Cynical twenty-three-year old August doesn’t believe in much. She doesn’t believe in psychics, or easily forged friendships, or finding the kind of love they make movies about. And she certainly doesn’t believe her ragtag band of new roommates, her night shifts at a 24-hour pancake diner, or her daily subway commute full of electrical outages are going to change that. But then, there’s Jane. Beautiful, impossible Jane. All hard edges with a soft smile and swoopy hair and saving August’s day when she needed it most. The person August looks forward to seeing on the train every day. The one who makes her forget about the cities she lived in that never seemed to fit, and her fear of what happens when she finally graduates, and even her cold-case obsessed mother who won’t quite let her go. And when August realizes her subway crush is impossible in more ways than one—namely, displaced in time from the 1970s—she thinks maybe it’s time to start believing.
My love for Red, White, And Royal Blue is no secret. I’ve been excited for McQuiston’s next book since I finished it. And finding out that it would be f/f only made me all the more excited. I was a bit nervous about the time travel aspect of the plot, only because I haven’t read a lot of books set in the real world with a slight magical aspect that I’ve liked. But a f/f book by Casey McQuiston was something I was willing to go out on a limb for. Thank you so much to St. Martins Griffin and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!
This book is very different than RWRB, but I loved it all the same. It’s a different kind of love, but love all the same.
I’ve talked a bit before how I’ve been surprised about books making me actually like New York City, since I’m not a huge fan (it’s weird I know, and complicated). But with this book, it did not make me fall in love with the city. And I mean that as a compliment! This book shows New York in all it’s gritty, grimy glory from muggy nights and rats on the subway. It felt like the real New York, flaws and all. But, it didn’t turn me away from the book or give me the anixety I usually associate with anything to do with the city. It was subtle, but I could see what people like about New York. I could see why people revel in the busyness and fast past, of trying to take something from a city that has so much to offer, of trying to find a place somewhere that has so many. It’s a great backdrop to this story and it fits August and her journey.
I don’t think it’s ever explicitly talked about in the book, so this might just be how I read, but I really liked how mental illness is portrayed. Maybe it was just the character’s emotional journey, but I felt like there were hints of depression and anxiety in August. It wasn’t something that was front in center, more something that was slipped into her actions, how she talks, and the way she interacts with the world. I dunno, it just liked how it felt like something in the background, but it was there, and it was just the way the characters were and how they took on the world. It made this book seem a bit heavier than RWRB, but it made it wholly it’s own. It also made August such a fantastic main character. She feels like a clementine to me. Sweet, but slightly tart and with an orange tinge.
Oh gosh, is this book a found family book. It’s a fantastic found family book. The way that these characters come together and go from reluctant roommates, to friends, to family. They’re all really weird, but they work together, and I loved how they all came to love each other.
And they’re all really freaking queer. I knew this was going to be a queer book, but this book was SO casually queer while also being super freaking queer at the same time. It was wonderful.
Let’s talk about Jane. She is, wow, I think I got my break knocked out of me multiple times reading about her. She has a LEATHER JACKET and one dimple and a smirk.
Jane is Asian, and I think that’s all that’s specified. I can’t comment on that other than it was there.
The time travel aspect of this book was actually really cool. I don’t want to say too much so I don’t spoil anything, but I will say that it was such a cool mystery and plot point. It wasn’t just something happening to one character. It tied into August’s emotional development, which tied into a side plot, which tied into the overall story, which tied into all the characters. Plus, it was just really cool.
One Last Spot was a book about family, about love, about New York, about the subway, about finding how and where you fit, about queerness, and it’s just very, very good.