Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “This Train Is Being Held” as Want to Read:
This Train Is Being Held
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

This Train Is Being Held

by
3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,584 ratings  ·  344 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Amulet Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,584 ratings  ·  344 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of This Train Is Being Held
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 n
...more
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up to a 4. Wow. The romance at the center of this book grabbed me from their first interaction and held me completely captivated through to the end. The plot however was a different story. It was a lot harder to connect to because the book takes place over a pretty long period of time and we only really get glimpses of what is going on every few weeks, so while I 100% believed in Alex and Isa's relationship (it reminded me A LOT of being a teen and having random crushes on people I w ...more
Irena BookDustMagic
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this cute (yet serious and heartbreaking) diverse story.

Full review to come.
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

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
...more
Katie B
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
...more
a
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars



Wow...I knew that I was going to love this book but I never expected it to be my first 5 star read of the year and an instant favorite for 2020!

When I heard about this book and heard it was about two latinx teenagers falling in love; one who is Dominican and one who is half-Cuban, I knewthat I had to read it. It means so much to me whenever I read a book that has POC characters but learning that Alex was Dominican and reading this book and seeing Ismée Williams get the culture so right
...more
The Nerd Daily
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Vinny MS

Featuring an unexpected subway encounter, Ismée Williams’ newest contemporary, This Train Is Being Held, is going to make you swoon over the slow-burn romance between Isabelle Warren, a girl who does her dance routines in secret due to a strict mother, and Alex Rosario, a boy who plays baseball in pressure in attempt to make his father proud. Heavily centered around Spanish culture and heritage in the current timeline, Isa and Alex’s jou
...more
charlotte,
On my blog.

Rep: half Cuban mc, Dominican American mc, side characters with bipolar disorder

CWs: suicidal ideation, suicide attempt (off page, side char), racism

Galley provided by publisher

Quite 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 abo
...more
Jenny Jo Weir
Now this is how you do YA. This story was beautiful, from start to finish. Had it not have been for Isabelle's secretiveness, and her whole shadiness, I'd have given this one five stars. I wish she'd have opened up and been honest. I don't like when everything falls apart simply because of the characters refusal to speak. Other than that, I loved every second of this one, including the struggles and turmoil Alex had to endure and his entire journey. This one was lovely indeed. ...more
Amy Bruestle
Aug 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I won this book through a giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

Okay... I kept going back and forth between 3 stars and 4 stars, but decided on 3 in the end. Although the book was cute, and definitely had some great parts to it, it also had some issues. First, it took FOREVER for anything interesting to happen. The best part of the book, and the most action all happened in the last 50 pages! I’m glad i made it that far, because i did really enjoy those parts, but I’m not going to lie, I con
...more
Chapters And Sparkles
MY THOUGHTS

First of all, I want to thank to the publishing house Abrams & Chronicle Books for giving me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

First of all, I liked the romance between Alex and Isabelle and it was very emotional to read about it. The relationship between these two people is so beautiful and unique. Just reading the author’s description of it, makes me want to cry. Also, I like how the author, Ismee, tells the story in two ways. First of all, we have this cute, slow-burning
...more
Ellie
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!! Alex was just everythingggggg, me encanto ❤️ I LOVED his relationship with his mom and how sweet he was 😭 (All the bachata and merengue references were EVERYTHING)

This book wasn’t perfect but regardless I loved it and I’m so happy it exists. At first it was hard to keep track of the story because there’s time jumps but overall I can’t get over how beautiful this book was. (It’s mostly a love story but there’s also sooo many other important topics discussed)
kate
A truly delightful and surprising read.

The romance was EVERYTHING. It was tender and warm and raw and everything you could possibly want in a YA romance. It was somehow both an 'instalove' story and a slow burn romance and I loved it so, so much. I was 100% all in and onboard with it from the get go and coming from someone who pretty much never gets on with 'instalove' style romances, that's saying a lot.

The plot itself was gently paced and I was hooked from the first page until the last. It was
...more
Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany)
A modern romance inspired by West Side Story, This Train is Being Held is full of beauty and heartache, touching on young love, mental health, and racism. Isabelle and Alex meet on a subway train in NYC, and so begins the saga of their love story against all odds, often featuring the subway.

Isa is a white-passing Cuban-American ballet dancer who attends a private school and dreams of being a professional dancer while her mother pushes her toward medicine. Her family life is complicated with bot
...more
Vee_Bookish
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
One day I am going to find a story about characters who meet repeatedly on a train/bus/coach that I actually enjoy, and then my life will be complete. While this story had the elements I was looking for, I didn't root for Alex and Isa as a couple, and that's a major issue.

I didn't like Isa as a person, her choices to not tell Alex anything about her family life made sense at first, but not when they became a couple. When she had to cancel on Alex suddenly, she didn't tell him what was going on,
...more
Ta || bookishbluehead
The concept was great and sounded like it could be a fluffy rom-com, but it was much more serious than I thought it would be.

This book tackles many important subjects like racism, police brutality, gang violence, depression, other mental health concerns and dysfunctional families. And there are even more. In my opinion these all deserve more attention than they could be given in a 350 page book.

I didn’t enjoy the romance, it felt like insta-love and honestly for the first part of the book I was
...more
Samantha (WLABB)
While rushing to ballet audition, a kind stranger, Alex, held the train door for Isa. Over the next few months, they continued to cross paths on this train line, which led to friendship and more.

• Pro: The premise was fantastic! In a city of more than 8.6 million, these two kept bumping into each other. The universe was definitely trying to tell them something! I found it all terribly romantic, and also, so New York.

• Pro: The romance developed over quite a long period of time. There were gaps
...more
Claude's Bookzone (semi hiatus)
3.5 Stars

CW: (view spoiler)

Another pleasant surprise with a wonderfully diverse cast. This is definitely a romance but not a cute and fluffy one. It’s about two people from different worlds who meet on a train and feel drawn to each other. As the relationship progresses they see that there can be wonderful moments and challenging ones for people from both sides of the ‘tracks’.
...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
This book was not at all what I expected - it was even better. This is a good example of a story that takes the insta-love trope, turns it around, and creates a stunning slow-burn romance interconnected with how life can get complicated and get in the way.

- Follows Isa, a white-passing biracial Cuban-American teen, and Alex, a brown Dominican-American teen, and how they meet on the train over the course of three years.
- Like I said, I loved that this story takes an insta-love moment - Alex and
...more
Rahma
Jun 05, 2020 rated it did not like it

This one was so boring I almost DNF’d it, then decided to continue but had to listen to the audiobook on thrice the speed just to get it over with, which I never do.
Not to mention both the main characters were really annoying. The romance was so rushed; I particularly hated the way it started.
I’m really disappointed because this was an anticipated read for me.
Yna from Books and Boybands
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
"I love my family. I love the island they came from. I don’t love that I tense up every time a cop passes. I don’t love that strangers look at me like I’m someone who’s going to hurt them instead of help. Do I wish I were different? Yeah, sometimes I do. And I hate myself for it. But that wasn’t why I was with Isa. It’s maybe why I’m not with her, though."
...more
Stacey-Lea
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
While it did take me a little time to get into this story, as the pacing is very spaced out spanning across three years with only snippets of time told, by the end I absolutely adored it.

Alex and Isa reminded me of what it was like to be a teen falling for someone for a single train ride, but take that further in asking what you would do if you kept seeing that person? If you felt enigmatically drawn to them each time?

A very grounded contempoary with a few trigger warnings of suicide, depressi
...more
Eeva
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yawn.
This book had such a cool premise, but it was insanely boring. Even the climax scene was like meh. After that everything felt rushed.
Jade Hall
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, young-adult
boring, overly dramatic, and tried to tackle too many issues that all of them fell flat

2 stars
Julia
Aug 05, 2021 rated it did not like it
A collection of cliches loosely bound by the facsimile of a plot.
Merb
In this young adult contemporary, we follow teenagers Alex and Isa. Alex wants to be a poet, but his father wants him to be a pro baseball player. Isa wants to be a pro ballet dancer, but her mother wants her to do something less feminine. The two meet on a train and instantly feel an attraction. We follow their romance and lives over the next three years as things fall apart, but also fall into place.

This was an ordinary, run of the mill romance. Alex and Isa had a surprisingly realistic relat
...more
Ann
Mar 05, 2022 rated it liked it
A decent romance, takes place mostly on subway cars in NYC. The insta-love thing at the beginning was a hurdle to get over. And then all the secrets that everyone kept, that seemed a little too much to get over too. I was mostly worried for little brother Robi -- the observant, sensitive one who just wants attention and gets nothing from papi.

Their worlds collided in the big climax, and the way things got tied up in a neat bow in the denoument seemed a little far-fetched.
Preye
Oct 29, 2021 rated it liked it
The author sidestepped many of the issues that she could have easily hammered into, but, on second thought, I will always prefer vague references to a contentious issue to an author shooting out half-baked uninformed “facts.”

Links:  Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Reedsy
...more
Lee
TW: drug overdose, suicide attempt/ideas, depression, bipolar, racism, violence

I had really hoped for more from this story, but it didn't end up being there for me and I haven't been able to pin down why yet.

Isabelle, Isa, meets Alex on the train one day. He captures her attention and she captures his. As they continue to run into each other on the subway, they get to know each other a little more.

I really enjoyed moments of this book. Isa and Alex had a number of cute moments together. Plus,
...more
Aly
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a great read! I really enjoyed the concept of the story, following Isa and Alex as they encounter each other multiple times on the subway and form a relationship over the course of two years. The characters were well written and the pacing was great. Isa frustrated me a bit because she didn't know how to let anyone in and kept things from Alex and her family. It's hard to watch someone make choices that hurt themselves and others, I just wanted to jump in and help her. Alex is a great ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Nerd Daily Bo...: A Special Treat... 10 4 Aug 18, 2020 12:16PM  
The Nerd Daily Bo...: Read-Along Schedule 6 9 Aug 02, 2020 09:38AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)
  • Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2)
  • Akin
  • A Strangely Wrapped Gift
  • The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.
  • Skim
  • Good Boys: Poems
  • The Weddings (Inheritance collection)
  • This Book of Mine
  • Behind Every Lie
  • Red and Lulu
  • The Greedy Goat
  • Home
  • The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents: The Play
  • The Nameless Hero (Joshua Dread #2)
  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
  • Baby's First Knits: 20 Irresistible Knits For Babies
See similar books…

Articles featuring this book

Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to relish the latest works from beloved Hispanic and Latinx authors like Isabel Allende, Natalia...
144 likes · 89 comments
“Because it doesn’t matter where you come from. If you work hard enough, you can do anything. Become anyone.” 5 likes
“Chrissy shakes her head. “Listen, sometimes you don’t know a person’s whole story.” She swats at a curl. “Sometimes we keep secrets from the people we care about. Because we’re trying to protect them. Or protect ourselves.” 5 likes
More quotes…