Saturday, July 13, 2013

Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves Review

Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves
Series: On The Island #1.5
Published by Penguin
Publish Date: July 2, 2013
Approx 144 Pages
Source: Publisher/NetGalley

Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N 

When twenty-three-year-old dot-com millionaire Owen Sparks walked away from his charmed life, he had one goal in mind: get as far away as possible from the people who resented his success, or had their hand out for a piece of it. A remote uncharted island halfway around the world seemed like a perfectly logical place to get away from it all. 

Calia Reed wasn't part of Owen's plans. The beautiful British girl - on holiday in the Maldives with her brother, James - made Owen wonder if getting away from it all might be a lot more enjoyable with a carefree girl who didn't know anything about the life he left behind. 

But Owen had no idea how much his carefully detailed plans would go awry. Nor did he realize that a decision he made would have such a catastrophic effect on two passengers who boarded a plane in Chicago. 

And when Owen shows up at Anna and T.J.'s door with an incredible story to tell, everyone involved will learn just how much their lives are intertwined.  -(summary excerpt from Goodreads)

Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves

My Thoughts:  A while back, I read a great book called On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves. I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. I told everyone I knew about it and I blogged about it and I am still telling everyone about it. I've read it twice more since then and I am still as enthusiastic about it as I was the first time I read it. You guys, it is a favorite of mine and I just cannot help it. Like, even when I see it in a store I have to touch it and tilt my head to the side and be like "Aww-Look-It's-On-The-Island-I-Love-That-Book." (Not a joke.) 

When I first heard that author Tracey Garvis Graves was writing a novella to accompany On The Island, I basically went a little nutty. I probably did a little dance, maybe squeaked a little, and definitely had the heart-pounding WANT! WANT! WANT! feeling that we all get when we find out about upcoming titles that we're excited about. Now that I've read it, I feel completely justified in my crazy behavior and realize that if this author continues to write books that I enjoy this much, my behavior will continue to remain exactly the same. (No shame here, friends.)

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The first thing you need to know is this:
Before I go any further:
Yes, there is plenty of Anna and TJ in this book!
I can't tell you how nervous it always makes me to go to the next book in a series - be it a novel-length book or a novella - and risk missing my favorite characters. I absolutely fell in love with Anna and TJ in On The Island. I fell in love with their whole story. I would have been okay without them in this book - that's the truth. I trust this author wholeheartedly. But it is a tremendously happy event to me when an author keeps my favorite characters consistently throughout and I was so happy to see so much of Anna and TJ. It's the little things in life, people. 

It's true that this is not the story of Anna and TJ - they've had a chance to tell their story. But they are present and they are felt and they have dialogue and they are a force together just as they were in On The Island. I can't even form coherent sentences to explain how much I loved that about this novella. 

The second thing you need to know is this:
Owen Sparks is just as wonderful as TJ Callahan. Just, wow. 
BUT! He's a very different guy. 
The summary (above) for this book is actually really great and descriptive and gives wonderful information about the story. But this story is so much better than the summary even hints at - if you've read On The Island, you probably have an idea in your head of who Owen may/may not be...or maybe you're clueless! Maybe that part of the book went right over your head (I've read it three times; I think I can almost quote it by now). 

When I started this novella, I wanted to keep Owen at arms-length so I wouldn't become attached to him because 1) I'm already very attached to TJ and Anna, and I'm weirdly loyal like that and 2) TJ and Anna had a rough time on the island, so it seems natural that Owen could potentially have a hard time too. 

I mean HELLO, AN UNINHABITED ISLAND

But I should have known better. Tracey Garvis Graves doesn't let readers just glaze over her characters and not become attached to them. I fell hard for Owen Sparks, for his reasons for spending time on that island, for everything about him - the things that are mentioned in the summary and the things that aren't. 

The third thing you need to know is this:
There is a lot of romance packed into this novella. 
And doggone it, I LIKED IT.  
I like the way Trace Garvis Graves writes romance. That ought to be clear to you guys by my admission that I've read On The Island three times so far. I'll continue to read it, just like I'll re-read Uncharted now. 

See, Ms. Graves has a knack for those slow burn romances that WE ALL LOVE SO MUCH. She lets them build like this: you're reading and you aren't even really thinking "romance" but then before you know it, there is a friendship! Yay for friendships, right? Being stuck on an island together kind of forces people to befriend one another. But soon there is one character thinking of another one, kind of like an adult-crush - and as readers, we're privy to the knowledge that the other character is doing the same thing. So both characters are slowly building these feelings, and they're building, and they're building...before long BOOM! there is romance. 

The romance is good, too, you guys. It's not trashy. It's not gross to read. It's just OH, YOU LIKE ME? WELL THAT'S AWESOME BECAUSE I KIND OF LIKE YOU TOO. - except it's adults and they don't actually say these exact sentences but YOU KNOW WHAT MEAN. 

Then, fireworks and stuff. The sparks? They fly.

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Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves is an absolutely fantastic novella. It's every bit as good as On The Island, and that is saying A LOT coming from me because you guys, I've been with that book from what I consider way back at the very beginning. I love it and now I love Uncharted too. Anyone who has read and loved the first book needs to read this novella. 

First of all, I was surprised by the length of the novella - I thought it was just going to be this short little story and that's it. But it read like a short novel, which was awesome. Why is this important? Because I feel like it's absolutely worth the price. I repeat: I feel like Uncharted is absolutely worth the price. The length is good and the content and story is absolutely fantastic. This is a must-buy for fans of On The Island

I was also surprised by how in-depth it is, and this surprise was purely my own fault. I shouldn't have been surprised at all. I should have known that Tracey Garvis Graves would weave in all of this great stuff and leave me with my mouth hanging wide open and make me grip the Kindle and NOT GET UP AT ALL ONCE WHILE I WAS READING, because that's exactly what happened when I read On The Island. Uncharted is no different - I would've never guessed the story would unfold as it did at every turn, but I ate it up. I loved it, the way this author keeps me interested and on my toes. 

Uncharted is a novella, yes, but it is filled with fantastic characterization and a setting that is lush and tropical and easy to visualize. If you haven't read the first book, you'll have no trouble at all creating the scenes and imagining these great characters in them. If you HAVE read the first book, you will feel like you're back in the same place once again. I love these new characters, these new personalities - they're different than Anna and TJ, yes - but they're just as wonderful and I think that you all will find a place in your heart for them just as I have. 

Basically, what I'm saying is this: 
  1. You need to read Uncharted, especially if you've read On The Island
  2. The price is right - don't feel bad about paying $2.99 for THIS particular novella - you are getting a book that is worth that and then some. 
  3. If you're anything like me, you'll want to re-read it, so a purchase is a good decision. 
I recommend Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves for fans of adult contemporary romance, survival stories, and swoons-a-plenty. If you're not a fan of novellas, BECOME ONE in this case. Trust me on this!  

**Because I know you might ask: While you can probably get away with reading this novella first, I would DEFINITELY just go ahead and read On The Island first. It's just as good - I promise - and there are a few small, spoilery things in this novella that you might not realize until you go back and read On The Island. So just start with the first book and then read this one. You'll appreciate doing it that way. 

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Uncharted will appeal to fans of:

Adult Contemporary Romance
Romance: Slowly Developing. No Triangle. Swoons.
Survival Stories 
Tropical Island Setting
Novellas

Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves
is currently available for purchase.

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Have you read ON THE ISLAND?
Is UNCHARTED on your to-read list? 


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5 comments:

  1. AAAHHHHHHHHHH I NEEED TO READ THIS. I LOOOOVVEEEE ANNA AND TJ and I can't wait to meet Owen. Thanks for reminding me about this one!!!

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    1. You're welcome! And you're right, you do need to read this one. I flew through it and absolutely loved it. You'll love it too. It's better than you think it'll be and it's different than you expect!

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  2. Novellas...they usually don't work for me, Asheley, but you make a really strong case for this one! I think that my issue with them lies in the idea that they're usually not all that well-rounded, which kind of sucks, you know? This, however, sounds like it works! I might just need to read it after all. Wonderful review! :)

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    Replies
    1. I don't know why, but I do tend to read novellas when they accompany books - luckily my library tends to carry most of the ones I read so I don't have to spend money on them because they often aren't really worth the price. This one is, though. The length and content are both great. The book that this novella is based on is excellent - On The Island. I've read it several times and each time I read it, Melissa, I love it even more. :)

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