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.
Disclaimer: I received a SIGNED Paperback of this book from the author with absolutely no expectations at all. This review is in no way influenced by it and the views expressed in this review are entirely my own!
I fell in love with Tracey’s writing with Heart Shaped Hack (which has a sequel that I am really excited for – White Hot Hack, coming out in June! YAY!), but I digress and I had heard a lot about this book – the debut novel of this really talented writer!
“I’m gonna kick your ass, Callahan.”
“Really? You and what army?” She probably weighed about a hundred pounds. We both knew she wasn’t kicking anyone’s ass.
“Don’t get too cocky. One of these days, I’ll figure out a way to take you down.”
I laughed and said, “Oooh, I’m scared, Anna.”
What I didn’t admit, though, was that she could have brought me to my knees with one touch of her hand, if she put it in the right place.
I wondered if she knew that.”
In case you don’t really know about this book (are you living under a rock?), the protagonists have quite a bit difference in their ages, with the heroine being the older one (I think the correct term is, Cougar?). And while this may not be a problem for most, I thought it may be for me – for I have never really understood such relationships.
So I was a little leery in starting this book – and that wariness never did go away until the middle point of the book. Why, you may ask?
Here’s thepoint – when TJ and Anna crash on the island, TJ is six-freaking teen years old and Anna is approaching 30! *boggle-eyed!*
And I just wasn’t comfortable enough with this difference in age, but honestly I shouldn’t really have worried – for Tracey did what was the best.
“The selfish part of me, however, couldn’t fathom not falling asleep in his arms or being with him every day. I needed TJ, and the thought of being away from him bothered me more than I wanted to admit.”
“I don’t fit in your world.”
“Neither do I,” he said, his expression tender yet resolute. “So let’s make our own. We’ve done it before.”
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Tracey Garvis Graves – and Anna and T.J. – return in this companion novella to the New York Times bestseller On the Island.
When twenty-three-year-old dot-com millionaire Owen Sparks walked away from his charmed life, he had one goal in mind: get as far away as possible from the people who resented his success, or had their hand out for a piece of it. A remote uncharted island halfway around the world seemed like a perfectly logical place to get away from it all.
Calia Reed wasn’t part of Owen’s plans. The beautiful British girl – on holiday in the Maldives with her brother, James – made Owen wonder if getting away from it all might be a lot more enjoyable with a carefree girl who didn’t know anything about the life he left behind.
But Owen had no idea how much his carefully detailed plans would go awry. Nor did he realize that a decision he made would have such a catastrophic effect on two passengers who boarded a plane in Chicago.
And when Owen shows up at Anna and T.J.’s door with an incredible story to tell, everyone involved will learn just how much their lives are intertwined.
“Maybe it wasn’t about being alone. Maybe the answer wasn’t about hiding from those who wanted something, but about finding those who needed help but would never considering asking.”
“I hope you are here to un-break my heart, Owen. I’ve been waiting so long for you to come and find me.”
“Why are you crying?” he asks.
“Don’t worry, she says. “They’re happy tears. There’s nothing I love more than a good happy ending.”
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .5