I've read many Romance novels, a lot lately! But if I thought "I've read it all" - reading this one showed me that clearly I haven't!
This novel tells the story of Anna, a 30 years old school teacher who accepts a job for the summer to assist / help catch up a 16 years old kid who missed most of the previous due to having cancer. Anna isn't heired to teach him at home, oh no, she flys to the Maldives with him (the rest of the family arrived there a few days prior) to teach him there. Sounds cool, ha? Well it might have been if their plane didnt crush in the sea, where a lot of little islands make it impossible to find them, that's without mentioning the fact that the waters are filled with sharks..
T.J. is 16 (well, almost 17 but who's counting..) when they crush on the island. he didn`t expect to get stuck on the island with his (hot) teacher and having to fend for themselves for a long long while. I think that in a way they both didn't expect to survive.. two 'city rats' who aren't sure if they can even make a fire.
A little more than half of the book describes their 'adventures' on the island, what they endure, how they survive day by day and even more than that. As the time flows by, they get very attached to one another even if there isn't a relationship (yet) between them. But in the end they both fall in love and of course a relationship is created.
What's left of the book is what happens when they get off the island. and that is not in any means less important or less interesting. Being alone on the island as a couple with someone 15 years your senior might be acceptable (who's to judge?) but at home it's not as acceptable and more than that they have a huge gap between them - Anna is a grown up, she has a job or a career, she knows what she wants in life - she wants to start a family (actually she has a boyfriend waiting for her back home..), T.J. on the other hand is 'just a kid' is society's standarts, he didn't even finish school, didn't go to college, doesn't know what he wants to do with his life and he has a lot of things to experience in life that he didn't have the chance to.. and it's not easy when even his friends moved on during the time he was on the island with Anna.
I loved how real this story is. The problems they encounter, both on the island and off the island. how their relationship is built - slowly but surely. Everything that happened on the island was exciting and unique, not something that happens 'usually' in new relationships as you can imagine ;) but with that, I loved all that happened when they got back. How senestive, how understandable. All the bumps in the way had to be there when they came back to civilization. and how hard it is to explain to the society that what they have is more than an 'unappropriate behavior between teacher and a (minor) student'.
How can you gap 15 years? maybe T.J. can try and behave like a 'grown-up' but he clearly lacking in knowledge and experience in life.. How can Anna mingle with T.J.'s friends? trying to act their age will make her seem pathetic... and what about the fact that Anna wants to have kids? she's been waitnig for that even before the island, T.J. missed so much how can she expect him to fast forward his life so she could have what she wants?
in a word - a masterpiece. simply a pleasure to read. A beautiful romantic book that I would recommend to anyone. It's not one of those steamy sex romance books it's a real ROMANCE book, a book that built an impossible relationship into a possible one.