Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blog Tour: On The Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves [Review/Excerpt/Giveaway]

 Hello and welcome to Dreaming In The Pages! It is my pleasure to be a stop on this blog tour because, lets face it, I LOVED this book. I could honestly go on and on gushing about how much I enjoyed the book but I figured you guys would like to read my review and get a little excerpt from it instead. Who could blame you?! So if you are in the mood for a read that will definitely take you away, get to reading below!

On the Island
Tracey Garvis Graves
Released: October 11th 2011
Published by: CreateSpace
( Barnes & Noble / Goodreads )
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.
*A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the blog tour hosted by AToMR*

I am not going to lie to you. When I first looked at this book and read the synopsis I did the first thing everyone who has read the synopsis probably did. I said “Wait, am I reading this right?! A 30 year old and a 16 year old?!” But readers, don’t judge a book by its synopsis…wait…I mean…well… Just take a chance and read it! While I went into it with skepticism, what I ended up with was a smile on my face that was probably ridiculously large and goofy. From beginning to end  Tracey Garvis-Graves will have you on the edge of your seat and I promise, you have never read an island story quiet like this.

Any doubt I had about this book disappeared as soon as I was finished with the first chapter. What I think first endeared me to this story was not only the characters [Anna and TJ] but how each chapter was told from alternating points of view. This gives you so much more depth to the story and really helps you identify and connect with Anna and TJ and before you know it, you are throwing age out the window. But, for those still squirming in their seats…nothing happens until TJ is old enough, you know, for it to be against the law. But really, when you read it, you wonder how it would ever be deemed wrong in the first place.

Their situation is scary, yet I wondered how I was going to stay hooked about a book of two people living life stranded on an island. Well, I was blow away at how fast I was turning the pages, and how it never felt fast enough. Frantically wanting to find out what happens next, what TJ thinks of this or what does Anna think about THAT?! I couldn’t put it down for one second. And just when you think things are looking up they go south, and when you think things really couldn’t get any worse, they totally do. You feel as though your feet are never firmly planted on the floor, which makes for one hell of a rush. And I, for one, couldn’t get enough.

On the Island is one of those stories that makes you realize love comes in the most unexpected packages. You can’t help but to fall and feel for these characters and the situation they are in. From the gripping beginning to the edge of my seat ending I knew that I was hooked on Tracey Garvis-Graves and I had to have more of her. Her writing kept me skillfully hooked the whole time and I adored how I felt complete at the end. I will tell you one thing readers, I WILL be waiting in line for Tracey’s next book. After a story like that, I would follow her anywhere.


We ate nothing but coconut and breadfruit for the next eighteen days and our clothes hung on us. Anna’s stomach growled in her sleep, and I had a constant ache in mine. I doubted the rescuers were still looking for us, and a hollow, empty feeling that had nothing to do with hunger joined the pain in my gut whenever I thought of my family and friends.
I thought it would impress Anna if I could spear a fish. I managed to stab myself in the foot instead, which hurt like hell, not that I let her know.
“I want to put antibiotic ointment on it,” Anna said. She dabbed it on the gash and covered it with a band-aid. She said the island humidity was perfect for germs and the thought of one of us getting an infection scared the crap out of her. “You’ll have to stay out of the water until that heals, T.J. I want to keep it dry.”
Great. No fishing and no swimming.
The days passed slowly. Anna got quiet. She slept more, and I caught her wiping her eyes when I came back from collecting firewood or exploring the island. I found her sitting on the beach one day, staring up at the sky.
“It’s easier if you quit thinking they’re coming back,” I told her.
She looked up at me. “So I should just wait for a plane to randomly fly overhead someday?”
“I don’t know, Anna.”
I sat down beside her. “We could leave on the life raft,” I said. “Load it with food and use the plastic containers to collect rainwater. Just start paddling.”
“What if we ran out of food or something happened to the raft? It’d be suicide, T.J. We’re obviously not in the flight path for any of the inhabited islands, and there’s no guarantee a plane would fly over. These islands are spread over thousands of miles of water. I can’t be out there. Not after seeing Mick. I feel safer here, on land. And I know they’re not coming back, but saying it out loud seems like giving up.”
“I used to feel that way, but I don’t anymore.”
Anna studied me. “You’re very adaptable.”
I nodded. “We live here now.”
✸✸✸✸ ✸✸✸✸ ✸✸✸✸ ✸✸✸✸
Now, if all that doesn't have you itching in your seat to read this book, I don't know what will. Should I dance around? Throw confetti up in the air for you all to frolic in?!

Oh I know, how about I tell you about the awesome eBook giveaway that I get to give to you?!
Check it out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This blog tour runs through the 9th. To follow the other tour stops which include, author interviews, book excerpts, giveaways, and more click here.


  1. Lovely review, girl! I feel the same way on every level. This is easily one of my favorite books ever.

  2. Great review! Well said. Love Tracey and love this book!

  3. I felt the exact same way! This is a new favorite book of mine, and loved that I took a chance on this book for the tour! I was also terribly skeptical, but you're totally right about throwing the skepticism out the window. :) Great review!

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

  4. you know i have seen this book around a lot lately but never knew anyone who read it!!! so now im so happy you read it and love it!!! cuz now i think i will have to get right on it!!! eeep!! how exciting! and i have to say i didnt read you review because i dont read review of boks i havent read yet so im not influenced but i trust you when you say its good!! and i know i will read it when im read the book!!!! great post love!!


  5. OH MY I have just heard AMAZING things about this book--I've only seen 5 star reviews! I need to have it. :)


  6. I want to read it because I enjoyed the blurb and what you said in the review. The whole survivor story with the twist of a romance between a terminally ill guy with her being older.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  7. I want to read it to see if they ever get off that island! LOL Also to see all their struggles and to see them grow closer. I love stranded on a desert island type of stories so I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. I want to read this book because not only does it sound amazing it also has a pretty cover :D

  9. Beautiful cover aside, this book sounds super interesting to me!

  10. I found this book captivating. I don't read much, but finished this book in two days because I couldn't stop reading it. I found the struggle between the age difference of the characters, the survival situation they were in, and the basic human need for emotional/physical companionship a good combination. There was alot to think about regarding all of these issues. I found myself imagining being in the circumstances that were presented. I am still thinking about this book.