[KINDLE] ❃ This Train Is Being Held By Ismée Amiel Williams – Godeals365.co.uk


This Train Is Being Held This is stunning, heart breaking, I cannot hold back my tears Oh, no My cries are literally ugly This is 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 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 genuine and 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 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 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. This turned out to be an okay read, but I was hoping for 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 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 of a case of as a reader you aren t always going to connect with every character in a book Had I cared 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. Many thanks to Amulet for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest reviewFalling 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 phraseover 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 ARGUMENTI 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 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 enjoyed this cute yet serious and heartbreaking diverse story.Full review to come. 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 both her mom and older brother being diagnosed as bipolar, and a mom who has racist tendencies toward anyone with darker skin Alex is a Dominican boy and talented baseball player, pushed by his over zealous father to focus all his attention on the sport He is very aware of his brown skin and regularly experiences micro aggressions and has had negative experiences with the police One of his friends is slipping into gang activity and he doesn t know how to help.Isa and Alex fall hard and fast for each, but their lives are complicated and both of them are hiding significant struggles from each other They have a very sweet relationship, with Alex hiding poetry under train seats for Isa to find, but I was very frustrated with their lack of communication The author is definitely self aware about this and there is an arc of growth late in the book, but and a former oversharer, I had a difficult time relating I can t imagine falling in love and not sharing such critical information as Isa and Alex hide That said, there is a lot to love here.We get a rich and nuanced portrayal of mental health, racism, and Latinx culture The author is Cuban American and there is a great deal of Spanish woven into the text Non speakers might be frustrated with the lack of translation, but I thought it was beautiful and well done I didn t go in expecting this to hit on such serious issues While it is a romance, it also has elements of a hard hitting contemporary, so do check content trigger warnings if you need them Ultimately, I really enjoyed this book and thought the author did a great job of weaving so much in I would check it out I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley and the publisher All opinions are my own.CW include racist language and microagressions, police violence, attempted suicide, depictions of bipolar, borderline emotional child abuse 4.5 starsWowI 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 Ism e Williams get the culture so rightit brought tears to my eyes so many times while reading There is so much about this book that was amazing, I think I hugged this book to my chest no less than 5 times while reading it I just love it so much For the characters, for the culture, for the message and important topics that are talked about in this book and are done so well You can tell this author really put her heart and soul into this book and I felt like I was reading a book written just for me When Alex talked about Dominican culture and about how he gets treated for being darker skinned, that whole conversation about that is so, so important Because it s real and true It s horrible that kids are automatically put into a box based on a person s racist and ignorant perceptions of people based on their skin color or the way they look I also really liked how much of the culture and language was in this book and the conversation on the relationship between Alex and his dad For Isa, since she is biracial and white passing people don t think she s Cuban and often treat her like she s a rich white girl She has privilege in a way that Alex never will I liked that we got to talk about how just because you are white passing doesn t mean you are any less Cuban There s also a lot going on for Isa in her family, what with her mom and brother who are both bipolar and her dad who is struggling at work and Isa doesn t know how much longer she can pretend that everything is fine when it s so clearly not I feel like I could go on and on about how much I loved this book but I m going to stop now because I want to go back and hold this book a little longer and reread some of my favorite parts I cannot recommend this book enough When Private School Student Isabelle Warren First Meets Dominican American Alex Rosario On The Downtown 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 Pro The premise was fantastic In a city of 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 between each train encounter, and I liked having that time to get to know Alex and Isa separately before getting to know them as a couple Pro Con My heart went out to Isa She was dealing with a LOT of upheaval in her life, but I HATED the way she dealt with it, and I also HATED the way it affected Alex Those were a few dark chapters for me, but Pro I adored Alex He made a few choices I was not super happy about, however I was such a fan of him as friend, a big brother, and a son He was often quite sweet, and there were many times I swooned as he interacted with Isa I loved that he was a jock and a poet, and I was really proud of some of the big decisions he made during this story Pro I WAS a fan of this romance Despite Alex and Isa being from two different New Yorks , they were beautiful together Pro Because I spent such a long period of time with this couple, their family, and their friends, I really grew to care about them all The stupendous ending Williams wrote set my mind at ease about their futures, and I was happy she wrapped up so many of the characters storylines Overall An emotional and heartfelt train ride, which I really enjoyed ARC provided in exchange for an honest review BLOG INSTAGRAM TWITTER BLOGLOVIN FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS 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 guy and I love that he helped anyone who needed it His relationship with his little brother Robi was adorable This has so much emotion and I loved the Latinx representation The friendships were great and I loved seeing people support others The poetry was sweet and heartwarming and I m excited for this to come out so everybody can check it out Thanks to NetGalley and Amulet Books for this ARC


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About the Author: Ismée Amiel Williams

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