I'm giving you double for your trouble for this blog, 2 in 1 week, since I haven't blogged in a couple of months. I have recently read On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves, and it seems to be already optioned for a feature film by MGM. It has been since 2012 for news of the option, but it looks like they're still holding on to the rights of the movie. Hollywood is moving quite slow with the production, but I'm still waiting patiently. The book is very similar to to the 1980 movie Blue Lagoon. The book is about 30yr old English teacher Anna Emerson traveling with her young student 16yr old T.J. Callahan to meet up with his parents in the Maldives. T.J. is in remission from having cancer and Anna is hired to help him catch up on his school work because of all the days missed while being sick. During their travels they aboard a plane with a overweight and unhealthy pilot, resulting in his heart attack leading to his death and the plane crashing on a deserted island in the Maldives. On the island Anna and T.J. have to learn to survive, by building shelter for themselves and hunting. I also enjoy that there is a romance aspect to the story, but of course that doesn't happen until T.J. becomes of age.
I like how the story shows you their struggles, how they starve, and become so dehydrated that their on the verge of death. They also get sick and have to face natural disasters on the island and worry about the risk of T.J.'s cancer returning. Anna and T.J. have to adapt to their enviroment and even though it is a struggle, they excel in these adverse circumstances. They were missing for years, families assuming they perished and held funerals for them. They saw at least 2 search parties for them by plane but failed to get their attention. All hope was lost, but they had each other for the time being and they were in love and content in spending the rest of their days with one another, until catastrophe hit.
I don’t want to give everything away about this story, but know this as I've said it's similar to Blue Lagoon, but it's not exactly like it. Suprisingly Anna and T.J. are rescued and then we see their relationship change while back in their old lives. We see the ups and downs of having an older partner and what issues can arise. It's a great love story, one that tests time. It's beautiful and endearing and I was rooting for Anna and T.J. all the way through. I love how the author doesn't make their age gap such an issue. I like the fact she makes it a point that just because your young doesn't mean it makes you less mature or unworldly, and having experience can go a long way.
I just want to say the story is very realistic, the setting would be gorgeous in a movie. If I could sum it up I would say it's a mix of Survivor, Cast Away, and Blue Lagoon rolled up into one. I really hope that you check out the author's gorgeous work and put the word out there so that MGM can speed up the process of getting this into production ASAP. Until next time read on and please give me some recommendations on what books you think should be made into movies also!
Anna Emerson- Minka Kelly
T.J. Callahan - Dylan Sprouse