fiction · romance

Book Review: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Arright. For the 2023 Popsugar Reading Challenge, I needed a book with a queer lead. Sometimes there’s some overlap with other books, and while the rules state it’s okay to have a book work for two or more categories, I’m kind of a purist and prefer to read a different book for each, so I dug around and found One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2021). I really enjoyed her Red, White, and Royal Blue a few years ago, so I was all for diving back into another world created by this fabulous author.

August is new to New York City, and the city is offering her a lot all at once. Her new roommates are incredibly welcoming and as quirky as New York City roommates can be; her job waiting tables at Pancake Billy’s House of Pancakes is, uh, interesting, and figuring out the subway…that’s an entirely different story. There’s this girl there, all ripped jeans and Pride pins, and August is obsessed. Jane’s there every time she gets on the train – like, every time, which is…weird. Right?

It turns out, Jane can’t leave the Q train. She’s from the 1970’s, when a power surge shoved her out of time and left her here, and August, who has fallen utterly head over heels, is determined to figure this out. With the help of her misfit band of roommates, August begins to hatch a plan to yank Jane out of the stalemate she’s in, whether that means pulling her into now (and off the Q train forever)…or saying goodbye permanently. 

This is such a sweet, sexy love story, but it’s also a story of falling in love with New York. Casey McQuiston has absolutely written a love letter to the city, and NYC is as much of a character in this book as any one person is. One Last Stop is also so inclusive and queer-friendly: August is bisexual; Jane is a protest-sign waving lesbian from the 1970’s; August’s roommate is trans; there are drag queens all over; people of every race and ethnicity and culture pepper the pages. The setting and the feel of this book is just so incredible, and Casey McQuiston has truly painted a setting  and created a cast I would love to step into. 

I won’t even begin to fully try to understand the complexities of the time travel that threw Jane from the 70’s onto the modern day Q train (weird coincidence: I hadn’t ever heard of the Q train before this book…and the book I’m reading now, right after finishing this one, also mentions it!); physics and energy truly aren’t my thing, but this book makes it fascinating, and the time travel twist – bringing someone from the past to now – was a really fun one. Usually you read someone from now traveling back to the past, so I enjoyed this twist. 

One Last Stop is a fun, sexy, inclusive, smart romance that pulled me in deep. I’d time travel to the world of this book any day.

Visit Casey McQuiston’s website here.

Follow her on Twitter here.


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