On the Island

On the Island - Tracey Garvis-Graves Fucking Goodreads. I just spent 45 minutes typing this review and it's over capacity. CAN WE GET AN AUTO-SAVE ALREADY? JESUS.I will try to remember everything that I said, but basically I just want to cry right now.4.5 starsIf you're reading this review before you dive into the book, let me set your mind at ease: don't feel skeevy. I went into this book blindly, on a recommendation from my BFF. Granted, I sort of assumed it was a romance, so you can imagine my surprise and confusion when there was a bit of an, erm, age difference between our two main characters. For the first quarter of this book, I felt so conflicted (no, they can't get together! oh, god, please let them get together... omg, what will happen if they get together?! please, lord, let them get together...).But I sat back. I let the story evolve. I let the author take me where she wanted me to go. I watched as the characters and the plot and the timeline moved forward seamlessly, beautifully. Garvis-Graves performed miracles in her realistic progression on both the timeline and the characters. Anna was strong and grounded. She was an amazing person, and I never once felt any sort of hostility toward her. Her feelings were so easy to relate to that I found myself empathizing with her in the most wonderful and painful ways.But who really stole the show for me was T.J. It doesn't happen very often where I fall so utterly in love with a hero in a book. He was everything you hope for in a man. Strength and conviction and sincerity and quiet passion. After not very long, it was hard seeing T.J. as anything other than a man. After having gone through so much in his short years, it wasn't hard to imagine that he was so mature, or how it could possibly work with the two of them. As Anna answered when asked if she saw him as being young, she simply said, "I just see T.J." I would quote all the lines of his I could, but I would be A) quoting everything he ever said to Anna, and B) spoiling the entire book. Just know that when he sent Anna the envelope with the business card and his note on it? I bawled like a damn baby. While the first half of this book had me turning pages left and right, I have to agree with Jenny's review in that the time could've been split more effectively. In the second half of the book, I found myself getting a little bored and wondering when the climax of the story was going to come upon us.And when it did? Oh, God. It hurt. I knew it was coming. I knew it had to happen. But, still. The pain. I haz it.I'm also going to agree with Jenny and say I wish there had been more detailed love scenes. I think this author could've pulled off a little Jill Shalvis and left us with more than several fade to blacks (*shakes fist at FTB*), but nothing overtly graphic.While there were a few problems I had with this book, I'm still rounding up to 5 stars because I want this to separate itself from the other 4 star books I've rated. Anything that has my undivided attention all day and manages to make me laugh, cry and swoon multiple times is going on my favorites shelf.