Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I've heard so much about this book and I was really excited that it now has been published by Plume and my library acquired it right away. This survival story was almost impossible to put down. I kept allowing myself to read just one more chapter (they are short, and addicting), and before I knew it. I wasn't tired anymore and it was 2 AM.

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 isn't a perfect book, and I had some issues with it. I enjoyed the alternating male/female POV, but I thought they sounded pretty much like the same person. Also, I could picture the island so clearly that little story issues stood out to me. Like tell me how boxes of tampons survive a plane crash in the ocean? 

I'm surprised I felt so connected to the characters because the writing style is a little plain and straight forward. It sometimes just feels like a list of what is happening and not much of what the characters are feeling. Despite Graves’ style, I was involved completely with Anna and T.J. 

Some language, not much though. Sexual situations and frank talk about sex in general. This isn't an island romance novel with love scenes for the sake of just having them to entertain.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I am so glad you reviewed this book! I have been tempted many times to pick it up. The blurb on the back of the book sounds so good!
    I do still think I might red it some day. I usually like books like this.

    "boxes of tampons survive a plane crash in the ocean" - Ha! yeah that would bug me too! Maybe she had them in a zip lock baggie???
    Good review, thanks!