One Last Stop Review: Magical Story of Identity and Belonging

May 20, 2021 by Jenna | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

One Last Stop Review: Magical Story of Identity and BelongingOne Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 1, 2021
Source: Audiobook, Libro.fm
Genres: Contemporary, Diversity, LGBT, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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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.

Wow, I don’t even know where to start with reviewing One Last Stop. I absolutely loved Red, White & Royal Blue and now I can’t decide which of these Casey McQuiston novels I like more!

One Last Stop follows August Landry, a 23-year-old student, who has just moved to New York City with few belongings and walls she’s built up to protect herself. A child of a single mother, August has moved from city to city in the hope of finding herself and what she wants to do. She moves into an apartment with three others, gets a job waitressing at a diner and dives head first into more studying at yet another university. She never thought she would consider New York home but when she bumps into Jane Su on the subway and falls head over heels, things start to change. And things change even more quickly when she discovers that Jane is actually from the 1970s and has been stuck on the Q train for over 40 years! She starts to lean on her roommates and others she’s encountered around the city, and she realises that maybe she’s finally found a place to call home and the family she’s never had.

I absolutely loved the plot of this book. It was full of surprising reveals and twists, and I was particularly impressed with how so many of the aspects of the story and characters were tied together. I have to admit that I didn’t read the synopsis of the book before diving into it because I knew I was going to read anything by Casey McQuiston, so the 1970s displacement aspect of the story was a huge surprise to me, along with everything else. There were times when I had to suspend my disbelief, as the plot leans quite a bit on magical realism and sci-fi. I’m not convinced by the explanation of why Jane got displaced but I was able to put that aside and enjoy the interactions between the characters and the how the book played out.

And I love love loved August! She’s a bit of a booknerd and is kind of introverted and she just wants to keep studying so that she doesn’t have to figure out where her life is heading. And I relate so hard to that. I really enjoyed her friendships with her roommates and how quickly they became her found family. I loved Nico, the trans psychic who constantly says insightful things and knows just how to help (most of the time). Myla, the queer black artist (with an engineering background) who has enough energy for everyone around her. Oh and she has an adoptive mother who’s Chinese and always sends her food and candy! And then there’s Wes, super grump who has the heart of a marshmallow. The friendship and family themes were by far my favourite part of the book.

And of course, there’s Jane – the slightly mysterious and cool Chinese lesbian who doesn’t remember who she is but still has enough personality and warmth to light up the lives of many people who’ve encountered her on the Q train line. I can’t say that I was enamoured with Jane as a love interest but I did enjoy her banter with August and their romance was very cute. I’m not sure how I feel about the train sex but I’m just going to leave it at that…

I feel like I haven’t done the book justice with this review! It was exciting, effervescent and magical all at the same time. If you’re looking for a novel full of queer and diverse characters that also has a fantastic plot, you won’t be disappointed by One Last Stop.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Thank you to Libro.fm for the free copy of the audiobook. Thank you also to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending a review copy.

One Last Stop will be available in Australia from 8th June 2021 for $26.99 RRP.

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Jenna is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves to indulge in great books and great food. She is a doctor (of philosophy) and can usually be found fangirling about something, devouring delicious food, or taking a nap. You can find her on Twitter @readwithjenna and on Instagram @readingwithjenna.

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2 responses to “One Last Stop Review: Magical Story of Identity and Belonging

  1. Glad you enjoyed this one too Jenna! It was such a fun book to read with the relationships and the sci-fi aspect. I didn’t read the blurb before diving in either and the whole sci-fi aspect was a huge surprise.