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The View From A Rusty Train Car

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  20 reviews
“No one talks about what happens when you fall in love with the boy next door -- not when you’re the boy living beside the boy next door.”

Jared didn’t want to do it, but it had to be done. Someone had to sit before the government hearing to explain why a gay man was nothing to be vilified, nothing to be hated or feared... that he was just a man. That is what Jared Montgome
Paperback, 322 pages
Published August 20th 2012 by Writers AMuse Me Publishing (first published August 19th 2012)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  53 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone, humans, m/m, male/male, coming out, coming of age
Recommended to Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog by: DeeJay Arens

A coming of age and coming out story spanning decades, continents and emotions. Highly recommended for readers looking for a reality check. The sweet moments are contrasted well with overwhelming tragedy in very real moments that really hit home.


As the blade sliced into his skin he screamed. “God, forgive me!”

Jared - Shy, honest, innocent. He narrates part of the story. I love his outlook and his growth and I feel his pain. His strength is apparent in the way he is able to carr
Michael Frissore
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was thinking about something the other day. Never has my family screamed at me or shunned me because of who I dated. Plus, I've never been harassed or taken a punch because of who I kissed or held hands with. Not only that, but when I got married, I did so in the pinko commie state of Massachusetts; however, I could have gotten married in whatever part of the country I wanted. It's truly amazing.

Wait. No, it isn't amazing. That's how it's supposed to be.

I read DeeJay Arens' debut novel The V
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DeeJay Arens has written a thoughtful love story. Jared and Luke were two innocent boys that became friends and happened to fall in love. It deepened as they grew up together, and the ugly prejudice in our society made life difficult. It's an intimate inside look on how it might feel to be victimized by this type of homophobic behavior. Bullying. Preachers saying gays and lesbians will have the wrath of God. Family disapproval. Camps to “fix” them - all over their sexual orientation. Something w ...more
Shirley Frances

An overwhelming story of friendship, love and the unfairness of the society we live in.

Jared is the new kid in town who instantly finds himself befriended by Luke. They are as different as night and day, but perfect together. While Jared is a shy loner who prefers to keep to himself, Luke is the friendly next door neighbor who welcomes him with opens his arms. They are inseparable and their bond is strong enough to withstand anything. Or so they hope.

From their younger days as friends, throu
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of these books I'll always remember and I will re-read for sure.

It's the life and love story of Jared and Luke. Both of them are very likeable characters, but sometimes during this book I had the urge to grab them and shake them for all it's worth.
There was love, passion, trust, longing, but also weakness, cowardice, stubbornness and pain.

People around them stood in their way, prevented Jed and Luke from happiness and their love for each other, they were violent, ignorant and he
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of GLBT Fiction; Tearjerker Reads
Reviewed for THC Reviews
The View from a Rusty Train Car is a very moving and emotional story of two young boys who became inseparable best friends, and in doing so, discovered a love for one another of which their families and society did not approve. It ended up being a heart-wrenching, tearjerker of a read that I was not expecting when I started it. Perhaps because a few GoodReads users had this book shelved as M/M romance, I began reading it under the mistaken impression that it was a romance
Love Bytes Reviews
5 star review by Dan

I’m not even sure where to start on this review. This book really played with my emotions, from the heights of happiness to one point in the book where I actually had water leaking from my eyes! Having grown up gay in the United States, I empathized with the plight of the characters. Little things that straight people take for granted, like who to take to the prom, how to talk about your love interests to your family, and even day to day life events like holding hands or your
Yawatta Hosby
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this 59 chapter book. It took me on an emotional rollercoaster with the ups and downs, highs and lows, heartache, devotion, and secrets that happened during Jared and Luke’s relationship. It was sweet how the story started off with them as kids; Jared’s family had just moved to the neighborhood. By the way Luke was very protective of him, I could sense that he liked Jared in a romantic sense, even though they called themselves “best friends.” The setting was through the 1990′s.

My favorit
There are a couple of things I appreciated about this book and quite a few others that I did not like.

Let's start with the positive:

There were some nice tear-jerker moments between our two MCs, sweet declarations and romantic gestures that tugged at the heart-strings. These mostly occurred in the first half of the book when Luke and Jared were growing up and discovering aspects about themselves and their sexuality, all the while living next-door to each other and being 'besties'. A couple of hig
I DNF @ around 35%. I was ignoring formatting errors and plot holes. I was ok with their relationship being on a back and forth - on again, off again routine. It made sense. When Luke was forced to go to a Gay Camp, pray away the gay, and Jared didn't know where Luke went, never heard from him for a year, I could understand that he lost hope, and then started to hate Luke.

Jared moves on eventually and goes to college. Then Luke gets out of the camp and is confused (who wouldn't be; they mess wi
Racing Thoughts
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The View From A Rusty Train Car By DeeJay Arens

Vicki L. Stenerson

A couple meet. They date, fall in love, meet the families, make plans for the future....

But what if both members of the couple are male?

"The View From A Rusty Train Car" is the story of two such men, boys when they fell in love, with all the confusion, terror, and excitement that time brings to us all. They are Luke and Jared, growing up in a climate that does not welcome such revelations. Jared is sure of his sexuality and afraid
Angie Ferrara
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
DeeJay Arens, in my opinion, really hits this one out of the park for me. View from a Rusty Train Car is a tumultuous tale, a tragic yet powerful hybrid love story that makes you feel every emotion rolled into one.

Jared and Luke are best friends and they are also in love. But unfortunately, their love isn't easy and most can't or won't understand. This novel plunges into the tangled world of a forbidden love and confused feelings that have been influenced by closed minded family and peers. Jared
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Love that Dares

The View from a Rust Train Car follows two boys, Luke and Jared who become best friends. They find a pure true love in each other--agape, not eros. Watching tv and playing video games together, a simple hug--that lasts too long--sets their relationship in the cross-hairs of a paranoid society.

Their parents refuse to listen, let alone understand. Amidst beatings from school bullies, Luke's forced internment at a religious camp, and miscommunication on both sides, the love they once
Mary Cote
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am not sure if anyone else has written a 'coming of age' book about two gay characters or not, but I am certainly glad that DeeJay Arens did. The things we take for granted, like simply going to the store for candy, and the things we stress over, like prom dates, all take on a new meaning, thanks to this book. Jared wants to set the record straight... so to speak... explaining that there is no crime in being gay, that gays and lesbians are people as well, but people with a much heavier burden ...more
Mariah Wilson
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it, must-read
This book is possibly one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. The story is so captivating I couldn't put it down. Arens is an excellent writer and his style made it easy to get absorbed in this book. I was captivated from the beginning and at the end I found myself wanting more.

I don't want to give anything away, but you have to read this book. It's uplifting, it's hopeful, it's sad, it's devastating even, but all of it is beautiful. The emotion in it is real and Arens makes you feel ev
June Kramin
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most amazing books I have read. The love the 2 boys shared was absolutely heart wrenching. It's so sad to realize the kind of ignorance by some people portrayed in this book is real. I don't know that there was an emotion I didn't have while reading it. It was one I couldn't put down, begging for things to go the way I wanted them to. I made notes to tell the author "I $#@&ing hate you" then "I $#@%ing love you" for the twists and turns it took. If you read one book this year ...more
David Smith
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not an easy read but hell it is a good one! A fine book-well written and edited-those that do not understand it will never change-those that do will understand-simply said-poignant book-five stars all day
Emma Ramos
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and poignant coming-of-age LGBTQ novel. This is the type of book that ought to be included in all high school libraries. Highly recommended.
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a complex, layered, far-reaching story that covers time and distance really well. It's beautifully written and evocative with compelling imagery. I felt I knew the characters.

I don't tend to like stories that have a lot of bleakness to them or that involve protagonists making a lot of counterproductive choices when what they want is right in front of them, so that was a bit difficult for me, but I can't criticize the book or its author for this, as he wrote about desperate struggles in
Apr 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
I cannot understand how people could rate this book nearly a 5. I was very disappointed at the pace of the story as it unfolded. It reminded me more of a daily soap opera, constant drama and so unrealistic.
Darren Mitton
rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2012
DeeJay Arens
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
rated it it was ok
Feb 18, 2015
rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2015
rated it really liked it
May 23, 2014
AmandaLyn Donogal
rated it it was amazing
Nov 03, 2012
rated it liked it
Sep 21, 2013
Diana Gard
rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2020
rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2012
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2013 Next Generation Indie Book of the Year Award Winner ~ GLBT

2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Award Finalist ~ GLBT

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