I received an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston from Macmillan Publishing. Since this version is just a proof and not the final version, I won’t quote directly and will keep my comments general.
I’m not sure I’ve ever read an ARC so far in advance, but I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this story! And McQuiston didn’t disappoint!
August Landry prides herself on being a skeptic, so moving in with a psychic and his quirky roommates in New York is a bit of an eye-opener. Even more surprising is when she develops a crush on a girl, Jane, who has the same commute on the Q train. And when Jane turns out to be displaced in time, who’s lost her memories, August decides it’s time to believe in something, so that perhaps she can save the girl she’s falling for.
McQuiston returns strong with her second novel—fantastic characters, funny and heartfelt dialogue, and a plot that keeps the reader turning the pages. I absolutely loved August and Jane, whose banter and chemistry are so amazing. They both have so much personality, with flaws and quirks and layers that not only make for some excellent character-driven development but also give their relationship a sense of reality.
The other characters, from August’s roommates to her coworkers at Pancake Billy’s, are also delightful. McQuiston is so skilled at crafting real-feeling characters. They make for a funny, endearing, diverse cast who I desperately want to be friends with. I especially loved Isaiah, who is so sweet and flamboyant and hilarious. But Wes and Niko and Myla are also incredible. And so are Lucie and Winfield… Okay, I just love the entire cast.
Another thing she’s skilled at is the plot, even though this one is quite a departure from her first novel, Red, White & Royal Blue. This story is set firmly in modern day New York, but also has a foot in the past and a foot in the supernatural. Weaved in with the love story is an examination of gay history, an exploration of belonging and seeking independence, and a good old-fashioned mystery. It’s a wonder to behold, in turns amusing, touching, exciting, heart-wrenching, and hopeful.
I should probably wrap this up before I list everything that happened in the book and compliment each one profusely. Basically, this novel is a joy. It is a story of connections, of being lost in life but finding happiness again when you meet the right people. It is a story of memory and learning who you are and what you believe in. It is a story of embracing love and vulnerability, even when you might get your heart broken. In the end, One Last Stop is a spectacular book with a beautiful love story that grabs your heart and makes you smile.
(Also, I have had that certain Queen song stuck in my head and feeling ALL of the emotions for days because of this book. I love Casey McQuiston.)
Overall rating: 9/10
Content note: There is adult language and (consensual) sexual content, so I’d say this is not a novel for younger teens, just for older teens and adults.
One Last Stop is due to be published in June 2021!