This might be the best f/f romance I’ve read? I mean, I don’t want to be facetious or whatever, but I super enjoyed this. I felt the feelings. It got me in my swooners. Plus! I loved the rest of it also. A lot of times in romances you either love the plot and the surroundings or you love the main couple, but here you get the best of both worlds. McQuiston knows how to create atmosphere, she’s great at characters, great at dialogue, and she makes the goofy-as-hell time travel subway plot work. And her publisher had to have scheduled this for Pride month on purpose, because it is so full of queer love and queer history.
I’m not even going to try to explain all that’s going on in this book, because it’s so packed full of stuff, but basically if you’re not aware (and haven’t read the blurb for some reason?) this is a book about a young Millennial who meets a butch Asian lesbian on the Q train in NYC and falls in love with her, only to learn that she’s displaced in time from the 1970s. It’s a riff on the terrible yet watchable movie Kate & Leopold (and apparently the Lost episode “The Constant”), but with queer found family and Popeyes chicken and drag shows and diners and dogs named Noodles.
Even if I hadn’t read the author’s notes or the many interviews McQuiston has given in promoting the book (including a great one here on GR) it would have been easy to tell they did their homework. A transplanted New Yorker, McQuiston is having fun with her new city, and exploring the queer history that her character Jane was living firsthand. I’m actually really glad I read The Stonewall Reader earlier this year, because it gave me a really nice background. Jane was even friends with one of the women who wrote a piece that’s included in there!
To sum up, McQuiston is not a one-hit wonder, and I’m very glad she scrapped her plans to write the book about the pressures of the sophomore slump and we got this one instead.
Read Harder Challenge 2021: Read a romance by a trans or nonbinary author.
CBR BINGO: They/She/He (according to their Twitter, McQuiston uses any pronouns)