One Last Stop to Love
Our next stop; Casey McQuinton’s novel One Last Stop. This is one that everyone has been talking about for weeks so we just had to give it a go. Didn’t turn out quite the way we had hoped, and you’ll see why right after that read more break. But first, here’s your synopsis…
“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.”
Erin: I have to say, we’re a bit backwards and turned around when it comes to this book. I wasn’t really looking forward to reading it (didn’t even read the summary before starting) and once I got going, I thought “oh my god, Ashli is going to lose it for this book, it's so good”. When I’m halfway through the book in one sitting, I message her and say have you started?! Ashli tells me she may not be interested enough to finish. Cue my disappointed pouty face.
Ashli: I’d had it sitting in my Netgalley feed for quite some time… It looked like an amazing premise and I think I will enjoy it at some point… but my brain has been all over the place! All I am really getting through lately are middle-grade novels though I gotta get started on our last read for this month… Because of my lack of ability to finish this one, I will be handing the reins of this interview over to Erin. No offense at all to this book! I just need the right brain set.
Erin: I was automatically won over by the characters in this book. They were all so unique and interesting, without the author throwing her hands out and saying “look! Diversity!”. When August meets her roommates, I really wanted to move in, too. As soon as I met Niko I texted Ashli to say, ``this man is a kindred spirit, I wish we could be friends in real life”. Just to break them down quickly so you get the jist of what we’re working with August moves into an apartment with the following gang:
Niko: Latino trans bartender/psychic
Myla: African American electrical engineer/artist dating Niko
Wes: gay Jewsish tattoo artist in love with a drag queen
These people were instantly welcoming to August and they felt so warm and family-like to me . There was a lot of good representation in this book and brought forth some of the issues faced in both the 70s and 2000s.
I didn’t automatically love Jane like I loved the others and I think that's because I didn’t read the summary and didn’t expect her to be the main character at first. Jane is a Chinese lesbian who August meets on the Q train one morning. There is an adorable meet-cute (that I didn't even realize was one until after). Jane is soon someone August sees frequently on the train and they become friends. It's interesting because we always see everything from August’s point of view, and she’s got it bad. It took me a while to feel like Jane was into August as well, because she has this rough, aloof exterior. As the book goes on, we find Jane is a really soft, lovely person who loves fiercely and stands up for what she believes in. She's reckless, with a big appetite for adventure. She has a million crazy amazing stories about all the wild things she's done, and the people she has loved throughout her life, and it really endeared her to me over the course of the book.
Erin: I would have known this had I read the description but my brain melted slightly when I realized there was a magical element to this book. Jane isn’t just the girl of August’s dreams, she’s a girl out of time. Somehow she’s been displaced from the 1970s and can’t physically get off the train. Kicker: until August showed up, Jane didn’t even know this was the case. As the two fall in love, it becomes August’s mission to get Jane unstuck from the train. Their love story felt unique for me and the way the romance was written was so heartfelt. I think too it was the level or realism that made the characters so easy to connect to. Their romance felt so real and the awkwardness of being a virgin, the time it takes to learn another person’s body, the emotional torture of first love and yearning for someone made this story so special.
Taking a step away from the romance is the topic of the UpStairs Lounge fire in 1973. It was the largest LGBTQ+ mass murder prior to the nightclub shooting in 2016. Casey tasks herself with honouring the voices of those who came before us and urges the world to see the lgbtqiap+ community as one that deserves all the same civil rights as anyone else. Being a cis white woman, I can’t speak to what it must feel like to fight for your right to exist. But what I found in this book was an amazing story of what it can take to be yourself, a book that celebrates and supports marginalized voices.
Ashli: Oooo I didn’t even realize that they cover the fire in this book! I am going to have to retry this one this summer while we take our break. As someone who identifies as Bi-sexual, it is def a fight but one that is worth it.
Thanks for sticking with us this year everyone! We have one last book review before we take a summer break where we will be doing a couple posts on general themes including summer reads. If you have any ideas that you want to see, please let us know on our instagram page! In the meantime, see you all next week for Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Malibu Rising.
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