One Last Stop is a sapphic romance novel by Casey McQuiston, bestselling author of Red, White, and Royal Blue. It follows the protagonist, August, who meets a hot butch lesbian on a subway. This woman, Jane, always end being on the subway at the same time as Jane. At first, August assumes that Jane has the same commute as her, but eventually it becomes clear that something strange is afoot. Jane is actually from the 70’s, and has been stuck without aging on the Q. August is the only one who can help Jane return home to her own time. But what if August doesn’t want her to go?
I’ve actually had a bit of a reading slump lately. I hadn’t been feeling very enthusiastic about it and procrastinated reading One Last Stop. Boy, am I glad I finally did it. McQuiston has stated her goal as making her books “a warm hug” to queer readers. And it was that warm hug that I needed.
One Last Stop was, unfortunately, a bit slow at times. It is 415 pages and they can’t all be riveting, but I do think some parts of it could have been cut. Then again, I am only just getting out of a reading slump and 415 pages is a lot to read in such a state.
I will admit, between the two I do prefer Red, White, and Royal Blue. This isn’t entirely fair though. I simply love the enemies to lovers trope; and the UK. But I did like that One Last Stop was a sapphic story, with a bisexual woman protagonist, representing my own identity. I also know that queer women are represented less often in media than queer men which again as a queer woman, frustrates me.
Another thing I loved about One Last Stop was the found family element. August starts off the novel a bit guarded, but she moves into a Flatbush apartment with Myla, an artist who majored in engineering, Niko – a transgender psychic who works at a liquor store, and Wes, a former trust fund baby who is afraid to be loved. August also befriends Isiah, a drag queen accountant who lives across the hall. These people, along with August’s co-workers at Billy’s Pancake House, become her family. Like August and Jane, many of these characters are LGBTQ+
I also liked the novel presented a science fiction concept that had never read about before. A time traveler of sorts, who was trapped not only in the wrong time; but in a physical space. I will say McQuistion’s explanation of how this concept was a bit confusing and didn’t seem like real science. But it is science fiction so it didn’t seem to matter that much.
I would recommend One Last Stop for those who want an unusual romance novel, with a unique plot and characters. It is satisfying for readers who also crave racial diversity and humor in their books. One Last Stop is also a #OwnVoices book since the McQuiston is bisexual themself, for those interested. For queer readers, it really is that warm hug you didn’t know who needed. To learn more about Casey McQuiston read my other article here: https://illinoiseagle.com/2021/07/22/casey-mcquiston-talksone-last-stop/.