BotW {01}

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm BACK! I've been MIA for so long, but I never stopped reading.

I decided to do a Book of the Week (BotW) now that I'm back. In the past, I couldn't get my reviews up fast enough because the reviews would take a while to write and I'd read about a book per day. I still do. It was too much work and it was getting to the point where it wasn't fun to blog anymore. So I decided that instead of doing reviews of almost every book I read, I'll do an overview of all the books that I've read each week. Then I'll pick my favorite that I deem worthy of being the book of the week and one I would recommend to my readers.

I love the book blogging community and miss it. I need to get back in so I have people to discuss books with. So without further ado:

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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.

This was recommended to me by many of my bibliophilian friends. It was highly rated and raved about. I decided to read it because I was in a reading rut anyways. I have many TBR books waiting (of course) and they were just sitting there on my kindle or laptop and well, I wanted something new. I had an idea of what this was about, but no real concept of it when I started reading. It ultimately went on my favorite shelf on GR. Yes, I loved it.

{ Characters } The characters are so well developed. The characters you are supposed to love, you love. The characters you're supposed to bond with, you bond with. And the relationships between all the characters in this book - so well written, so realistic, and so believable. You want it to work out, you want it to be a HEA somehow just because you love the characters. Now, I know some people are wondering about the relationship between the characters being that the male character is almost half the age of the female character and he's underage. Trust me, the story develops and so do the characters so when the relationship becomes so much more, it's just right.

{ Plot } The story is so different than what I'm used to reading. I haven't yet read a book that's similar to the Lost t.v. series. I don't even watch t.v. This story was just riveting from beginning to end. The struggles of how they survived on this little island, how they struggled for food, water, and shelter. The bond that forms between the two. The highs and lows of each and every day. The plot never gets stagnate. The author finds some story within the story even if the two main characters were stranded on an island with nothing to do in the middle of the day. They're always developing.

{ Overall } Why did I pick this book? I fell in love with it. I cried, hope, and struggled to survive with them. Everything was so believable, so it was easy to fall into the book and feel like I was there with them. Even in the end, the struggles they dealt with were fantastic in the sense that it wasn't nonsense. The thought process of the two main characters dealing with every obstacle was well reasoned, well thought-out. So when they did something that I didn't necessarily want to happen or agree with, I still loved them because I understood where they were coming from. It was never frustration or disappointment, it was just... an overwhelming sense of hope. Hope.. in that I hoped the story ends well for these two characters because I. Just. Love. Them.

This was the author's first and only novel. Originally she self-published, but Penguin recently picked it up because the book is just that awesome. She's coming out with another new novel soon. I'm getting it. I have no idea what the other novel is about, but I don't care. I'm buying it. On The Island is only available as an e-book right now, but the paperback will be available July 10, 2012 so put it on your to-buy list or pre-order it!

So read it people! Read it and love it... or hate it. Or be somewhere in between those two extremes, but tell me all about it. Tell me why you picked it up (was it because of me?) or why you will or won't pick it up. Have you read it? What did you think?

Until next week :0)

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