August Landry moved to New York thinking it was going to be a city to match her cynical nature. She’s quickly proven wrong, however, after moving in with an eclectic group of roommates who quickly feel more like family than friends. Then there’s Jane, the beautiful, mysterious girl with old-school punk rocker vibes who always seems to be on her train during her daily commutes to her waitressing gig at a 24-hr pancake diner. August is pretty sure it was love at first sight when it comes to Jane but she never could have imagined that Jane’s vintage clothing and musical tastes weren’t just her being cool but rather because of the fact that Jane is actually a girl out of time, displaced from the 1970s and trapped on the line of the Q train. Now August has to figure out how to free Jane from her public transit purgatory while facing the very real possibility that she’ll end up heartbroken if she succeeds in sending Jane back to her own time.
I picked up this book because I absolutely loved Red, White, and Royal Blue also by Casey McQuiston, and after reading the blurb on this one I was intrigued by the “magical” angle of Jane being displaced in time. Personally, I enjoyed RWRB more than this one but it’s not exactly a fair comparison because the stories are so different. I did enjoy this book, though. It was sweet and funny, and I was invested in the mission to get Jane back to her time (or at the very least, free her from the train). August’s roommates played a big part in the plan, and I enjoyed the “found-family” aspect of the story. They were a great group of characters and I loved how they all pitched in to help Jane. The romance between Jane and August was sweet, the author had to get pretty creative with building their relationship being that they spend 95% of their time together stuck on a train, but I think it worked nicely. I liked seeing August open her heart not only to Jane but to her roommates/friends, it was very unlike her but she definitely blossomed after moving to NYC. I thought the book also did a nice job of touching on the struggles and history of the LGBTQ community – juxtaposing Jane’s earlier experiences with the way things were in the present day.
There were some parts of the story that felt a little slow but overall I thought this was a really sweet love story with a fun magical twist!