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This Train Is Being Held

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  51 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
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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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
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tucker by: Abrams Books

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
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
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
c, (½ of readsrainbow)
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 about
rachael ♡
Aug 27, 2019 marked it as to-read
This cover and this synopsis are both so good !!!
michelle (magical reads)
3.5 stars

read on my blog

tw: suicide ideation, suicide attempt

**I received an ARC from Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

Sometimes we keep secrets from the people we care about. Because we’re trying to protect them. Or protect ourselves.

I requested This Train Is Being Held because the cover and summary seemed cute. However, I soon realized that this was a much deeper story than I was expecting. This Train Is Being Held is a romance, yes,
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC! I'll post my review in early February prior to publication.

Updated 2/11/20:

I enjoyed many aspects of this novel and will absolutely recommend it as a great option for my YA Literature students who are interested in reading contemporary romance.

My overarching thoughts on this work are here: Though I do think the train scenes could be economized a bit, the narrative flows smoothly overall. Alex is a much more intriguing character because his
May 20, 2019 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
This sounds absolutely heartbreaking re: I wanna read it
2 stars
Thank you NetGally and Amulet Books for giving me a free copy for an honest review. Release date - February 11th 2020
I think it’s time for me to officially break up with “hard hitting” YA Contemporaries. My patience has dwindled to nothing, and find myself frustrated more often than not.
I love the concept of this book - two teens from different worlds meeting on a train that is heading in opposite directions, somehow finding love with each other. It sounds like the fluffy love story
Elyse (ElyseReadsandSpeaks)
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
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with the ARC of this book. Review will be posted here closer to the publication date.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Real rating: 3.5 stars
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Anna Banana
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
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-books
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 ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: january-2020
Thank you Abrams Books for sending me a finished copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A boy and a girl meet on the train, and the boy leaves poetry for her to find as a relationship is kindled on their individual journeys in lives separated by class and circumstances. Isabelle's family is well-to-do with a history of mental illness, whereas Alex's family struggles with money. Both of their parents push Isabelle and Alex toward goals they don't want, with Isabelle longing to dance
Jan 25, 2020 added it
I really really wanted to like this one, the story sounds emotional and heartfelt, but I just couldn’t get into the writing, and therefore it is yet another DNF this month.

Almost immediately there was a situation in the first chapter where main character Isabelle is on the train on her way to a dance audition and gets leered at creepily by a man. When other main character Alex takes notice, he stands in front of her to block the creepy guy’s view. That seemed nice, but then when Isabelle thanks
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
*This book was given by the publisher to give an honest review*
A girl and a boy meet on a New York City subway and it's love at first sight.

I really enjoyed this book and loved the involvement of different Spanish cultures. I really enjoyed reading these characters and felt connected. There were 2 P.O.V.s between the main characters which is lovely for this book. The side characters were also great and loved how they were in the main characters lives a lot and helped them develop. I loved the
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-arc in exchange for my honest review.

Trigger warning: One of the side characters attempts suicide, gang violence is present, police racial profiling of a character.

This Train Is Being Held is told in dual perspectives of Isa a dancer and Alex a baseball player. Both have very different lives, passions, and responsibilities yet they see each other often on the train going to and from there after school activities.
While seeing each other every so
Feb 14, 2020 added it
Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of This Train is Being Held by Ismee Williams.


Isabelle is a successful dancer who is constantly trying to escape the attentions of men. Alex is a successful, well known ball player, who, when out of his uniform, it often profiled for his skin color. Both continue to have happen meetings on the subway that slowly morphs into a romance. But social pressures, racism and stereotypes could possibly stand in their way.

These are important stories. Even
Jennifer Ayala
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jenny Bravo
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Lisa Nagel
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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’ ...more
Vinny —.:* Artsy Draft
Thank you Amulet Books for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases
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 ...more
Ms. Yingling
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
ARC from Follett First Look

There 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
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