The Nerd Daily Book Club discussion

10 views
August: This Train Is Being Held > August Read-Along

Comments Showing 1-39 of 39 (39 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Mimi (new)

Mimi (wherebookscollide) | 39 comments Mod
Hi guys, gals and nonbinary pals!

We've been a bit quiet on here during July as we were focused on educating ourselves as much as possible (and devouring our July read This Phoenix First Must Burn which has some short stories in there that should be used in school curricula worldwide imo) but the months keep coming and they don't stop coming (50 brownie points if you sang that line in your head) and that means that it's almost time for our August book:
This Train Is Being Held by Ismée Williams!

Now, this book choice was all Simone! She has been raving about it ever since she got an early copy and we just thought it was the perfect choice for a summery read and we hope you all agree!

You might also be happy to know that there might be a sneaky giveaway with a special something something from the author herself included in this month's readalong...so keep your eyes peeled for that info ;)

We hope you guys are all doing well, wearing masks and taking care of yourselves!

All the best,
Simone and Mimi


message 2: by Mita_rose (new)

Mita_rose | 14 comments awesome! i just bought the ebook so I'm good to go!


message 3: by Mimi (new)

Mimi (wherebookscollide) | 39 comments Mod
oh yay!! I'm going the audiobook route as well and I really like the two narrators' voices so far :)


message 4: by Simone (new)

Simone (books_first_) | 68 comments Mod
Ahhh hi guys!!! I‘ve also decided on the audio book. I do have the book on my shelf but Haaah the narrators are so lovely and the Spanish and the... love.

How are we feeling about it so far?

I LOVE that the premise is a love story on the subway honestly 🥰


message 5: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) yaaaay my book arrived yesterday, I got a physical copy even though it's a hardback. Excited to start reading.


message 6: by Simone (new)

Simone (books_first_) | 68 comments Mod
Ooooo the hardback is so pretty though 😍😍 I cant wait to hear what you all think. I‘ll just be sitting here in anticipation because I’ve started early this morning and am already swooning again 🥰🥰


message 7: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) haha I'd expect nothing less. Yeah the hardback is pretty so honestly, it's not exactly a hardship lol.


message 8: by Mita_rose (new)

Mita_rose | 14 comments I have a free spotify account so the audiobook shuffles hahaha. I might try though


message 9: by Mimi (new)

Mimi (wherebookscollide) | 39 comments Mod
haha the exact same thing happened to me when I first started the audiobook on spotify :D I got a tiiiinnyy bit confused


message 10: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) Ok am 46 pages in and am really enjoying it! It must be so frustrating to want to talk to someone on a subway but it's so rammed that you can't.


message 11: by Mimi (new)

Mimi (wherebookscollide) | 39 comments Mod
Nicole wrote: "Ok am 46 pages in and am really enjoying it! It must be so frustrating to want to talk to someone on a subway but it's so rammed that you can't."

I honestly think that's so funny considering that strangers constantly (try to) talk to me on the subway even when they can clearly see I have headphones in and it's so crammed that I wouldn't understand them anyway :D so this is kind of a reverse situation but so entertaining!


message 12: by Simone (new)

Simone (books_first_) | 68 comments Mod
Strangers talking to me on a crammed train? Hell no.

But I thought their meet cute was so nice that I would DEFINITELY be frustrated if I couldn’t talk to Alex the next time I saw him tbh!


message 13: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) haha no one talks to me on the tube, THANKFULLY. I am all caught up now and can we talk about the bit with the police because when they walked down the carriage I was STRESSED.


message 14: by Simone (new)

Simone (books_first_) | 68 comments Mod
SAME. How come we‘re stressed about this? Alex didn’t do anything wrong?! I was honestly so nervous. I love how the book makes it clear that Alex is Latinx and has to deal with racism in such a real way eg. When he thinks about what white people see when they look at him.

Honestly, it’s so brilliantly described the unfairness and the horribleness makes me want to scream!!!


message 15: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) Yes! And when the woman covers her nose because she doesn't want to smell their food.

It's so frustrating that it is relevant and realistic, like they legit could have just arrested him for being latinx even if he hadn't been on the original train, and how much of them not stopping him is because he was with Isa. Also, by the way, I LOVE that his friends assume Isa can't speak Spanish because she is white and blonde.


message 16: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) I realise that might not sound right, love as in it's such a good assumption to add in, like here is all the racist things assumed about Alex because he looks latinx but also here is an assumption about someone who is passing for white.


message 17: by Simone (new)

Simone (books_first_) | 68 comments Mod
HAHA I knew exactly what you meant! I loved that whole scene. The way Isa just pretends she doesn't understand them for the longest time and then BAM. Just gets them idiots telt? Is my favourite thing ever.

I agree about the food. Even though I hate hate hate when people eat smelly food on the train. But I don't care what kind of people. A white person having McDonalts or - god forbid - kebab or Bratwurst on a train is definitely no walk in the park. But the way it's being described makes it so clear that the woman holds her nose, takes her boy further away etc. because of racism. And that, put in our current climate, is such a powerful scene I thought. It's so small but obviously has such an impact on these teenagers and worst of all: Alex sounds like he's used to it and understands it to some degree? There's such defeat in there that makes me so sad.

And yes, Alex not being arrested - for no reason - is because he was with a white passing girl. How sad is that? Even on a different train? Imagine if you were just a Latino on that different train minding your own business and not even knowing what had happened?


message 18: by Mita_rose (new)

Mita_rose | 14 comments Mimi wrote: "haha the exact same thing happened to me when I first started the audiobook on spotify :D I got a tiiiinnyy bit confused"

I'm listening on my laptop. for some weird reason it starts from the top there haha


message 19: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) Simone wrote: "But the way it's being described makes it so clear that the woman holds her nose, takes her boy further away etc. because of racism. And that, put in our current climate, is such a powerful scene I thought."

Yeah agreed, I hate people who eat smelly food on public transport too but like you said, this is obviously racism and something Alex notices but attempts to ignore and all those 'small' things add up.

Exactly. Potential arrest just for being latinx and/or wearing a baseball cap.


message 20: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) The fact that this is set on the subway and largely in public places makes it so much easier for the author to add in micro aggressions and racism, like just people ignoring Alex or the woman with kids looking at him with distrust and then smiling once he is with Isa. And then to have Isa's mum also then show racism towards Danny just shines a light on how latinx with darker skin are treated.

Also, Alex leaving poems for Isa to find on the subway is so cute and I love that they are each other's form of escapism <3


message 21: by Mimi (new)

Mimi (wherebookscollide) | 39 comments Mod
Okay I finally caught up (sorry guys, my TBR of ARCs is trying to murder me this month, netgalley should have, like, a warning of when you're requesting too much haha) and I agree with what you said about the microaggressions that Alex has to deal with - I feel like it's so seamlessly put into the narrative because this is what people have to deal with all the time and it's infuriating especially!! since it's such a common occurrence. Makes me want to tear shit down.

But the poems, man. Adorable AF.


message 22: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) Ok I'm caught up now and ugh, all this racism is breaking my heart because HOW THE HELL DOES THIS STILL HAPPEN? Like when Alex's dad was yelling at Robi and the police arrived and I saw something the other day that said when black people go to the hospital they try to tell doctors and nurses all the good things about themselves to proof they are a respected member of society and deserving of healthcare, like that shouldn't be a thing but it happens in this book, like how Alex is treated differently when he's in baseball gear, like how the police treat his dad different when they found out he played for the Yankees. It all just makes me so sad and frustrated.

I also found it interesting that Isa didn't tell her parents where Alex was from because she was trying to protect him but he saw it as she was ashamed of how different they were.


message 23: by Simone (new)

Simone (books_first_) | 68 comments Mod
YES!!!!! 100% agreed!!! Also the fact of how aware everyone is just breaks my heart.

Like Alex is so young and this is something he has to deal with every single day. The micro aggressions, the looks, the assumptions! And how the police is super ready to charge them with something - anything - it seems until they hear baseball. Because surely only respectable people play baseball? It’s so senseless!

I know why Isa didn’t tell her parents. I think mainly because she KNEW how her mum would react and she probably thought her mum wouldn’t make a scene in public. At the same time I 100% Understand Alex‘ feelings about the whole situation because he‘s back in a place where he feels judged based on the colour of his skin!

I absolutely adore the love story between the two, it is so sweet and hopeful and Ernest and at the same time there are things they are keeping from each other because they feel like they’re in this lovely bubble. Again. I get it.

I just want to protect them at all costs honestly 🙈


message 24: by Simone (new)

Simone (books_first_) | 68 comments Mod
Also re: Alex thinking Isa is ashamed... I get that. It’s such a problematic situation because Isa has never once thought anything negative about him being Latino but knows her mother. And alex is just so used to being judged that obviously his mind immediately jumps to that :/


message 25: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) Simone wrote: "Like Alex is so young and this is something he has to deal with every single day. The micro aggressions, the looks, the assumptions! And how the police is super ready to charge them with something - anything - it seems until they hear baseball. Because surely only respectable people play baseball? It’s so senseless!"

Yeah he is so aware and it confused me that his dad just didn't seem aware at all, like Alex knew where the cops were at all times and the other coach knew what it looked like to the cops so stepped in super fast but his dad just seemed to only be angry and oblivious to how cops view him.

100% agree about Alex & Isa.

Also CAN WE TALK ABOUT MERRIT BECAUSE WHAT THE ACTUAL F-?! Privilege at work right there that he was reprimanded but no one cared about the jocks who actually committed the offence.


message 26: by Mita_rose (new)

Mita_rose | 14 comments Simone wrote: "Also re: Alex thinking Isa is ashamed... I get that. It’s such a problematic situation because Isa has never once thought anything negative about him being Latino but knows her mother. And alex is ..."

Exactly.


message 27: by Mita_rose (new)

Mita_rose | 14 comments Nicole wrote: "Simone wrote: "Like Alex is so young and this is something he has to deal with every single day. The micro aggressions, the looks, the assumptions! And how the police is super ready to charge them ..."

Yes! I was wondering about that too! They probably didn't even get told off...


message 28: by Mita_rose (new)

Mita_rose | 14 comments Mimi wrote: "Okay I finally caught up (sorry guys, my TBR of ARCs is trying to murder me this month, netgalley should have, like, a warning of when you're requesting too much haha) and I agree with what you sai..."

A yes I was a bit stunned by that! Just because he told them about the yankees the whole situation changed!
And this happens daily I huess. Even at the school I teach it happens...
For instance someone did something bad but then they tell you about something shitty from their situation at home and colleages just look away. But I always think; she/he still did something we normally don't approve of...
Hope it makes sense :P


message 29: by Mita_rose (new)

Mita_rose | 14 comments I've been listening to the book so far. And I do miss some parts due to multi tasking.

But I really like how their relationship developed. I wonder when isa is going to tell Alex about her parents. She obviously thinks it's her problem to deal with, but they're really falling for eachother so at some point she'll have to open up about herself.

also I like the fact that we're seeing more and more different places in the novel. not just the subway.


message 30: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) Ok I'm confused about what week we are in so hopefully am reading the correct section but WHAT THE HELL, ISA?! Why is she being such an idiot? 🙈🙈


message 31: by Mita_rose (new)

Mita_rose | 14 comments Nicole wrote: "Ok I'm confused about what week we are in so hopefully am reading the correct section but WHAT THE HELL, ISA?! Why is she being such an idiot? 🙈🙈"

We read until dec. 9.

But I agree Isa is such an idiot xD


message 32: by Mita_rose (new)

Mita_rose | 14 comments Hmm okay so I understand that the situation with Merrin is very shocking for her and she wants to keep it private. But it's really not fair to treat Alex this way!
He's been there for her and I know for sure he would be there for her in this situation too!

So at this point I'm kinda angry at Isa and the way she handled it.
Also Alex I hope she comes back to you

I'm also waiting for Isa to tell her mother she doesn't want to be a doctor. I hope she can make her mother realize doing something that makes you happy is more important.

Ooo and what disturbed me is the fact that Ales was just waiting and people were looking at him as if he was going to attack them or something...

So I live in a very rural area compared to New York, Amsterdam etc. and I have to say we have that less here. But I must admit I sometimes think like that too if people are acting suspicious. so that makes me kinda the same as the people walking by in the book. yikes!


message 33: by Simone (new)

Simone (books_first_) | 68 comments Mod
100%!!! The whole moving thing and that her brother and mother are not feeling well is just such a huge thing and I WISH Isa would've just told Alex :S on the other side I do understand why she didn't. There is a lot going on, with Alex, his friends, his father, the never ending pressure... but still!

YES!!! Absolutely. I also sometimes get weird vibes from people but when I first read it it definitely made me more aware of what gave me those vibes. I finally realised that it's mostly people staring intently at me I go out of my way to avoid. But I also know what it's like to be avoided and so it just sucks.


message 34: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) Ok that last section was STRESSFUL. And so relevant and realistic and just, ugh. The racism and the funny looks and micro aggressions towards Alex the whole book were leading up to that and to be honest, I can't believe it didn't end with him being injured or shot!
But they are talking! And their parents are talking and <3 <3


message 35: by Mimi (new)

Mimi (wherebookscollide) | 39 comments Mod
okay I finally made it to the end as well and um STRESSFUL doesn't begin to cover it. My heart was not having it haha.
But I agree with you, Nicole, I thought it was so well done and realistic and not too "out there".
I'm just so glad that Alex is okay!!
I mean Simone did say happy tears so I was hoping nothing too bad happened but still.


message 36: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (foreverbookwandering) I know but with these things we all know how things can end in reality so you never know. So glad it ended on a good note 💙


message 37: by Simone (new)

Simone (books_first_) | 68 comments Mod
HAPPY TEARS YOU GUYS ❤️💖❤️


message 38: by Simone (new)

Simone (books_first_) | 68 comments Mod
Sooo, it's officially September! I hope you all loved the book as much as I do :))
Can't wait to read your reviews! And don't forget to post them to Amazon as well <3


message 39: by Mita_rose (new)

Mita_rose | 14 comments oo I forgot to post my reaction!! man I sat on the tip of my seat!
that were some heavy chapters. imagine what it would've been like if Isa would've told the truth to Alex!!

and the part in the underground! whew that was also heavy!!

I'm really glad they ended up together in the end :)

i'm glad I read the book!


back to top