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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

One Last Stop

Updated: Oct 7, 2022


Rating - ⭐⭐⭐1/2


"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."


 

One Last Stop is a standalone queer romance novel by Casey McQuiston, the author behind Red, White, and Royal Blue.


I would describe my experience of reading this book to be a bit lukewarm. I wasn't invested in the main romance, but I found that I rather enjoyed all of the sub-plots. Found family, queer representation, and a sprinkle of mystery are definitely this book's strong points for me.



Writing


I have no complaints about the writing as I flew through the book easily. The only minor issue I have is with the formatting, as this book includes other forms of media other than traditional text. Forum posts and text messages are added into the text, and while I get the use of them, I personally don't like it when that kind of media is added nor did I think it added much to the story.



Plot


The plot is rather simple: a girl meets another girl who is stuck in time on a subway. Simple, but was it effective? While I wasn't blown away by the story and the romance by any means, I didn't mind the book. The romance aspect I was a little lukewarm about, but I did enjoy the elements of the plot that involved Autumn trying to figure out what happened and how to reverse it. Adding some mystery always adds a little spice for me and helps lift the story and make it more intriguing.


Back to the romance, I said that I was lukewarm about it because, for the most part, I wasn't really feeling the romance. Nothing really struck me as being different or special, even though I am happy with the way everything turned out. What it came down to was that there was too much of an initial focus on the more sexual nature of their relationship rather than the romantic side. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, I am someone who skims over the sex scenes in books cause they're not usually my cup of tea. So when I got more making out than getting to know each other non-physically, I wasn't very invested in their developing relationship.


The only other aspect of the plot that hindered my enjoyment of the book can be considered me just being too nitpicky and too logical. Jane, or Biyu, is stuck in a time loop on a subway, and therefore a good chunk of the book is set on said subway. Where I had issues was when the characters would do something and I would sit there and go...but aren't you on a public subway? For example, they brought win on the subway, and not hidden in something either, full bottles of wine. While part of me wants to ignore it for the sake of the book, the stronger part of my brain just can't get past the logic of doing so.


By the end of the book, I found myself more interesting in the sub-plots rather than the main story. I wanted to know what happened to Augie, saving Billy's Pancakes, and I was rooting for Wes and Isiah more than I was August and Jane, the actual main characters of the story. Besides those sub-plots, the biggest emotion I had otherwise was hunger. This book really made me want to have some pancakes, and I don't even like pancakes all that much.



Characters


As you can tell by my lukewarm feelings towards August and Jane's relationship, the same could be said for their individual characters. I found August to be a bit bland and didn't really feel any connection to her. Jane, on the other hand, was a bit of your generic 70s girl. As I also said, I was more invested in the other characters. This book had a large cast with great queer representation, and I loved the focus on found family. Between August's roommates and her coworkers at Billy's, there was a fair share of characters whose lives you get invested in.



Concluding Thoughts



While I thought this was only okay, I have no doubt that a large majority of people who like romance would like this. I am not the biggest romance reader, so if I didn't mind this, you probably won't either (unless you don't like romance at all). If you enjoyed Red, White, and Royal Blue, you will probably enjoy this as well.

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