Goodreads blurb: For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.
Basically, Red, White and Royal Blue is one of my favorite books of all time, and One Last Stop was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. And in many ways, I absolutely love One Last Stop.
Casey McQuiston cements herself as one of my favorite authors, because she is so good at character work. All of her characters feel like real, flawed people, and I think she is fantastic at making a really compelling cast of characters. One Last Stop has one of the best queer found families I ever read about. I LOVED the characters so much. First of all, August was a great main character. In many ways, her arc is the quintessential coming of age story, of finding your place in the world, but also finding your people, finding your community. This is something that McQuiston also nails – the sense of family and belonging. Both of her novels feel like hugs when you really need one. One Last Stop is just so full of love and reading this, I felt like McQuiston poured so much warmth into this book. I absolutely loved the constant homage to the queer community and their fight, it was embedded so organically into the story and made it that much better. The book was a celebration of queer identity, and it was so wonderful at doing just that. This book will be so loved and I am so happy for it.
However, this was set up not to work for me from the beginning. It features two tropes that I absolutely hate – one is that it’s a contemporary with a sci-fi twist, and as someone who reads a lot of fantasy, I just do not like the meshing of contemporary and fantasy, without really leaning into the fantastical elements. It was frustrating to me that Jane was the only person that this happened to, and that this does not happen all the time, and I know it’s silly, but it was so grating for me. The second one is the amnesia trope – Jane does not remember anything, and for me that creates a character without a personality. I just do not like it, I am sorry. Her only character trait is that she is charming, but I failed to fall for that charm. As a consequence, I was not that into the romance, simply because I did not care about Jane as a character all that much. This makes it seem like I did not enjoy the book, but I really did, it was just that it featured my least favorite tropes, so I was bound to not vibe with all aspects of it. I also think this was slow at times, and lost a bit momentum, but the plot and the overall story were engaging.
Overall, this was a celebration of queer found families, and I absolutely adored the cast of characters and their friendships. The romance was not my favorite, but that’s purely for me reasons, and I think this book is fantastic, and I would recommend it to anyone basically.
I would love to hear from you – any thoughts you’d like to share? Let me know!
In the meantime, happy reading
*I received an e-galley of the novel through Netgalley from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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