One Night Stand: On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves


On the Island: A Novel by Tracey Garvis Graves
2012-06-07 (Plume)

Rating: B+
Heat: Warm

Heroine: Anna Emerson – Teacher, Survivor 
Hero: T.J. Callahan – Student, Survivor 
Setting: Deserted Island



Sixteen year old T.J. Callahan has been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is now in remission. In order for him to catch up on year of schooling, his family hires school teacher, Anna Emerson to tutor him for the summer. When Anna and T.J. are on their way to their destination to meet up with his family, the pilot of the seaplane has a heart attack. They end up crashing in the ocean. Anna is knocked unconscious and T.J. holds on to her until they wash up onto a deserted island.

Anna and T.J. spend their days working together to find ways to obtain food, water, fire, and shelter. They encounter many dangers: starvation, dehydration and tropical storms. As days turned into months and then years, things changed between Anna and T.J.

In the beginning, Anna and T.J. formed a very platonic, strong friendship. Anna has always seen T.J. as an equal and not a child. Now that T.J. has grown into a man, Anna has noticed. The romance builds slowly and, when they finally come together, it was so natural, sweet, and adorable – like it was just meant to be.

“ I pulled my arms out from underneath her body and tucked her hair behind her ears. “I love you, Anna.”
The surprised look on her face told me she hadn’t seen that coming.
“You weren’t supposed to fall in love,” she whispered.
“Well, I did,” I said, looking into her eyes. “I’ve been in love with you for months. I’m telling you now because I think you love me too, Anna. You just don’t think you’re supposed to. You’ll tell me when you’re ready. I can wait.” I pulled her mouth down to mine and kissed her and when it ended, I smiled and said, “Happy birthday.”

There was never anything distasteful about this relationship. T.J. was almost nineteen before they did anything together. I could understand their attraction towards one another. They only had each other to rely on to get through their days. Their will to survive and to protect one another is true love in the making. What started out as strong friendship, grew into a solid and mature relationship.

The post-rescue part of the story was even more heart wrenching and at times, hard to read. These two face more challenges. They have to face the real world where their age difference would be scrutinized and considered wrong. Will they survive the public’s criticism? What will they do with their lives now that so much has changed? Will they be able to stay together? I cried more during this part of the story than I did when they were on the island. My heart broke time and again with all the hard sacrifices they both had to make.

On the Island is an amazing read. I was absorbed by the story immediately. I applaud Tracey Garvis-Graves for writing such a deep and honest love story that made me fall in love with the couple. I’m so glad I finally decided to read this one. This is a truly wonderful, touching story that is a must read!


Thoughts While Reading:



  1. This is one of my favorite books! I love the story between the two characters and the post rescue story is so heart wrenching! I love it! I still re-read it sometimes.

    1. This story is definitely one of my faves as well!


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