One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
LGBTQ Contemporary Romance
June 1, 2021, by St. Martin’s
Review by Melinda
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It’s delightfully queer and set in New York, which combined was just one of the best experiences to listen to, although since I can’t travel right now did leave me feeling a little melancholy. August has just moved to NYC, and the atmosphere felt incredibly accurate. While I don’t live there, I have visited yearly for about 10 years, and the descriptions of the subways, the diners, the streets…all of it just made me wish I could hop on a plane tomorrow.
She’s always been a bit of a loner and if you’re looking for found family, this book delivers it all over the place. Her roommates don’t let her hole up in her room, they adopt her into their family kind of without her realizing it, and she looks up one day and realizes that she has people that love her. August also works in this amazing diner that felt precisely like a diner you’d find in New York and populated with real characters that exist in New York, who slowly just become her family too.
August meets Subway Girl, aka Jane, on yes, the subway, one day and she realizes that Jane cannot actually leave the subway. At all. And that begins the mystery plot of One Last Stop as August and Jane set about discovering who exactly, and where exactly, Jane belongs. I wasn’t sure if this setup would work but McQuiston did the worldbuilding well and made me believe this was a thing that could happen. Before moving to NYC, August had spent her life with her mother searching for what happened to her missing Uncle, which is a very low subplot. When multiple subplots collide there are a few plot twists and turns that were a bit too pat for me. But in the spirit of getting to the HEA, I was all in at that point and the issues were minor enough that it didn’t bother me. During that final scene I was completely rooting for them with my heart in my throat.
August is a fleshed out person and we get to see her as a full character, but Jane less so. This is due to not getting her POV, but we still definitely get a significant amount of information about her via August teasing out pieces of her past as they try to figure out who she actually is. Jane is Chinese American and we do get to see that acknowledged and discussed but it feels removed a bit, which I feel was probably a good move since the author is not Chinese.
The narration was fantastic and I was completely immersed in the world. Natalie Naudus did the narration and I’d definitely rec listening to it.
CW: talk of death, anxiety, homophobia in the past, racism in the past, talk of hate crimes in the past