Isa, a ballerina, and Alex, a baseball player, first meet while riding the New York subway. From the moment that they first lock eyes, there is an instant curiosity that passes between them. But all too soon, their ride together comes to an end. Over the course of the following months, Isa and Alex continue to run into each other on the subway. With their continual meetings, the two become friends, bonding over their dedication to athletics, but they both claim they are too busy to date. Unfortunately, this means their meetings are rare, so aspiring-poet Alex starts to leave poems for Isa to find. This brings them closer, so much so, that they decide to try to make a relationship work. However, their relationship becomes complicated when secrets are kept and explanations are not given.
This Train is Being Held by Ismée Willimas is a lyrical story about two passionate teenagers. Williams' descriptions are beautiful and create vivid and detailed images in the reader’s mind. Both Isa and Alex have Latin American heritage, and throughout the story, the reader is exposed to experiences that the characters go through because of stereotypes that are placed on them. However, they do not let this stop them from enjoying life. Isa and Alex have so much heart; they care deeply about their family and for each other. Their story of love and being willing to fight for it is moving, as well. In addition, Williams’ discussions of family expectations and making choices to pursue one’s passion—even when it is a different path that what is expected of you—resonates with the reader. This Train is Being Held by Ismée Willimas is a beautiful and powerful love story.