At this point Casey McQuiston is an auto-buy author. And One Last Stop only confirms it. Like with Red, White & Royal Blue, McQuiston truly excels at creating punchy, vulnerable, and hilarious dialogue. Seriously. I was in tears, laughter, and nodding in agreement – sometimes all in the span of a minute. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
One Last Stop is everything I love wrapped up in one book. It’s a love letter to NYC, to the magical ways we run into people, the glitter in the grime, and the sparkling street lights shimmering glow. McQuiston is a master at character detail, development, and relatability. August was almost immediately granted a place in my heart, with her love of fried chicken and her minimalism – which I would not be good at. But then I fell in love, with August, with Jane and the ways she seems out of time and place. The way that it speaks to this almost universal feeling of not belonging.
The characters in One Last Stop wear their hearts and heartbeats on their sleeves. All the stories an encounter on the train could inspire. The magic of the subways and those connections that just happen against all odds. The pieces of sorcery in uneven sidewalks, commutes that serve as dressing rooms, and the thrumming you feel late at night like the pulse of the city. That feeling of being anonymous in one of the most infamous cities in the world.
Midway through, One Last Stop almost transforms before your very eyes into investigations and late night planning sessions. There’s a poetic, cosmic sense of rightness in One Last Stop and the unhurried way it unravels across the pages. It’s hilarious, emotional, and vulnerable all at once. Not only are the main characters lives in color, but the side characters lives are details and hint at stories untold. It’s a testament to the people who inspire us to want a home. The kind of love that feels like it reaches inside of you and changes all your cells – a life altering cosmic love. What else can I say? If you love character driven romances and books, then this is for you!
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