This Train Is Being Held
When private school student Isabelle Warren first meets Dominican-American Alex Rosario on the downtown 1 train, she remembers his green eyes and his gentlemanly behavior. He remembers her untroubled happiness, something he feels all rich kids must possess. That, and her long dancer legs. Over the course of multiple subway encounters spanning the next three years, Isabelle learns of Alex’s struggle with his father, who is hell-bent on Alex being a contender for the major leagues, despite Alex’s desire to go to college and become a poet. Alex learns about Isabelle’s unstable mother, a woman with a prejudice against Latino men. But fate—and the 1 train—throw them together when Isabelle needs Alex most. Heartfelt and evocative, this romantic drama will appeal to readers of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen.

This Train Is Being Held Details

TitleThis Train Is Being Held
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 11th, 2020
PublisherAmulet Books
ISBN-139781419734939
Rating
GenreContemporary, Romance, Young Adult

This Train Is Being Held Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    This is stunning, heart-breaking, I cannot hold back my tears! Oh, no! My cries are literally ugly!This is more heart-felting, emotional, tear-jerker book than I expected represents Latino culture and heavy mental illness issues ( suicide, bipolar, depression etc.) at the same time. I’m not a big fan of slow-burn romances and when I read the blurb that Alex and Isabelle’s journey to form a relationship takes 3 years, I got a little worried. But as soon as I started to read, I relieved: this is This is stunning, heart-breaking, I cannot hold back my tears! Oh, no! My cries are literally ugly!This is more heart-felting, emotional, tear-jerker book than I expected represents Latino culture and heavy mental illness issues ( suicide, bipolar, depression etc.) at the same time. I’m not a big fan of slow-burn romances and when I read the blurb that Alex and Isabelle’s journey to form a relationship takes 3 years, I got a little worried. But as soon as I started to read, I relieved: this is not a book consisted of too many repeating, wordy descriptions and nonsense dialogues. It’s well rounded, -perfectly developed realistic fiction. Two young adults from different classes, cultural backgrounds meet at the train. Slowly they start to learn more about each other. Isabelle, half Cuban privileged girl, deals with her depressed mother who has prejudice against Latino man. Isabelle also deals with her brother Merritt (interestingly at some parts I found him more genuine and more likeable character than heroine), chasing her dream to be a dancer. Our hero Alex Rosario is Dominican American, dealing with his over controlling father who forces him to play sports but Alex wants to go to the college to become a poet.Alex’s story and his family interaction parts were poignant, heartwarming. And Isabelle’s family part was more dramatic because of mother and brother’s mental health issues. Overall I enjoyed the author’s genuine, objective writing and author’s juggling too many issues at the same time and mixing in theme proportionally to create a memorable story. At some parts I found heroine a little dull, ordinary and hard to relate with. But this book is still promising, heart wrenching and impeccably developed page-turner. I wanted to read more works of the author ASAP in near future.Special thanks to NetGalley and ABRAMS Kids/Amulet Books to share this incredible ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review.
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  • Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Amulet for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review ”Falling in love, it is easy. Fighting for it, that is hard.” Gosh, you guys… there was just so much to love about this book!! Even though the romance was probably a 3.5 stars on its own, the book as a whole gets a 4 star rating because of the friendship and, best of all, latinx heritage and culture. So, what’s this book about? When private school student Isabelle Warren first meets Dominican-American Alex Rosario on Many thanks to Amulet for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review ”Falling in love, it is easy. Fighting for it, that is hard.” Gosh, you guys… there was just so much to love about this book!! Even though the romance was probably a 3.5 stars on its own, the book as a whole gets a 4 star rating because of the friendship and, best of all, latinx heritage and culture. So, what’s this book about? When private school student Isabelle Warren first meets Dominican-American Alex Rosario on the downtown 1 train, she remembers his green eyes and his gentlemanly behavior. He remembers her untroubled happiness, something he feels all rich kids must possess. That, and her long dancer legs. Over the course of multiple subway encounters spanning the next three years, Isabelle learns of Alex’s struggle with his father, who is hell-bent on Alex being a contender for the major leagues, despite Alex’s desire to go to college and become a poet. Alex learns about Isabelle’s unstable mother, a woman with a prejudice against Latino men. But fate—and the 1 train—throw them together when Isabelle needs Alex most. Heartfelt and evocative, this romantic drama will appeal to readers of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen. As you could tell by the phrase “over the next three years”, this is not a very insta-lovey novel. That said, it was anything but slow and even though three years sounds like a long, long time, it’s not. Trust me; this book will fly by. So much so that I didn’t even realize it was three years because it was so enjoyable and perfectly paced. And also because I wasn’t paying attention to the dates. ➵ Isa(belle) Warren - Isa is the definition of a privileged white girl.Fortunately, she is pretty aware and grateful of her privilege and is almost never snooty or entitled about it. Isa is a young adult who loves to dance and hang out with her friend, Chrisy. I don’t really have anything else to say about Isa soooo… GIF: ➵ Alex Rosario - I much prefer Alex to Isa. Mainly because:(P.S. don’t google “gay as f*ck gifs” unless you want to be treated to porn. Learned that the hard way.) But I also loved him because he was Latino! I love me some Latino rep because, believe it or not, I am Latino. Half lation. So, I guess I’m biracial. Anyway. I also want to note that Alex’s hand were surprisingly sexy. Don’t believe me? HERE’S A QUOTE TO JUSTIFY MY ARGUMENT: ”I suck in a breath. His skin is warm under the cool gel. Very warm. The deep curve of his hand is slick. It’s so large both my fists could fit inside it. He has calluses at the base of his thumb and below his ring finger. I hover over them, tracing their shape. I slip outside of his hand and his broad knuckles flex, almost involuntarily. I circle up to his wrist, to the pound of his pulse. It matches the thrumming in my ears.” If that’s not foreplay, I don’t know what is. ➵ Merrit - Merrit is Isa’s brother and I was definitely crushing on him. I would totally be into him if he existed in real life. I also appreciated the mental illness rep (more on that in a bit.) I want to briefly focus on the Latino rep. Both Isa (I think) and Alex have latino heritage but it is Alex’s Dominican American family that the novel focuses on. It was super cool to see them speaking occasional Spanish, even though I couldn’t understand it. I don’t speak a lick of Spanish.I also loved the general culture and feel of Alex’s home because it reminded me of the (sometimes awkward) family lunches we have on my dad’s side. Oh, another thing. Alex called his dad “Papi” which is something I actually do but when talking about him to really anyone, I just say my dad because it’s easier than explaining “Papi”. Also, I’m lazy. To end, I want to discuss the mental illness representation which was just as important and meaningful as the Latino rep. Both Merrit and his mother struggle with bipolar disorder and Merrit deals with depression and, towards the end of the book, (view spoiler)[suicide and suicidal ideations (Trigger Warning for that) (hide spoiler)]. I really appreciated this raw, accurate and emotional display of what it is like to deal with mental illness and to know someone who deals with it. Overall, this book was romantic, sure, but it went so much deeper than that. From Latino culture and heritage to bipolar disorder, This Train Is Being Held covers many important topics in a raw, honest, and emotional way that will have every reader switching back and forth from laughter to tears. Bottom Line:4.5 StarsAge Rating: [ PG-13 ]Content Screening (Spoilers) - Educational Value (4/5) - [Latino culture and heritage, theatre, bipolar disorder and how to deal/cope with it] ~ Positive Messages (4/5) - [Endurance and strength, friendships, being your own person] ~ Violence (3/5) - [In the climax, a character is threatened with a knife and multiple people fall onto train tracks. Many characters are injured but no one dies.] ~ Sex (3/5) - [Kissing, removal of clothing but no on page sex.] ~ Language (1/5) - [Brief and mild language] ~ Drinking/Drugs (4/5) - [Character purposely overdoses on medications] Trigger and Content Warnings - Overdosing on drugs, Suicide Attempt, Suicidal Ideations, Depression, Bipolar disorder, Racism (always in a negative light), Violence, Loss & Harm to a loved oneCover: 4/5 ~ Characters: 4/5 ~ Plot: 4/5 Publication Date: February 11th, 2020Publisher: Amulet (Abrams)Genre: Romance/Contemporary------Super cute and fun but with a perfect amount of heavy and important topics as well. Review to come!------latino rep!!! | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    This turned out to be an okay read, but I was hoping for more. There were elements of the story I liked and others I didn't. I think the the biggest problem for me was I wasn't all that interested in Alex although I'm not quite sure why that was the case. He just kinda fell flat and I actually would have preferred if the story would have followed Isa the entire time instead of alternating between her and Alex. I was way more invested in her family life rather than her romantic life. High school This turned out to be an okay read, but I was hoping for more. There were elements of the story I liked and others I didn't. I think the the biggest problem for me was I wasn't all that interested in Alex although I'm not quite sure why that was the case. He just kinda fell flat and I actually would have preferred if the story would have followed Isa the entire time instead of alternating between her and Alex. I was way more invested in her family life rather than her romantic life. High school students Isabelle Warren and Alex Rosario first meet while riding on the subway train. And despite the fact they live in NYC with a population of I don't know how many millions of people, they keep running into one another on the same train. What are the odds? (actually pretty good when you are reading a romance) Isa is half Cuban and has dreams of becoming a dancer. She comes from a wealthy family, but her home life isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Dominican-American Alex isn't living a life of privilege like Isa. His father is controlling and wants Alex to excel in sports, however Alex wants to be a poet. So this is one of those slow burn romances that takes place over the course of a couple years. While I thought both Isa and Alex were likable people, I was pretty indifferent about the romantic aspects of their relationship. For me this worked as a better straight up fiction story rather than a romance. I give the author credit for giving the story some substance instead of just churning out a fluffy teen romance. Both characters had interesting backstories, but I do wish I would have clicked better with Alex. In no way am I saying he was a poorly written character, it's more of a case of as a reader you aren't always going to connect with every character in a book. Had I cared more about him, this probably would have been a much better read for me.I appreciate the author's attempt to explore serious subjects in this young adult romance. If that is the type of thing that interests you and/or you like stories with diverse characters, you might want to check this one out.I won a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • c, (½ of readsrainbow)
    January 1, 1970
    On my blog. Rep: half Cuban mc, Dominican American mc, side characters with bipolar disorderCWs: suicidal ideation, suicide attempt (off page, side char), racismGalley provided by publisherQuite frankly, this book bored me to near death. From about a fifth through, I had to almost force myself to read it, I was that tired. I mean, ultimately, it’s not a bad book, I just have very low tolerance for straight YA contemporary and this one definitely fell below that.This Train is Being Held is about On my blog. Rep: half Cuban mc, Dominican American mc, side characters with bipolar disorderCWs: suicidal ideation, suicide attempt (off page, side char), racismGalley provided by publisherQuite frankly, this book bored me to near death. From about a fifth through, I had to almost force myself to read it, I was that tired. I mean, ultimately, it’s not a bad book, I just have very low tolerance for straight YA contemporary and this one definitely fell below that.This Train is Being Held is about two characters I can’t even remember the names of (Isabelle and Alex, thanks synopsis) who meet, and fall in love, on the metro. Now, that actually did hook me, so I really thought I might like this book. Unfortunately, it’s so fraught with miscommunication (or straight up non-communication) and just general treating people kind of awfully, that I couldn’t stand it.The first time Alex and Isabelle meet, Alex defends her from some creep leering at her in her dancewear. To which Isabelle comments it’s probably her fault because of what she’s wearing. And to which my immediate reaction was, it’s some choice to have your female character express internalised misogyny so the male character can correct/comfort her and thus establish himself as a Good Feminist Guy. And by “some choice” I mean it’s not a choice I appreciate.But, I thought, maybe it will improve.More fool me.Next, the second time Alex and Isabelle meet, Isabelle’s friend has just dared her to go up to a stranger on the train and kiss them. Luckily (of a sort), Alex is on the train, so Isabelle goes up to him. Having spoken with him a grand total of one (1) time. Which borders sexual harrassment, surely? Crude example, but swap the genders around, have Alex go up to Isabelle and it’s suddenly more obviously unacceptable (ask me about the reverse sexual double standard, I covered that in my research project…). And so now I’m supposed to actually root for Isabelle, somehow. Okay, so she does apologise later on, but – could just be me – an apology after the fact does not nearly make up for doing it.And then we skim along a bit while they’re actually together, and then, woe of woes, they break up due to miscommunication. Which would be fine in itself only Alex then has to go be an absolute dickhead, kiss another girl immediately (and start dating her), despite knowing that he is still in love with Isabelle, and that Kiara, this other girl, is distinctly in love with him. So it just ends up him treating her like crap. And here I am, unable to like either Alex or Isabelle. (Also, of note, he never really apologises to Kiara for this.)But I am not done yet! Then there’s the ending which is, quite frankly, chaos. Throughout the book there’s hints at something more coming, from references to Danny joining a gang and the racism that Alex faces. And that comes to a head at the end. Only, it feels too late on to give it the weight both topics really deserve. They’re attacked by members of another gang, Alex is a victim of police brutality, but it’s all almost shrugged off at the end. Danny gets out, Alex mentions going to therapy. Okay we’re done. Combined with the fact that this book is already trying to deal with the topic of mental illness, just leaves these two other topics – both of which deserve to be dealt with way more thoroughly than it felt they were – sort of like afterthoughts in the narrative. The police brutality in particular.One final point. I’m not sure what the rep in this is like (particularly the Dominican rep and the bipolar rep). I don’t know enough myself and I haven’t found any reviews yet, but you know when you get a slight feeling about it? Well yeah.In the end, then, not only was I disappointed, but apparently I was also annoyed enough to write this long a review. Oops.
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  • Roxanne (The Novel Sanctuary)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5
  • Marochka
    January 1, 1970
    7/10
  • rachael ♡
    January 1, 1970
    This cover and this synopsis are both so good !!!
  • Sacha
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC! I'll post my review in early February prior to publication.
  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed my long train ride with Alex and Isa. Full review to follow. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
  • michelle (magical reads)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starstw: suicide ideation, suicide attemptfull review to come
  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds absolutely heartbreaking re: I wanna read it
  • Elyse (ElyseReadsandSpeaks)
    January 1, 1970
    This story had a lot of things going on - interracial relationship, racism, gang violence, mental health, stereotypes of white vs. brown (ballet vs. baseball). It was alright. It was a cute romance story with some interwoven deeper themes and it at least held my attention.I'm curious to hear what a bilingual speaker thinks of the constant mashup of English and Spanish in a single sentence. Is it typical for bilingual speakers to speak like this? I have no clue. I understood 90% of the Spanish This story had a lot of things going on - interracial relationship, racism, gang violence, mental health, stereotypes of white vs. brown (ballet vs. baseball). It was alright. It was a cute romance story with some interwoven deeper themes and it at least held my attention.I'm curious to hear what a bilingual speaker thinks of the constant mashup of English and Spanish in a single sentence. Is it typical for bilingual speakers to speak like this? I have no clue. I understood 90% of the Spanish since I have a basic grasp of the language, but some words or phrases were lost on me. I'm also curious to hear what people think that have no knowledge of Spanish whatsoever. I can't imagine this being an enjoyable story for people with no understanding of Spanish since it was used so frequently. I'm not saying it's good or bad - I'm just curious to hear different takes. It was jarring for me at times since I'm only fluent in English and I felt like I was constantly translating things in my head.I'm always curious to see how mental health is portrayed in YA and I'm on the fence on this one. On one hand, I think Merritt was an accurate depiction of bipolar disorder - can be lively and charming, then quickly change to devoid of feeling and self-centered. The character I didn't quite get was Isa's mom. The book blurb notes that she's a Latina with a "volatile temper," but then we quickly learn by reading the first few chapters in the book that she is bipolar. That's kind of a huge difference. Also, we didn't really see anything about mom's bipolar disorder - we just saw her being strict and judgmental about dance and "moreno" boys. Just confused as to what the overall point of that character was.As for Isa and Alex, they were fine. Nothing to make me swoon (but that may be because I'm not into poetry so I wouldn't swoon like Isa did). It was fine for a one time read, but I think this one will stay in the contemporary vault for me.
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  • Kat.reads.more
    January 1, 1970
    First, I would like to say when love was happening in this book I really enjoyed it. Also, the things Alex faces in society were very eye opening and are important for YA to read for a better understanding of how race can impact someone’s life. But honestly this book was like a broken record. The characters were literally the worst at communicating, like went weeks without talking even though they were together, and I feel like that just isn’t how teenagers act with their first loves. Alex was First, I would like to say when love was happening in this book I really enjoyed it. Also, the things Alex faces in society were very eye opening and are important for YA to read for a better understanding of how race can impact someone’s life. But honestly this book was like a broken record. The characters were literally the worst at communicating, like went weeks without talking even though they were together, and I feel like that just isn’t how teenagers act with their first loves. Alex was constantly believing he wasn’t good enough and Isa was constantly embarrassed of her family. Literally chapters and chapters of Alex and Isa saying this over and over. I just thought this was going to be more of a love story and that was half of the book, but the other half was just to slow for me.
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  • Jasmine
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with the ARC of this book. Review will be posted here closer to the publication date.
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Real rating: 3.5 stars
  • Chattynatty
    January 1, 1970
    Isa Warren and Alex Rosario could not be any different. Isa is a blond, half Cuban/half Irish, ballet dancer who lives on Park Avenue. Alex goes to a public high school near Yankees Stadium. His school is known to produce some great baseball players and he is one of them. He also is Dominican-American, parents are divorced and his father lives in Brooklyn, and used to play for the Yankees. Alex is from the "other side of the tracks". However, they have similarities. They are both very passionate Isa Warren and Alex Rosario could not be any different. Isa is a blond, half Cuban/half Irish, ballet dancer who lives on Park Avenue. Alex goes to a public high school near Yankees Stadium. His school is known to produce some great baseball players and he is one of them. He also is Dominican-American, parents are divorced and his father lives in Brooklyn, and used to play for the Yankees. Alex is from the "other side of the tracks". However, they have similarities. They are both very passionate about their activities: dance and baseball. They both are very close with their families. They also have secrets in their lives that they aren't sharing with each other or anyone. They meet on the train/subway and from their the relationship and story grows. What kept on striking me throughout this book is how I will never know what it feels like to not be a Caucasian woman. I will never know how it feels to be judged by the color of my skin. This book again and again reminded me about how easy it is to make judgment of others without really knowing their story, who they are, who they really are. I also loved the way the author used the subway as a setting, but it was more; it was a character in the book. I loved visualizing the people, the sounds, and NYC through the subway's eyes. I also really enjoyed how she melded language in this book. Some of the dialogue between Alex and his friends, parents and even Isa included Spanish. The author did a great job of writing the dialogue in Spanish and then having the English fall behind it for those of us who've been away from our 8th grade Spanish class for too long.I'd recommend this book for 8th-12th graders. Perfect YA- I call it perfect because that type of YA is enjoyable for all readers, even adults.
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  • Sharondblk
    January 1, 1970
    A couple of influential readers recommended this book, so I requested it on NetGalley. I almost DNFd this one at 33 percent. It's well written and each word - sentence - chapter is quite lovely, but I found I just didn't care. I think this book is trying to address Big Issues, such as mental health, money and class, race, but it brushes very lightly over the top of these. In some cases it seems to fall into stereotypes. Maybe I'm just naive, of maybe every single person in New York hates A couple of influential readers recommended this book, so I requested it on NetGalley. I almost DNFd this one at 33 percent. It's well written and each word - sentence - chapter is quite lovely, but I found I just didn't care. I think this book is trying to address Big Issues, such as mental health, money and class, race, but it brushes very lightly over the top of these. In some cases it seems to fall into stereotypes. Maybe I'm just naive, of maybe every single person in New York hates everyone from the Dominican republic. Or maybe its not because Alex is brown, maybe it's because he's a big loud youth, carrying on big and loud with his big loud friends.There were other things that irritated me - like the untranslated Spanish. I mean, I could figure it out in context, but that's not really how I like to read books. Mainly though, it irritated me that they kept on bumping into each other on the train. New York is a big city and the subway runs every two to ten minutes (yes, I googled it). The chances of two people repeatedly being in the same subway car - and not on the way to work or school, but at random times on the weekend, seems slim to me.But maybe maybe real problem is that the two main characters' love seemed very slight. And they did that romance novel thing were the female lead has just one friend. So, with all these criticisms, why three stars? Well, this is YA, and I'm not the target audience. Back when I was less wrinkly and cynical I probably would have liked this more. Also, on the weekend I just sat on the couch and read, so it was sort of pleasant, if annoying. As always, I thank NetGalley and the publishers for the e-Arc, in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jennifer Ayala
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot express how much I enjoyed the book, from the beginning to the end there was never a dull moment. I was eager to find out more and more of what was to come and found myself finishing the first book I've completely read in years, in just 2 days. One of my many favorite parts of this book was the emotion the author put into it especially in Isa because of how chaotic her life gets the further into the book I sunk. Throughout the book we read all the thoughts and perceptions through I cannot express how much I enjoyed the book, from the beginning to the end there was never a dull moment. I was eager to find out more and more of what was to come and found myself finishing the first book I've completely read in years, in just 2 days. One of my many favorite parts of this book was the emotion the author put into it especially in Isa because of how chaotic her life gets the further into the book I sunk. Throughout the book we read all the thoughts and perceptions through different lenses between Isa and Alex. We see Isa especially struggle when she thinks to herself "Dad's coming out just as I reach the door. I smile really big, pretending nothing is wrong. Dad and I, we're the ones who have to stay positive. No matter what"(Williams 142). One of the most outstanding parts of this book is how realistic it can get, how life isn't picture perfect although it has the most perfect love story. Truthfully it was excellent and i'd recommend to any one with a sweet tooth for cheesy love stories.
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  • Jenny Bravo
    January 1, 1970
    This story hit close to home and hurt my heart.Being a latina and living in the south makes you feel some type of way. Isa and Alex's story is one that isn't hard to believe. It's a love story in the same vein as West Side Story and I couldnt help but connect the two and fall in love all over again. This felt like a modern retelling of West Side Story, with the roles flipped. Alex was by far my favorite character, he had so much depth to his personality and I enjoyed his perspective. Both the This story hit close to home and hurt my heart.Being a latina and living in the south makes you feel some type of way. Isa and Alex's story is one that isn't hard to believe. It's a love story in the same vein as West Side Story and I couldnt help but connect the two and fall in love all over again. This felt like a modern retelling of West Side Story, with the roles flipped. Alex was by far my favorite character, he had so much depth to his personality and I enjoyed his perspective. Both the harshness of his reality and the love he has for Isa. Other than being a love story, the underlying themes of racism and mental health were present throughout the entirety of the book. Sometimes taking the lead in the plot and helping move the story forward. Well done, eye opening *I hope* and beautiful.
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  • Vinny —☽.。* Artsy Draft
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Amulet Books for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
  • Lisa Nagel
    January 1, 1970
    Really really enjoyed this, and it is so much more than just a book about a girl and a boy who fall in love on the New York City subway. It also convincingly illustrates how it feels to be judged by the way you look, or where you live. Isa and Alex seem to come from two different worlds, but they are both struggling to find their way doing what is expected of them. I found this to be not only a wonderful romance but a powerful book that explores prejudice and how we get caught up in one another’ Really really enjoyed this, and it is so much more than just a book about a girl and a boy who fall in love on the New York City subway. It also convincingly illustrates how it feels to be judged by the way you look, or where you live. Isa and Alex seem to come from two different worlds, but they are both struggling to find their way doing what is expected of them. I found this to be not only a wonderful romance but a powerful book that explores prejudice and how we get caught up in one another’s assumptions and expectations. It also illustrates how mental illness can affect a family, and how important it is to stand up for those we love. A powerful book with a “I couldn’t put it down” pace....and also a just a great love story.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    ARC from Follett First LookThere were a lot of things that I liked about this book-- the NYC setting, Isa's Cuban background that isn't apparent by looking at her, Alex's Dominican background and his father's insistence that he will be a great baseball player, the two's unlikely but satisfying romance, the ballet, and the cast of supporting characters. However, it is a long book, with tiny print, and even my 8th grade girls who want more YA romances are probably not going to pick this up. I ARC from Follett First LookThere were a lot of things that I liked about this book-- the NYC setting, Isa's Cuban background that isn't apparent by looking at her, Alex's Dominican background and his father's insistence that he will be a great baseball player, the two's unlikely but satisfying romance, the ballet, and the cast of supporting characters. However, it is a long book, with tiny print, and even my 8th grade girls who want more YA romances are probably not going to pick this up. I would definitely purchase it for a high school library, and will probably be sending the ARC to a former student who is a dancer.
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  • Jenn Adams
    January 1, 1970
    Received an eARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest reviewI like this selection a lot! Reading the description initially, I thought for sure it was gonna be insta-love or at least a relatively fluffy book. In reality, we got fleshed out, realistically flawed characters who develop a real connection. Are some parts a little far fetched? Sure, but not to the extent that they take away from the overall story. The author addresses some very real issues (race; mental health; honesty in Received an eARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest reviewI like this selection a lot! Reading the description initially, I thought for sure it was gonna be insta-love or at least a relatively fluffy book. In reality, we got fleshed out, realistically flawed characters who develop a real connection. Are some parts a little far fetched? Sure, but not to the extent that they take away from the overall story. The author addresses some very real issues (race; mental health; honesty in relationships) in ways that seemed more nuanced than many YA novels. The cover is also very aesthetically pleasing so that helps too!
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  • Amanda Arkans -
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful book! The characters are what makes This Train is Being Held so special. I'm so sad that the book has ended and I have to say goodbye to them.
  • Lissa
    January 1, 1970
    Quality issues-based and realistic teen romance.
  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    Great YA book! Handles discrimination, mental health issues, gangs, and dis-functional families, all wrapped up in the sweet package of a love story!
  • Hira Chaudhary
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.I think I liked the concept behind this book more than anything. I liked the idea of two people from different worlds meeting on a train going in opposite directions and falling in love. The book itself is kind of like that, but not quite what I was expected. It felt a lot more hodgepodge than what I wanted and while Isa and Alex were both great and complex characters, I just wasn't overly sold on their story.
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  • Mo
    January 1, 1970
    ARC given by NetGalley for Honest Review[2.5 Stars]"This Train Is Being Held" has a lot going on in it's story. Between ballet vs. baseball, mental illness, gang violence, racism, and teen romance I wasn't sure what the heck was going on half the time. Isa and Alex are likeable enough characters and have some cute moments but they lack any real spark of your typical YA first love romance that we all love so much. The look into harder issues like racism and mental illness were commendable and ARC given by NetGalley for Honest Review[2.5 Stars]"This Train Is Being Held" has a lot going on in it's story. Between ballet vs. baseball, mental illness, gang violence, racism, and teen romance I wasn't sure what the heck was going on half the time. Isa and Alex are likeable enough characters and have some cute moments but they lack any real spark of your typical YA first love romance that we all love so much. The look into harder issues like racism and mental illness were commendable and it's good to read about it candidly and not sugar coated.As someone who is bilingual (French though so maybe I'm not the exact audience) I found the spanish mix-ins endearing but not believable. From personal experience (which is personal so feel free to disregard) this isn't accurate for speakers of more than two languages.I think if this story had focused on one or two issues the story could have been more well rounded. I was excited about Isa's story in the first half of the book but my focus got muddied by many different plot points popping up throughout. I'd still recommend this to teens looking for an "own voices" romance or someone looking for a sports story that's a little off the beaten path.
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