McQuiston, Casey. “One Last Stop”, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2021.
A Romantic Comedy
Twenty-three year old August has moved to New York in the hopes of proving that “things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist” and that the only smart way to go through life is alone and by herself. She doesn’t see herself as a waitress and sharing an apartment but that all changes. One day, she meets mysterious Jane, a beautiful girl on the train. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but she learns that there’s a major problem. Jane is actually displaced in time from the 1970s, and August realizes that she is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Has the time come to start believing again?
August has moved from university to university, state to state, looking the place where she would feel at home. She wants to find herself, her own way, and feel like she finally belongs somewhere. At the start of this story, Getting to New York where she hopes to finish her degree, she thinks that it might just be the right place. In order to have a place to live she has to team up with others and this is quite a group—Niko, a trans Latino psychic bartender, Myla, a queer Black electrical engineer turned artist and Wes, queer Jewish tattoo artist. The diversity of the characters is obvious.
On her first day’s commute to school, August takes the Q train where she meets a girl who she cannot stop thinking about but the odds of her being at that exact spot again are low. But then, she sees her again and realizes that she not only is on the Q every time August is on it, but in the exact same train car.
Jane is a Chinese lesbian who can’t remember anything about her past. August can’t stop thinking about her and decides to do whatever it takes to help her figure out Jane’s past. Their relationship advances and becomes sexual as well as romantic.
We read about the LGBTQ community and especially queer people of color. The book looks to the past in order to give us a story about the present and we see that there is a place for each of us. We have quirky characters, coming-of-age confusion, laughs throughout and many pop-cultural references.