|Add to Goodreads|
- Publisher: Tracey Garvis-Graves
- Publication date: 9/4/2011
- Format: eBook
- Source: copy provided for blog tour
When thirty-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 seventeen 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.
I didn't really know what to expect going into this book. It's not the type of book I typically read, but they synopsis really intrigued me. I could not be happier that I decided to read this book and participate in the blog tour. This is one of the best books I have read this year! It is raw and emotional. It didn't just tug on my heart, it yanked on with all it had. The way the story is told, going back and forth from Anna's perspective to T.J's really makes you connect with both of them on a such a deep level. I felt like I was there with them experiencing their hardships, tender moments, embarrassing and awkward ones, all of it. I can't even explain how incredible this book is. My words are failing me.
I will start with Anna. She is a thirty year old teacher who is excited to get away to an island for the summer for this tutoring job. She has some personal things to deal with, and this is the perfect way to just get away and think things through. She is practical, smart, and brave, but we do get to see the weaker side of her that we all have.
T.J is quite mature for his age. It's expected and realistic. He has been through a lot already in his sixteen years. Having cancer gives you a whole different perspective on life. Don't get me wrong, he is still they typical 16 year old boy, but when you are fighting for your survival there are more important things than being a silly boy. He is really smart too, and resourceful. He is really nice and sweet too.
So I know that a lot of you are thinking "OMG a sixteen year old and a thirty year old!", but seriously it's so not even like what you are thinking. They are stuck on this island, with almost nothing to keep them sustained, and they only have each other for companionship. It becomes a thing where they just need the other one there, not necessarily in a romantic way. Could you imagine being completely alone, and trying to survive at the same time? They help each other, they talk to each other. Try to relieve the boredom of a deserted island. They manage to get into a routine of sorts, and push the thoughts of actually getting rescued to the back of their minds. Do they survive and get off the island? I can't tell you that.
There are a lot of tragic and scary things that happen in this book, but also a lot of really touching and fun things too. I seriously could not stop turning the pages. I felt so many different emotions reading this book. I can't really even say anything else about it without saying too much. This book is a must read for everyone. It's so fantastically written and a great and inspiring story of survival and love. A book that will stick with you for days after. (Or longer, I still can't get it out of my head. That's a good thing, I promise) I cannot tell you enough how much you need this book. 5 out of 5 stars!