When 30-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 17 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.
©2011 Tracey Garvis-Graves (P)2012 Tracey Garvis-Graves
Listen to a sample before you buy. I'm sure whether or not her voice appeals is entirely individual.
I read this book on kindle and loved it, so decided almost two years later to add narration and listen again, as it is a story well worth revisiting. However, I didn't make it past the second hour. Her voice was too fast, too cheerful, and her rendition of TJ (the male character) was entirely too feminine and too close to how she portrayed the main character.
I'd recommend reading this one. I'm an audible fan through and through, and I am disappointed in the choice of narrator here. It's not that the narrator is bad--I'm sure she'd do a great job narrating teenage girl voices, books that are meant to be light and humorous. This just wasn't a good fit.
I've been wanting to read this for a while now but it kept slipping further and further down the list...thankfully I snagged it before it got away. Good read. The age difference was at first alarming but I liked how the author developed them individually before bringing them together. I was hooked into the storyline and it moved quickly.
Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.
Let's just say that I really liked this book. The first part of the story was better than the last but it did have HEA. As a fan of Blue Lagoon, Six Days Seven Nights and Stranded I snatched this book up right away. I'm all about the romance while under extreme conditions, especially on a beach. I know there was some beef about the age difference for Anna and TJ. I think that it wasn't the age difference only that TJ was only 16 at the start. Knowing that he has survived cancer is a big way to grow up fast, so TJ was more mature than the average 16 year old. Not to worry nothing untoward happens until after TJ turned 18. If it had been an older man and a younger woman most people wouldn't have blinked an eye. There is some mild sex and cussing in the book. I kept wonder if the narrator had somewhere to go? Because she was racing to get through this book. It takes a bit to get immersed it the story because I felt like my mind had to race to catch up with the words to understand what was happening. I think she would have done an excellent job if she had paced herself.
Prize-winning Poet, Composer and Lyricist.
I was delighted with this STORY as a fun, easy read, but appalled at the narration. In nothing more than my first semester of college, even I learned that when one orates, or reads aloud, one must SLOW DOWN. The class I took on Oral Interpretation spent the first half of the semester with the teacher repeatedly telling each of us to SLOW DOWN. This is the problem with the narration (and the only problem with it as far as I could tell) as the narrator Heidi Baker reads at about the speed of light. That might be helpful in other professions but not this one. Thank goodness I found the story fun, interesting and not too explicit, which is saying a lot for a love story based on two people alone on an island! However, I did have to listen about 3 times to catch everything. Please, Audible, do what you can to find better narrators! Or, HELP them!!!! There's nothing wrong with a little direction.
Love both the print and audible version! The Audible version has exceeded my expectations! Highly recommend it.
Ana and TJ! Great story, very interesting, engaging and enjoyable.
Not saying, in case you haven't read the book. It's all good.
Would love an Audible version of Uncharted as well.
One of the best ever honestly.
Both Anna and T.J. can't decide between them.
Again she did a fabulous job on all the characters. LOVED it. Hope to hear more books narrated by her she is great!
Yes I couldn't stop listening and then didn't want it to end.
I had been eyeing this one for sometime as I have always loved the stranded on a deserted island scenario. Throw in romance with the stranded people and I’m so there! But I kept putting this one off and the reason I waited for so long was the pretty big age difference between the two main characters. Anna is 30 when the book starts and T.J. is 16 but I was so totally wrong in waiting and thinking it might be a bit icky with that big a difference in the two’s ages. And the fact that she was his summer school teacher…it just brought up a kind of eww not a forbidden love story about a teacher falling for a student. And "if that was my son I would want to snatch the woman bald headed if she so much as touched him" thought. BUT I hasten to say I was COMPLETELY wrong in my hesitancy and my assumptions about this wonderful novel. So please do NOT make my mistake and let that keep you from reading this one. I’m sorry I waited so long because I absolutely LOVED it! It's actually now on my favorite's shelf!
There are very few books that I have picked up and truly could NOT stop reading… (and in this case listening too) but that is exactly what happened to me with this one. It completely grabbed hold of me and I could not put it down until I found out what happened next!!! I had work and housework that was beckoning me and other things I needed to be doing (shamefaced blush here) but I could not pry myself away from this one. I had to literally make myself go do what I needed to do and then I would rush back to see what happened next to Anna and T.J.
Tracey Garvis Graves has penned a story that is so rich in depth, texture, action, and love that it just immerses you and you don’t want to leave the story for a minute!
I won’t go into huge detail because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone and you can get a good idea of what the book is roughly about just from the blurb-but it’s so much more than that! This is thrilling action packed tale of what two people can endure and go through to survive and the close bond that forms between people when they go through such hardship, tragedy, and isolation together.
Anna indeed starts out in the beginning as the "adult and teacher/authority figure role" when they first wash up on the island. But those roles quickly start to blur as they both have to work together to find water, food, make a shelter and survive the harsh elements, storms, the danger of predators, and just the sheer loneliness and boredom that people who are stranded on an island with hardly anything would have to do.
The two literally have only each other and they grow very close through the shared hardships, trials, and long hours alone together that they share. They are not rescued right away but spend years together alone on the island. Both of them wonder if they will ever be found or if this is where they will spend the rest of their lives.
As with any situation like this it causes T.J. to quickly grow up far beyond his years and shoulder responsibilities that mature him very quickly. However in my opinion because of his fight with cancer before he went into remission he was already well above the maturity that most teenagers are at when they are stranded. But he quickly takes over the role of the provider by fishing, gathering food and water, starting the fire, and so much more so that he and Anna can survive. And in doing so he becomes a man much faster than he ever would have in any normal situation.
They spend years together on the island and they are both lonely and have only one another for companionship. But it's easy to see that these two would have been very good friends and gotten along great even if they weren’t stranded together. They just click. After a while T.J. and Anna start to see one another in a different light not just as a student and teacher, not just as two lonely people stuck together, but as a man and a woman that get along well together and genuinely care for one another.
The love that grows between the two is both moving and touching. Nothing untoward happens between them until much later…after they have bonded though mutual trust and care that is built through the long trials they have faced together (and again this all happens over several years so it’s not like they were just bored and decided to make out. It isn’t that way at all.) Their age difference when they do finally get together does still bother Anna. She worries about what others would think if they were to be rescued and how it would affect both T.J and herself. But it does not bother T.J. that much at all. He doesn’t see Anna as his teacher or years older than himself, he sees her as the beautiful woman that he has grown to love and who has helped him survive some of the hardest times of his life.
Will they ever be rescued? Or will they spend forever on the Island? And either way can the love that they have found last?
This one truly does have it all! There are many, many twists and turns and surprises along the way and you won’t be able to tear yourself away!
Again I am so sorry that I waited so long before I read this one. I absolutely loved it and truly hated to see it end. Get this one and enjoy it! Because if you give it half a chance I know you will!
The narrator is Heidi Baker and she does a spectacular job. Her narration to me actually added to the story and made it even more realistic and heartfelt, as you can actually hear the emotions of the characters through her voice. She really is a talented performer and I would love to hear more books read by her! She is one of the best narrators I have ever heard. So if you like audio books I HIGHLY recommend her rendition of this one it was fabulous!
I am a book junkie...I read and enjoy a variety of stories, so please don't "define me" by one book or review! :)
Actual rating 3.75 - 3.8 (for the book overall, not including narration). I enjoyed this book and place my vote firmly in the camp of fans of this story. The best part about the story is the characters. Ms. Graves writes a story that draws you in, and characters you care about. The characters TJ and Anna are compelling enough to overcome a little bit of weakness in the writing, which could benefit from a little more polish and depth. However, I think the author did a good job with the overall pace and arc of the story. It played out in what seemed like a "realistic" manner if this type of thing were to happen to someone (two people) in real life. The passage of time and the points at which the author goes ahead and jumps ahead in the story were well done, in my opinion. After all, if anyone was in this situation most likely many, many days would play out exactly the same and, when made into a story, there is no need for the reader to literally "witness" each one.
I do not have a problem with the age difference. TJ is old enough to make his choices when they begin a relationship. Quite frankly I think it is rediculous for people to be offended by an age difference in a love story, and talk as if all couples should be no more than three-to-five years apart in age. Also, Anna was never his teacher. She was just hired to tutor him, and that never happened as planned. I think TJ and Anna are respectful and respectable as people and I did not think the story was distasteful at all.
Finally, I must mention that this book was not served well by the narration. The narrator spoke a little too fast, and is not skilled in doing male voices. She did not distinguish well enough between the characters, performing TJ and Anna in pretty much the same tone throughout most of the book. Though I did listen to the entire book, and it was not "bad" enough to keep me from doing so. I would recommend this for fans of a-typical romance or love stories. If you are more particular about excellent narration than I am in some cases, you may want to read this one instead.
Wife, mom of one amazing son, and I have the second best job in the world, working in a bookstore :)
I loved that I loved it I didn't know what to expect and it exceeded everything I thought.
Not sure. Such a different premise that I have not come across before.
I didn't like the narrator. Not the highly educated voice I was expecting. She sounded more like a teenage girl
Love like you've never expected
I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
There is something about being stuck on a deserted island that’s intriguing. Well, reading about it that is. As someone who doesn’t even want to go camping for a weekend it’s my worst nightmare to be lost on an island, but the story fascinated me all the same. Like another island mystery, LOST, I felt compelled to keep listening and see how it would all turn out.
Anna is a thirty-year-old teacher who was hired to tutor sixteen-year-old T.J. over the summer. He’s in remission from cancer and has a lot of ground to make up. They board a seaplane to join T.J.’s parents in the Maldives. The pilot has a heart attack and crashes the plane in the Indian Ocean, leaving Anna and T.J. on their own and fighting for survival. They rely on each other to find food and shelter, and to fend off illness and vicious island creatures. Before long, the relationship is more man-woman than teacher-student, which brings on a whole new level of problem.
Anna and T.J. have to start from scratch to find a way to survive on the island. They have a few supplies from the plane that make it easier but it’s still pretty rough conditions. The island descriptions are vivid and I felt like I was right there with them. Some of the details were more than I wanted and I couldn’t imagine going through that situation.
The story is told in both Anna and T.J.’s POV, and I really appreciated getting both perspectives. Graves does a good job fleshing out the characters and making me care for them. When I started the book I wasn’t sure if I could buy into a relationship between the pair, but it did feel natural given the situation.
I listened to the audiobook of On the Island. The author published the audiobook herself and the narrator is Heidi Baker. The narration is not my favorite ever, but the story is so addictive that I zipped through it anyway. Sometimes it was hard to tell if T.J. or Anna was speaking, except in context, and ideally I would have preferred two narrators to make the voices more distinct. Baker has a bubbly voice and is a fast reader. I tend to like readers to read quicker rather than slower, though it wasn’t always the best choice for this book, which called for more tension and emotion. Listen to a sample to see if this audiobook is a fit for you.
On the Island is a good book to take on vacation, though it might make you nervous to read in-flight. It is easy to get lost in and has an easy, quick pace.
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