One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston is a beautifully written queer romance. August meets a girl on the subway and starts to have a crush. Things get complicated when August realizes Jane has been stuck on the subway in a time glitch since the 70’s.
All quotes are from an advanced audiobook copy, and may not reflect the published edition.
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.
“August doesn’t believe in most things, but it’s hard to argue that Jane wasn’t put on the Q to fuck up her whole life.”
I am not a romance reader, and I think I’ve made this very well known. However, much like with McQuiston’s first book, this is one of the best books I’ve read. I adored this story, and the characters, so much. McQuiston does an amazing job of weaving humor and representation into a heartwarming and beautiful tale. This story incorporating a sci-fi, fantasy aspect made it all the more fun to read. There were many layers of plot here, with one main story, and none of it felt half-baked by the end.
“Jane is spun sugar. A switchblade girl with a cotton-candy heart.”
As with the previous book, the writing strength here is in the characters. They are tangible and messy, and real. Everything about that is appealing to me. Even with a plot that is very “insta-love”, there are still moments where they recognize they don’t fully know one another. This, I feel, is incredibly important in these kinds of stories. The side characters are fully fleshed out, and their stories are unique and interesting. There is an amazing amount of representation in this story, and it feels well written. August struggles a bit with her identity, with who she is as a queer woman who hasn’t had sex. I think this doesn’t get spoken about enough, and, it was handled gently and well.
“It’s probably going to break my heart, and it’s still worth it.”
There is real, genuine growth with these characters. Even with a character-based story, the plot was incredibly interesting. I was fully invested in knowing how they got Jane out of the time glitch, and what would happen to her. I laughed and I cried, blatantly. My roommate was in the room with me as I listened to the book and probably was concerned based on that alone. As always with Netgalley audiobooks, I have to comment on the audio player. It is still quite terrible. The reader was amazing, that aside, and it was fun to hear this story in audio format.
“You’re the first thing I’ve believed in since—since I don’t even remember, okay, you’re—you’re movies and destiny and every stupid, impossible thing, and it’s not because of the fucking train, it’s because of you.”
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.