I’ll be honest and tell you I really had no intention of ever picking up this book – but when I saw it as one of the audiobook arcs on libro.fm for May, I figured, why not, lets give this a chance before it blows up huge…. and I am delighted to say I loved it, and I’m so glad I gave this book a chance – and yeah, I think it will become really huge really soon!
Thank you to libro.fm for the advanced listening copy!
Title: One Last Stop
Author: Casey McQuiston
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Before we get into my review, I have to confess something to you. I hated Red White & Royal Blue. HATED. Capital H. I actually have those words blocked on Twitter, that’s how much I hated it. I truly had no intension of ever picking up a Casey McQuiston book ever again – nothing personal, I just figured their books weren’t for me. (I’ve heard them speak at an event and I thought them a lovely person. Just clearing that up.) But I saw One Last Stop as one of the libro.fm advanced listening copies for May, and figured, “If I hate it, I’ll DNF it real early on.” I went into this book knowing exactly two things about it: subways/NYC, and it was sapphic. That’s it. I went in blindly and…. I’m please to report I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.
This is the story I didn’t know I needed. August doesn’t know where she fits in. She’s 23 and has been transferring between colleges as often as possible, each one in a new city, trying to find her niche. She’s lost in life, which is how she ends up in Brooklyn with no place to live, answering a sketchy Craiglist ad for an apartment and finding what becomes her new family.
Everyone in this book is queer and its amazing and very normalized, and I loved that. All of August’s belongings fit in 6 cardboard boxes (although she could get it down to 5 if she tried) and she doesn’t even have a real bed, a sign that she never feels like she belongs anywhere. Her new roommates instantly love her but she is wary of getting attached to anyone.
On August’s first morning of school, she’s running late to catch the Q train and spills coffee all over her front. When she gets on a train, a nice stranger, a girl about her age, hands her a scarf to cover the coffee spill on her shirt – enter Jane. August is bisexual and instantly admires Jane, a punk rocker who looks like she belongs in the 70s. And when August sees her on the subway again the next day, she makes it a point to always catch the same time train so she always runs into Jane on her daily commute.
While this is a contemporary, and also a romance, theres also a mystery aspect to this story in more ways than one. August’s uncle went missing years ago, and her mom has made it her lifes work to find out what happened to her brother – and August has helped throughout her life growing up trying to solve this missing persons case. She finally told her mom she wanted out of this dead end mystery when she went off to college, but its hard to stop putting the puzzle pieces together when that’s all you’ve known your entire life.
And Jane is a mystery too, and August wants to solve how they always run into each other, and how Jane is….Jane.
A lot of this story takes place on the Q subway train, and its such a love letter to New York. As a New Yorker myself (ok, I live on Long Island….) I could relate so much. I could feel things. I hope anyone who hasn’t visited or lived in New York can still feel those vibes.
There are so many references to popular songs, usually from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, but a few more modern ones too. If you love music like I do, you’ll love the music aspect of this book – it plays an important and pretty big role.
I love how August grew and developed as a character throughout this story, and how she learned to let other people into her life, and that could be ok. I loved all of her roommates and neighbor – who is a drag queen, and yes, they are featued a few times throughout the book. Because did I mention drag queens play a vital role in this book too? They do.
There are a few different plot lines going on throughout this book and they all worked together – because thats life, you have a lot of things going on at once so it felt realistic! This book had so many funny laugh out loud moments, and it felt so New York.
I will also note, there are a total of THREE LOST references in this book! THREE! LOST!!!!! I love Lost, the tv show, it is my all time favorite, and not something that is often referenced anymore. But it is, three times, in One Last Stop – and oddly enough, its relevant each and every time to the overall story line. I loved that.
This is a book of a queer found family, of drag queens, of pancakes, of mysteries and lost family and found family in those you choose to be with. This is about questioning and being unsure but pushing ahead anyway, because sometimes, thats all you can do.
I really enjoyed this as an audiobook and I thought the narrator had a great voice/tone/pacing. Would recommend!
I ended up at 2.3x speed by the end, I didn’t want to go too fast as I wanted to absorb it all in!
I never thought I’d be saying this, but yes, I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for queer found family, a book that feels like coming home, a comfortable feeling book. If you like drag queens, or pancakes, or pop culture references, or punk/rock music, or sapphic romances, this is the book for you. There are also characters who identify as trans and gay and I’m not sure what else, but all queer! Give this one a shot – I’m glad I did.
5 thoughts on “ALC Review: ‘One Last Stop’”
Great review! One Last Stop will be my last read for May.
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Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy it too~!
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