it is a good girly book.
Christina S.
Red Bank, NJ
61 reviews
I was hesitant to read this after discovering (on the back of the book; I have a tendency to get books that are recommended and really have no idea what they're about) it was about an affair (of sorts) between a teacher and her student. I read on anyway and was glad I did; it wasn't about that in a bad way but rather it was a logical part of the story. This was such a great read, and it was simply un-put downnable, if that's a word. I highly enjoyed it, but felt there were lots of parts that were cheesey, so I marked it down a grade. It's a great beach read.
Kimberly B.
Germantown, MD
24 reviews
On the Island popped up as recommended on my Kindle, so I checked it out. I found the story line interesting, but the plot seemed to move too quickly at times, which didn't allow for the development that I would have liked. I did enjoy the themes, as they provided deeper questions for the readers to ponder about age and love and relationships. I often felt connected to the emotions of the characters, which is a real plus for me in a book. I feel like this book would make an interesting movie.
Andrea S.
Roslindale, MA
7 reviews
I'm sorry, I know many found this book really great but it was just too ridiculous to me. Between the matter of fact writing style where "this happens so we have to do this which then results in this" to the most insane things happening I just was not in love. I did finish the book only to find out really how bad it could get, but this was just not for me. I'm glad I read it though. I just won't be reading the continuation. And it did make me want to go on a tropical vacation so that's something, right?!
Lori D.
Springdale, AR
6 reviews
Compelling from the first page! A plane ride turned nightmare and a quest for survival- with conflicting emotions thrown in to keep you on your toes. I never knew what was going to happen next and the element of "what would you do?" makes the reader question their innermost thoughts...
Justine M.
Brighton, MA
63 reviews
I was totally skeptical at first from just reading the description when my friend first recommended the book to me. But I decided to give the book a try and ended up buying it after just reading a first couple of pages and I turned out loving the book. I literally couldn't put it down!
Christiane C.
Corinth, VT
50 reviews
This was a quick read that I finished in an afternoon while sunbathing. It was a very unique story that I quickly fell in love with. The book had me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen and how they would survive on the island. I highly recommend.
Claire D.
Amarillo, TX
9 reviews
I loved this book. As a teacher, I was a little bit worried about how this love story was going to go, but it was amazing. Their time on the island was very "Blue Lagoon", and the struggles after were well written. It was one of my favorite books I read last year.
Lindsay H.
Finksburg, MD
328 reviews
About to read this book...any good?
Tammy F.
Williamsburg, IA
178 reviews
Where you satisfied with the ending, or would you have rewritten the ending if you could?
Pamela N.
Hamilton , ON
499 reviews
What's your favourite part of The book ?
Debra R.
14 reviews
Has anyone read anything else by her? If so, how was it?

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