Tag Archives: Tracey Garvis Graves

Book Hoarding and Upcoming Reviews

Book Pile
Book Pile (Photo credit: Kristin Brenemen)

Readers are at heart book hoarders, personally I never quite got the whole “returning” the book to the library thing. Separate from reading, my hobby is collecting books for and arranging my library. If you follow any book person’s blog they often bemoan the state of the their TBR pile, honestly I couldn’t even hazard a guess at how many books I have in this infamous queue yet I live in mortal fear of “having NOTHING to read!” After reading Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, a frighteningly realistic dystopian  YA novel one of the first thoughts that occurred to me was not to go immediately to my local grocery store and buy all the canned goods in the place but whether I should abandon my new e-reader in favor of paperbacks because “how would I charge my e-reader if the hydro went out?!” Although I must admit this fear does still plague me somewhat I have reached an uneasy accord with myself balancing my book purchases between e-books and what I categorize as “library worthy” hardcover/trade paperback favorites for display and insurance against the apocalypse purposes.

With the creation of this blog my reading plan has changed somewhat from my lifelong rather aimless approach, it seems appropriate that to accurately evaluate a novel that there should be something to compare it to. An “apples to apples” approach if you will.  Writing my review of On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves inspired this thinking and as I discussed it with others I became intrigued with the exploring what different authors did with similar situations and who did it more effectively. Initially, I thought Finding Home by Bonnie Dee & Lauren Baker might be a good comparison piece but for reasons I will detail in the upcoming review I eliminated this one from competition. A comment from a blog follower actually ended the search and I am now waiting with bated breath to read and review A Much Younger Man by Dianne Highbridge.

Cover of "A Much Younger Man"
Cover of A Much Younger Ma

On the Island – Tracey Garvis Graves

If I were to try and describe the novel On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves in terms of popular television and movies within the last few decades it would be as the bastard child of Lost and The Blue Lagoon but that description may not do justice to the simple elegance that is this novel. Garvis Graves has managed to deftly depict a story-line which on the surface is somewhat off-putting to the vast majority of the population portraying the inevitable romance between a teenage boy and his much older tutor after they are marooned on an uninhabited island in the Indian Ocean. Visions of Mary Kay Laterno aside, On the Island is a thrilling story of survival that I finished in a single evening.

When the story opens Anna is in a relationship that is going nowhere and has taken a tutoring position in Maldives for the summer. Her prospective student T.J. is to spend the summer catching up on all the school work he missed while in cancer treatment. They miraculously survive the crash of their private plane into the ocean and are washed ashore on one of the many uninhabited islands of the Maldives.

I devoured this book, reading it at every opportunity that being said On the Island isn’t for everyone. The relationship that develops between Anna and T.J. is contentious both within and without the book. The question is what would make a romantic relationship between a woman in her third decade and a much younger man okay? Is the vaguely discomfited feeling that one has following the conclusion of the story simply hypocrisy? Would the reader be more comfortable with a male protagonist and a female fourteen years his junior? Regardless of the questions of morality On the Island is unexpectedly intriguing the reader is compelled to follow the story to its conclusion routing for not only this unlikely couples survival but their happiness together.

TITLE: On the Island

AUTHOR: Tracey Garvis Graves

RATING: 4 1/2 Stars

GENRE: Fiction