If you even know me a little, you can’t have missed my obsession with Red, White & Royal Blue. It has quickly become one of my ultimate comfort reads, and I’ve read it 6 times and counting. That probably tells you a little bit about how much I’ve been anticipating One Last Stop, and I feel so grateful that I got to read it early. I dove in right away when I received my digital ARC.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that puts a queer spin on Kate & Leopold.
A 23-year-old realises her subway crush is displaced from 1970’s Brooklyn, and she must do everything in her power to help her – and try not to fall in love with the girl lost in time – before it’s too late . . .
Where I fell in love with RWRB FAST, my experience with One Last Stop was very different. At first, I was unsure. The start felt a little dense, a little slow, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to love this as much as McQuiston’s debut. For a while, I was so scared I was going to feel really disappointed. But fear not! It took a good 20% for me to get a grip on this book, for the story to really take off and for me to click with the characters. But when I finally did, I fell HARD. And the characters charmed my socks off. Especially the second half of the book was so amazing, and I just kept smiling while reading it
“If she absolutely has to have feelings, she can at least do it in private.”
So what did I love about this book? First of all, there were all these relatable things about August. Growing up to become a little cynical because of how the world is. Being so used to being in school, college, education, that you have no idea what to do with your life without that. Being a queer disaster of a person 😉 She’s such a fleshed out character, with insecurities and flaws and all the things that make someone human.
Then there’s the other characters. They are all larger than life, but not in a way that makes them feel fake. Actually, they feel so real, even though they’re all decidedly eccentric, which makes them that much more intriguing. These are people you want to get to know. Honestly, I’m the biggest sucker for the found family trope, especially when it’s queer, so August’s roommates were just wonderful to read about. I was really rooting for them as well. My one criticism would be that I would have loved for them to have more of their own storylines outside of the main plot, for them to be a little more fleshed out.
But what I especially loved is the atmosphere of the book. If RWRB is an upbeat, uplifting and hopeful romcom, One Last Stop is its melancholical counterpart. The writing style is actually rather similar, but August’s more cynical outlook on life shines through in the writing and especially in the atmosphere. This is especially true for the first half of the book, and the second half does get somewhat funnier and more hopeful, but even then there’s still this uncertainty of whether or not we will get our happy ending.
But what I really want to wax poetic about (which I won’t, don’t worry), is the wonderful, wonderful sapphic romance we got in this book. I feel like I’ve been waiting for a sapphic romance with this amount of yearning, this sheer intensity for a long, long time, and Casey McQuiston REALLY delivered. In that sense, this book was everything I was hoping for.
While I absolutely adored this book, despite the rocky start, I do think it’ll be a little more divisive than Red, White & Royal Blue has been. Because the more fantastical elements of the book require a lot of suspended disbelief, and I know not every reader will be up for that. I did love seeing the mystery unravel, but there were all these things that were maybe a little too coincidental and they did pull me out of the story a little bit sometimes.
But overall, this was a truly wonderful book and one I already know will become another all-time favourite.