Book Review — One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

I received a digital review copy of this book from Netgalley and Macmillan Audio. This has not impacted my rating and this review is voluntary.

  • Genre: Romance, Fiction
  • Published by: St. Martin’s Griffin / Macmillian Audio (audiobook)
  • Publish date: June 01, 2021
  • Number of pages: 432 pages
  • Author’s website: 
  • Support local! Buy the book on BookShop!

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.

via Goodreads

Rating: 3/5

So many mutuals loved this book, but it just was not my favorite read.

The novel starts out promising and I honestly loved the first quarter of the book. The main character is August, a young woman who has just moved to NYC. Right off the bat, she moves into an apartment with quirky roommates and we are introduced to a diverse set of characters. I think McQuiston really captures NYC living for the young, hopeful, and lost… for white women.

August is becoming more comfortable with her new home when she has a meet-cute on the Q train. What you would think would only be a once in a lifetime encounter in a town of 8.4 million, happens again when August continues to take the Q train in order to meet this person again. So who is this person?

Enter Jane, a Chinese American babe. What follows is an adventure of love transcending time– literally.

There were several things that I thought McQuiston did well!

  • We end up getting a small window of lqbtqia history in the 70s from Jane. I found the subplot of her experiences protesting, learning about the various women she dated across the country, and her roommate in NYC was really unique and fit well into progressing the plot.
  • The roommates. They were a riot and I am always just smitten with found families.
  • Jane as a love interest. I would have loved this novel as a teen/young adult. She’s so assured of herself and I think she brings August out of her shell in the best way. The bisexual and lesbian relationship cannot be understated– it really was amazing to read this representation.
  • This story drags. I was surprised that it doesn’t wrap up after the climax, but instead continues on for longer than I personally think it needed to. At the same time, I understood that we needed to get to see August and Jane be a couple outside the Q train.
  • I enjoyed almost all the sex scenes, but like some other reviewers, the public transit sex was a little cringe– mainly through a post-pandemic lens. (Note: I say post-pandemic from an American perspective, but understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and I am fortunate to be vaccinated).
  • Micro-aggressions regarding Jane’s race rubbed me the wrong especially with the uptick in anti-Asian hate crimes in the US.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to know!

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