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.
What is One Last Stop about?
One Last Stop is about August searching for her family. On one level, she has spent her whole life searching for her uncle and namesake whose disappearance in his youth has tortured August’s mother her whole life. On another level, though, August has spent the past five years searching for a place that felt like home to her. Her latest attempt brings her to New York, enrolled in school and working at a diner so she can live with a group of misfits with a Judy Garland sculpture in the living room and a poodle named Noodles. But August wants one more thing: Jane, the hot girl on the Q line that August sees every day. Turns out Jane is a lot more than that.
Genre: Contemporary Time Travel Romance
So I didn’t read the synopsis of this one closely enough, and the time travel aspect knocked me right out of the park (in surprise). It was surprisingly well executed, though, and never feels out of place in what is otherwise a contemporary sapphic romance with lots of found family vibes!
Tropes: Found Family
There is SO MUCH found family in this book! Everybody is out there adopting everybody and the cravings to have my own pocket of queer friends and found family where I live are real. Something about this book just feels homey and loving, especially following the pandemic.
Plot: Everybody’s First Love Should be a Hot Lesbian on a Train
I said what I said.
I adored this book. Every second of it was immersive and delightful. I loved the writing, I loved the characters, I loved the relationships. There were moments of surprisingly quippy humor and there were some seriously deep emotional moments. Though the time travel aspect was a bit of a surprise for me (oops) I found it worked perfectly with the story. It was done well, and it made sense to me. The steamy scenes are very well written, and I felt like Jane and August’s romance was built up perfectly. It hit a lot of beats close to home for sapphic relationships. This is definitely one of those books I wish I could wipe my memory of and enjoy over and over again.
I would say the only thing that didn’t quite work for me was the connection between August and Jane. This is a criticism I’ve brought up a few times in some of my most recent reads: not everything needs to be connected. For myself, I find that unnecessary connections for “emotional impact” actually lessens the emotional impact.
I’ve got no real bad things to say right now, other than that I wish I could read this book for the first time again.
I. Fucking. Love. This. Book. This was the perfect queer romance for me to read this summer. I gushed a lot during my “the good” section but I’m not sure I can quite explain the emotional catharsis of reading this book. There’s just something about reading a book about a 70’s queer meeting modern queers and discovering all the wonderful things that we can do now.
2 replies on “Review: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston”
I had no idea there was an aspect of time travel!! Crazy!
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