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On the Island  - Tracey Garvis-Graves This is a beautiful story of survival and love.

Seventeen year old T.J., didn’t want to go on a vacation for the entire summer with his family. He wanted to spend it at home so he could hang out with his best friend, Ben. He just wanted to feel and act like a normal seventeen year old. A seventeen year old who just happened to be recovering from cancer treatments.

Anna, a 31 year old teacher who’s in a relationship she feels is going no where, decides to take a summer job tutoring. She figures that it would give her time to decide what she wants out of life plus it’s in a tropical paradise. The perfect chance to get away and figure some things out, right?

Anna and T.J. meet at the airport where she will be accompanying him to their destination. All goes well until they get on Captain Mick’s seaplane because Captain Mick suffers a fatal heart attack and they crash into the ocean.

This is where it really starts getting good, or should I say bad? For Anna and T.J. Now they have to learn how to survive using or eating nothing except what they find on the island or whatever washes up on the beach. Everyday is a struggle just to stay alive.

They learn to live off of coconuts and breadfruit (sort of like I coconut, I’m guessing) and whatever rain water they can collect, to eventually learning how to catch fish and crabs and the chickens that somehow inhibit the island. They must also deal with sharing their home with rats, spiders, bats, mosquitoes and bugs, and the human skeleton they found in a cave. They suffer through broken bones, bat bites, malnutrition, dehydration and Dengue fever. But, hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?? And these were two very strong people.

I loved sharing this journey with them. I also loved the alternating POV’s. Somehow it just makes a story that much better for me if I can be inside the heads of the characters in the story. I can know what they know, I can see what they see, I can feel what they feel.

Neither Anna or T.J. sat around feeling sorry for themselves. There were times when they broke down, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, when they would wonder how their families were handling their “deaths”, but for the most part they adapted and grew to love their island.

Anna and T.J. were on the island for two years before their relationship ever got physical. It happened so gradual that, for the most part, I didn’t even think about the age difference. By that time T.J. was 19 and Anna was 33, so it wasn’t like she was robbing the cradle or committing statutory rape. They were just a man and a woman, stranded on a deserted island with nobody but each other. It was only natural that they developed feelings for each other.

Another year goes by before they are finally rescued. Which is about half way into the book. I really liked that the story didn’t stop there. We got to see what happens after they return home to their lives and families. How they deal with the media storm of their survival and rescue and their relationship while on the island.

I loved this book. Very seldom do I read a book that stays with me after I’m finished with it. It’s usually read it and forget it. Not so with this book. I loved T.J. I loved Anna and I loved this book!!! I also had to immediately read [b:Uncharted|718907|Uncharted|Angela Elwell Hunt|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347713518s/718907.jpg|827178], the novella follow-up, just because I wasn’t ready for the story to end yet.

For anyone thinking about reading this book, I say you defiantly should. You wont regret it. I promise.