ONE LAST STOP
Written by Casey McQuiston
Published by St Martin’s Griffin, June 1, 2021
My star rating – 5 stars
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.
Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.
I’m now officially convinced that Casey McQuiston has magic. Real magic. Or has otherwise sold their soul to the devil. Because here’s the thing – her books aren’t something that I would typically enjoy. Red, White, and Royal Blue had many things I normally hate in books – a political figure, a modern royal figure, and fame. And then there’s this book which had magical realism. None of those things typically interest me. Famous characters aren’t people I can relate to and they usually make shit decisions and their relationships are annoying complicated and dramatic. And then there’s magical realism…. I usually can’t stand it. It normally makes zero sense at all and, even if I suspend my beliefs and reality, I’m still sitting there wondering “but how?” Her books are just so well written that NONE of that matters and I’m sitting on the couch, furiously flipping pages, maniacally laughing “GIVE ME MORE!”
The weirdest experience that I had with this book is that I bought it without reading the synopsis. I loved her last book so much that I didn’t care what this was about, I was going to read it. So when things got weird, I was thrown for a loop. I had no idea that there was a magical realism element to it and I was thrown off. I mean, a woman stuck on a train in New York but she’s actually from the 1970’s….. that’s weird, right? It should be but, in this case anyway, it just worked. If you’re like me and magical realism isn’t normally your thing, you may actually really like this! Sure it’s weird but it just works. You’re like “ok so she’s been the same age for over 45 years and has glitched onto a train in New York, so how do we fix this?”
This book is all about love and connections. There are so many different types of relationships in here and I lived for every minute of it! Solid relationships that have been established for a while, wondering if the other person feels the same and being too afraid to mess things up by admitting your feelings, being too afraid to love because you might get hurt, and even relationships with parents and grandparents. I know i’ve been in more than a few of these scenarios and maybe that’s why I loved it so much. It’s all so relatable no matter where you are in life!
But another reason you should read this book – REPRESENTATION!! My god there is everything!!! Straight, trans, gay, bi, drag queens (YES I SAID DRAG QUEENS!) – I think you would be hard pressed to find something that wasn’t represented in this book. It was just so lovely! The thing that I loved most though was that there wasn’t a storyline where a character was battling with their identity… they just were. They were who they were, they liked who/what they liked, and that was that. The character was defined, comfortable, and accepted. More of this please and thank you?! I’ve been reading so many books lately where the story line always follows a character who needs to figure themselves out or somehow justify themselves. So to have a cast of characters who just knew who they were unapologetically was everything and made me smile ear to ear. One of the characters revealed that they were trans and the response was something like – “Oh ok. That makes sense. So what’s for dinner?”
These characters though – I mean come on?! Their personalities were so incredibly defined and larger than life. You knew exactly how these people were, what they liked, and what type of person they were. You couldn’t help but fall in love with all of them. I kept wondering how people who’s personalities were so vastly different worked together so well but they just did. As great as the elements of the story were, if it wasn’t for her character development, the stories wouldn’t’ go the places that they do.
This isn’t just about a book about a girl that’s been stuck on the train since the 70’s though. Theres SO MUCH MORE! There’s layer upon layer that propels this book forward at a crazy pace. I honestly struggled to put this book down because there was just so much happening and I needed to know now! There’s a murder mystery, a business at risk of closing, draw queen shows to attend (omg the names of the Queens had me snort laughing!), seances to contact the afterlife and even more. And she even found a way to make literally everything connect and come together so none of the elements felt disconnected or like they were taking away from a different story line. Genius I tell you, genius.
I can’t express how much I loved this book and how much I love this author! I’ll do the same from here on out – buy her books no matter what it’s about because I know that I’m going to get one hell of a story with the most amazing characters ever!!!
Until next time, happy reading!