On the Island: A Novel
This book has quite a little buzz about it, and Tina and I went all out yesterday. Well me, more like last night, after work until 2am. I started it at 8pm and didn’t put it down once, until I was done. It is soooooooooooo good. No. SO much better than that. It’s awesome!!!! I’d even say it makes my “Best of the Year” list, and I will probably think about it forever. And ever!
Tina gave me updates throughout the day (killing me in the process ’cause I couldn’t read it until I got home):
Tina: I’ve cried. Have shed actual tears. Currently at 66%
Maryse: I wanna read it now. Like NOW! I wanna cry too!
Tina: I’m at 69%. OMG… heart clutching. Yes. Must read.
Yep! Killin’ me.
Maryse: I’m readin’ it now! I’m so excited!
Tina: awesome. I’m here sweetie – you are going to be commenting I’m sure.
So what’s it about? A devastating event that is pretty much everyone’s worst nightmare. You’ve seen this before (sorta) in the the past with a certain movie, and a certain show. But this one lays it all out for you, piece by piece. Day by day. For as long as their nightmare rides out. And at times you can barely catch your breath with the turn of events. Your mind focuses on the what if. You connect to the characters so perfectly, and experience their struggles in such vivid detail and so many of the things you thought “what if…” about, actually comes to life for them.
Because you see, 16 year old T.J. and his 30 year old tutor, Anna are flying to meet up with his parents in a house they rented on an Island in the Maldives. Their son has just battled and survived cancer, and this is their getaway, as he catches up with the schooling he’s missed while he’s been sick. But along the way, right over the Indian Ocean, their tiny plane, that was commissioned just for the two of them, crashes. Floating in the ocean for hours, T.J. struggles to swim them both to shore, when they finally approach a small deserted island. Anna is badly hurt, and extremely disoriented, concussed and won’t wake up. He’s freaking out! As I was.
And so the story goes. Their hope for a search plane diminishes as each day goes by. They struggle to stay alive, due to their lack of supplies and wilderness survival skills. It almost seems like everything is against them. The first few days are an absolute nightmare as they recover from their plane crash injuries, and then dehydration. The consequences of their desperate decisions plague them.
T.J. woke up. “What’s wrong?”
“My stomach hurts.” I prayed the cramping would stop but it only got worse, and I knew what was about to happen.
But slowly… their belongings start washing up on shore, and they begin truly living again. Not just living long enough to be rescued. But simply… living.
I spread the blankets out and put the seat cushions down for pillows. The blankets were scratchy but they’d keep us warm when the sun went down and the temperature dropped. The seat cushions were thin and smelled of mildew, but it was luxuriously comfortable compared to sleeping on the ground.
“This is awesome,” T.J. said.
A bit smaller than a double bed, sharing the life raft with T.J. would leave only a few inches between us. I was too tired to care.
You experience it all with them. You’ll feel every moment. Their constant struggles to stay alive, their tiny successes. Their HUGE accomplishments. Their hope of rescue that eventually turns into their acceptance of their reality. Their bonding, friendship, silly-fun moments…
Maryse: Oh he IS a brat!
Tina: Oh those tender moments! Snicker… I almost want go to back to the page you’re on and read again with ya!
… and fears.
Tina: Yep… with only each other to cling to, survive with. I can’t imagine.
Maryse: Thank god they had each other… Imagine alone?
Their fights. They celebrate. They cry. There are good days, great days, bad days and horrific days.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I imagined the isolation and pain I would feel if T.J. was gone. “I don’t know if you can die of loneliness, but after awhile I might want to,” I whispered.
And deep inside, they always keep that little spark that somehow, someday, they will be reunited with their friends and family once again.
I know what you’re thinking. He’s 16, and she’s 30? They are thrown together in this unimaginable situation for how long? And they are so obviously bonding as they only have each other for comfort, right? Right. But no worries here. I can assure you of that.
Tina: The age thing totally totally TOTALLY disappears he’s 19 when… and hulking over 6 ft tall…
Maryse: I so appreciate the author letting him become a man before indulging them.
Tina: a 16 year old lanky kid verses that transformation into manhood.
Maryse: Exactly. It let’s me read in peace. Very happy for that. I can enjoy every moment.
Yep. He doesn’t stay a kid forever. And I loved the author for it!
Oh there is love and a beautiful romance, but not before the time is right. Their’s is a long journey, and I promise you, well worth living it with them. And that’s all I can tell you. Of course, lots happens. SO MUCH more than what I’ve revealed here. I’ve started it for you, now you can peel away the rest. 😉
This book… *squee* worthy for sure!