Book Review: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Release Date: June 1st 2021

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.

My Thoughts & Feelings …

This book was like a warm hug and I’m a big fan of warm hugs so obviously I loved this book.

I feel bad for authors who’s first book becomes a huge hit because can you imagine the pressure and anxiety they must feel when it comes to publishing their second book! And I’ll admit, I held this book to a certain standard and had high expectations before reading it based off how much I loved Red, White and Royal Blue, thankfully it didn’t disappoint.

It took me a little longer to get into this book and find my rhythm. This was partly because I was in a book slump, but also just because this book doesn’t delve into the action straight away. It take a bit more time to introduce you to the characters and the circumstances. I hit the “ok just one more chapter” stage at around 130+ pages and really became invested in it after that.

As expected I fell so in love with all the characters; their personalities and quirks were all so vivid and distinguishable. You could feel the love the characters had for each other and it was really interesting to see August integrating into the group as the newbie and as a notorious loner. I would give anything to be part of the apartment-friendship group.

The found family trope was really at the core of this novel not only with Myla, Niko, Wes and August but other communities described and depicted such as the LGBTQ+ community, and the group of people who worked at Billy’s pancake house.

Obviously I’ll get to the main romance between August and Jane, but I was honestly so invested and engrossed in in the relationships of the side-characters. Myla and Niko were like the glue that held the group together, the stable couple that lowkey act as the parents. And then you have Wes (who is a whole ass mood) and his “will they wont they” thing with Isaiah which was great to witness.

Just like with Red, White and Royal Blue, not only were the characters overflowing with personality, so was the writing. It really hits the spot. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s witty and emotional and really nails the millenial/gen-z humour. It’s also brimming with representation that feels so genuine and natural.

Moving away from the side-characters and actually focusing on August, Jane and the whole mystery surrounding Jane and the Q train: I thought it was really well executed. I feel like endings to stories like this are always kind of predictable which is why the lead up is so important. This kept me guessing constantly: why is Jane on the train? Why is Jane displaced in time? How did this happen? How are they going to fix it? etc.

Throughout the book there’s blog posts, newspaper and photo descriptions, that sort of thing from various years that give a nod to “the mysterious girl on the Q train” which I thought was a nice touch.

Overall I really liked this book. If you’re a fan of Red, White and Royal Blue but haven’t read this yet, go do it right now! I will say be patient because while Red, White and Royal Blue isn’t action packed with fight scenes and things like that, I do feel like it’s more “Go! Go! Go!”, whereas One Last Stop is more chilled and laid back.

And if you haven’t read RWRB (I’m tired of writing out that long ass title) then One Last Stop is the perfect book to introduce yourself to Casey McQuiston. I’m now going to be counting down the days until her YA debut!

4 thoughts on “Book Review: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston”

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