On the Island - Tracey Garvis-Graves I've had this on my virtual shelf for so long that it had sort of become part of the background. Not any more. It's changed places to my "Favorites of all Time" shelf. I was so moved by T.J. and Anna's entire story. It's not one that I would ever have chosen to read had it not also been on everyone else's favorites shelves. Well, it more than worked for me. I fell in love with this book!!!!The Goodreads blurb: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.Imagine the setting for this book...completely alone on a tiny island...somewhere in the ocean, and every day that rescue doesn't come leads you just that much closer to the realization that this place is your new home. That this person is now your only companion, your only friend. If something happens to them, you will be completely alone.T.J. and Anna quickly form a bond out of necessity. They are compatible companions from the start, so there is very little angst in regards to each other. And as the years pass and T.J. grows out of his teenage years, nature takes it's course. As with other reviewers, I was worried about seeing him in that way and didn't know if I could get to that point. But it was such a slow and natural progression that it was actually never an issue for me. Not only does the story never get stagnant but I felt like every word moved it forward. One of the most fantastic things about this for me was this author's writing style. There are no wasted words, no lengthy explanations. She spends no time trying to convince the reader of something. She simply states a fact and moves on. This allowed a lot to happen to T.J. and Anna for a regular length novel, and also allowed it to re-capture my interest almost constantly. As if every time I turned the page, a new situation was happening. I cried and cried...those sloppy, confused tears because it was still the middle of the book...why was I crying? Because I was so in tune with these people...because...THAT just happened and what else can I do other than cry? What happens now?!?"I don't fit in your world.""Neither do I," he said, his expression tender yet resolute. "So let's make our own. We've done it before.”All I can say is READ this book. If it's sitting there staring at you because it's an easy one to put aside, choose it next!! It's a consuming book. An unforgettable one, a beautifully penned and magically told story of two people in remarkable circumstances who, under normal conditions, would never have found the love that they come to know and need.My thanks to my Goodreads friend Mandy for bringing this perfect song to my attention:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeW0Sl0tNS8I'll forever think of T.J. and Anna when I hear it. Because they were meant for each other and in each other, they found home.