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On the Island Paperback – July 10, 2012
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“[Garvis Graves is] the patron saint of independent authors.”—Kirkus Features
“If you like Lost, Castaway and Fifty Shades of Grey, this initially self-published and now New York Times bestseller will float your boat.”—Genevieve Fox, Daily Mail (London)
“An addictive hybrid: The Beach meets Robinson Crusoe meets Room.”—Julia Llewellyn, The Telegraph
“The breakout hit.”—Susan Maguire, Booklist
About the Author
Tracey Garvis Graves lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. She loves hearing from her fans and can be found on Twitter @tgarvisgraves and at facebook.com/tgarvisgraves.
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Top Customer Reviews
BUT...I'm so glad I did read it in the end. There is so much more to this story than it first appears. Tracey Garvis-Graves did a fantastic job writing it, and TJ and Anna's story had me hooked from the very beginning. The way the story is told through alternating points-of-view really adds to the experience; I don't think it could have been pulled off quite the same way without seeing things from both characters' viewpoint. Even though there were many happy coincidences throughout, there were also so many times that I really questioned whether we'd see a happy ending (and I really, really wanted one, gosh darn it!) Garvis-Graves definitely knows how to ramp up the dramatic tension. Yet she still kept it realistic throughout--I don't think TJ and Anna could have had a HEA any earlier than they do.
She's a heck of a writer; I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
Side note: I listened to this on audio, and almost wish I had read the print version instead. The narrator did an adequate job, but there was ZERO change in her voice when she switched between TJ's and Anna's narrative. When I was listening for long stretches of time this was okay, and if I could stop and start at the beginning of a chapter this wasn't too much of a problem. However, if I had to come back to the book in the middle of a section there were zero vocal cues as to which character was speaking when I started up again, and it often took me longer than usual to get back into the story...a minor complaint overall, but it did give me some difficulty. Loved the story, but if I were to read it again I'd go with the ebook version for sure.
I really enjoyed this book. I believe the author did a good job in dialogue, point of view shifts, grammar and character development. I did struggle briefly with the age difference but I felt that the main female character kept a lid on that aspect of their scenario. Life, indeed turned challenging for the main characters as they struggle to survive.
I rated it a 4 star instead of a 5 star because of a couple of scenes - the illness, and the dolphin/shark scene that allowed me some discomfort with it.
However, it was indeed a pleasant read and I am thankful for my friend who recommended it.
By the way, I browsed through the 1 and 2 star reviews and disagree with them. I can't believe how many say "they don't ever write reviews" or something to that affect and yet choose to do so for this book? I review all books that I read (don't believe me? check out my amazon rating) and I encourage everyone out there to write a honest review of a book and tell why you liked it or why you didn't. Be fair to an author who has dedicated their time and effort to creating an enjoyable book.
Some things about the logic of the characters' actions didn't sit well with me. Specifically, I thought the concern for modesty would have disappeared pretty darned fast in favor of survival. I also remember wondering, "If they need water so badly and it's raining, why wouldn't they spread out all their clothes to soak up as much of the rain as possible to drink?"
I also thought it would add to the story if the pair had tried to copy some famous survival movie tricks--failing would have been okay, but it seemed unrealistic they didn't reference movies like "Castaway" or tv shows like "Survivor" at all.
And finally, it would have done more for me personally if there was less mushy love bits once the relationship takes off, honestly. Everything up to then was semi-documentary in style and full of awkward human moments, so the change to star struck lovers seemed out of place. I almost think it would have been more romantic to have kept it minimized a la Earnest Hemingway and suggested this craving and devotion with casual, minute details versus out-and-out professions or huge, desperate reactions.
But seriously, this author has some great innate talent with voice and I still remember all of this after weeks (months?). That's pretty amazing to me. It likely has to do with the fact that my husband is 13 years older than me and I could totally relate to the awkward dinner scenes/people assuming we aren't a couple/women his own age hitting on him, etc.
That realistic quality at the end, again, really makes the gooey bits feel out of place. Their love would be better portrayed as a wild, kind of gritty and animalistic thing as they lose sight of what it means to be "human."
I guess I wanted this to be literary, not genre! Drat.