A review by ashleysarra
One Last Stop, by Casey McQuiston

emotional hopeful relaxing slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

2021 is the year of established up and coming authors making deep and reflective sophomore novels, and I'm so here for it. Casey Mcquiston wrote some time ago on her Instagram that she hoped people wouldn't compare One Last Stop to Red, White, and Royal Blue, and after reading the book I see why. One Last Stop belongs on a shelf all on its own. 

One Last Stop features a 23 year old August Landry, who moves to New York City after transferring to yet another university. Landry doesn't know what she wants for her life and has never had a close group of friends to fall onto when trouble arises. She has a missing uncle. She's easily overwhelmed by her new set of roommates. August also falls inexplicably in love with a random woman on the subway, and realizes this woman, an Asian-American lesbian named Jane, is stuck in time. 

While reading, I had been certain I knew how the story would progress. August grew closer to her roommates and learned more about Jane's life in the 70s, and she would have to learn how to let go of her feelings and say goodbye. I had resigned myself to a sad bisexual falls for a lesbian story, where the moral is grief and forgiveness. While there are plenty of times where August slowly learns how to let herself feel more and bury herself in distractions less, I was pleased to discover the ending is a happy one. August's conflicts with her mother, missing uncle, and romantic crisis with Jane all come together and resolve themselves nicely. Although there had been moments reading the first three quarters of the book where I believed the pacing to be too slow, the ending was so satisfying because it had truly felt like you had also spent months watching August and Jane fall in love and understand each other. This book has conflict, but the story is about so much more than drama and arguments. This is a story about family and meeting each other where they are. 

This is a gorgeous story, with moments of humor, hurt, and heart. This book feels alive, as if the characters themselves have earned their place among the living. Tenderness is a consistent feeling in the novel, demonstrated through budding romances and friendships. In a time where people nowadays still shy away from crowds, it's beautiful to have a story that is so intimate but takes place almost entirely in public spaces. In that way alone, readers will understand August's yearning, and will then become healed by moments where August and Jane can finally exist in private. 

Thank you NetGalley for a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. One Last Stop comes out on June 1, 2021. Make sure to preorder the book or pick it up from your local bookstore.

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