Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blog Tour: On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves, sponsored by AToMR Blog Tours.  You can visit the rests of the stops on the tour here.  There is also a great giveaway going on that you can enter below, and a scavenger hunt, the details of which you can also find below.   

by Tracey Garvis Graves

Publisher:  Penguin Group
Imprint:  Plume
Publication Date:  July 10, 2012
ISBN:  9780142196724
Source:  Publisher/Netgalley

Book description:
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.

My Thoughts:  I absolutely loved this book, which seems to be the consensus of most of the reviews that I have read.  After being hired as a tutor for 16-year-old T.J. who has just gone into remission after a battle with cancer, Anna is looking forward to spending her summer in the Maldives, as well as having some time and space to think about her own relationships.  She agrees to fly with T.J., who wanted to come out a few days later than his parents.  After encountering a series of obstacles and then finally embarking upon the last leg of their journey, the small sea plane they are traveling on crashes after the pilot has a heart attack.  Anna is unconscious and T.J. manages to hold onto her and eventually gets them to shore.  This is the beginning of their nearly 4-year journey together, on the island.  As they learn to adapt and survive on little or nothing, the bond between them grows, and they become first and foremost, the best of friends.  They face numerous life-threatening situations including predators, starvation, and illness, each one only making them stronger, and they each face their loneliness and need for companionship.  As month's turn into years, and T.J. turns into a man, the relationship begins to change, but what will this change mean for T.J. and Anna, not only on the island, but when and if they are rescued?

I absolutely fell in love with both T.J. and Anna.  Tracey Garvis Graves has written this book in such a way that enables you to feel like you get to know each of these characters intimately.  The story is told from both Anna and T.J's point of view, which I really liked, because you got to get into both of their heads and experience what they were thinking and feeling.  Anna is sweet, kind, loving, and very sincere in her actions and her emotions.  T.J., well I adored T.J.  He was young, but he wasn't afraid to speak his mind or express his opinions, and he knew what he wanted and wasn't afraid to go for it.  He was funny, had a great personality, and was quite a mature young man.  The relationship these two share is real, and built on trust, friendship, and love, love that knows when to hold on and when to let go.  They each saw the other for the person they really were, not construed by the normal opinions of society.  I loved the plot, the story line, and the pace of the story.  I was hooked from the beginning and very pleased that the book ended so very well.  I really love a book that ends well.  Without giving away any spoilers, I will say this, I think that just maybe the hardest thing these two had to face wasn't on the island.  This book moved me deeply, and in a way that as a reader, you must experience for yourself.  On the Island is one of those books that come along that mark you and stay with you for a long, long time.  That being said, I encourage those who read this book not to begin with any preconceived notions, just dive on in and experience it for yourself.  I can pretty much guarantee you won't be disappointed.  


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.
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  1. Would love to read! Thanks for the giveaway!


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