Title: One Last Stop
Author: Casey McQuiston
My Rating: ★★★★ ½
Genre(s): Romance, LGBTQIA2S+, Contemporary
Age Range: New Adult
Publication: 1 June 2021 (St. Martin’s Griffin)
CW: alcohol/drugs, semi-public sex, mental health, familial estrangement, familial death, mentions of police violence, mentions of AIDS crisis
Casey McQuiston has done it again.
One Last Stop is Casey McQuiston’s sophomore novel. Following up their widely successful debut, Red, White and Royal Blue, McQuiston returns with another charming New Adult romance.
In One Last Stop, 23-year-old August Landry tries to find herself after spending her childhood with a mother stuck in the past. In New York City, August thinks that maybe, just maybe, she can finally find a college major that suits her. Instead, she finds love, family, and belonging in the least expected places—first, in a tiny apartment over a Popeyes, and later, in a subway train.
One Last Stop is smart, sexy, and fun, with the perfect dose of sentimental.
I fell in love with Casey’s writing in Red, White and Royal Blue. It was clever and fresh, weaving together a beautiful and heartstring-pulling romance. If you know me, you’ll know how dearly I love well-crafted dialogue and Casey always pulls through. Seriously, the witter banter here is sublime.
Within the first few chapters, I immediately saw parts of myself in August—this probably isn’t a great proclamation, given that August is dealing with a lot of shit from the get-go. Watching August grow and find her place in the world was so special. She begins an uncertain university student and slowly finds her self-confidence throughout the course of the novel.
I love a "found family" trope and this book delivers.
Casey McQuiston does this exceptionally well in this novel, creating a beautiful ensemble of characters who were individually intriguing. That’s something I consistently enjoy about Casey’s writing: their ability to create strong secondary characters. The people August met along the way created a warm blanket to wrap around her when she needed it most.
The concept of Jane being stuck on the Q since the 1970s was actually quite well done, especially considering this is a romance first and foremost. I loved watching August and Jane’s slow-burn romance develop as they Nancy Drew’d Jane’s past by picking up pieces of her life and putting them back together. Some of this was a bit predictable, but I enjoyed it all the same!
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the bi representation in this book! In addition to August being bi, Jane is lesbian and many of the characters were queer and/or BIPOC. I was disappointed to see certain reactions online to the fact that this was a WLW story. For many readers, this representation was super important and I’m glad she took this route for her second novel.
All in all, I loved this book. I only rated it a smidgen below Red, White and Royal Blue because of how special that book was to me. But in terms of writing, plot, and everything else, this book was wonderful and I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone and everyone!
Synopsis: 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.
Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.
Did One Last Stop stack up to Red, White and Royal Blue? Let me know in the comments!
Enjoy this review? Check out my other book reviews next!