Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! One Last Stop is available now!
Genre: LGBTQIA+, Romance, Mystery
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: 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.
My Review: One Last Stop is an enchanting, unforgettable story that takes your heart on a journey where two lost souls find themselves and love defies the laws of time at every stop.
I didn’t expect this story to go the way it did. One Last Stop is more than it appears on the surface the same way the mystery surrounding Jane is. The romantic suspense was high but didn’t overshadow all the other parts that makes this story so charming.
August and Jane are amazing main characters and super relatable. The lack of true family connections, of a place to plant roots, have left them feeling lost. Almost going through the motions of living and never quite fitting in wherever they wandered. In that, I felt a profound kinship to August and Jane.
August has vehemently wanted out the quote unquote family business of helping her mother find her runaway brother. So I was surprised by how quickly and eagerly she latched onto solving why Jane – a punk-rock style queer Asian girl from the 1970s – is stuck on the Q train. Yet I kind of get it because of the kind or person Jane is.
Jane is a bright, shining star. She’s colorful, kind, effervescent and funny. Her presence draws you in and once within her orbit you can’t help but feel happy or loved. I don’t think she realizes just how great of a person she is and how much of herself she’s left on people, places, and time.
Really the entire cast of characters in One Last Stop are amazing, endearing, dynamic, and diverse. August’s roommates are so chill and made me smile a lot with their antics and freeing way of life. August’s co-workers at a pancake diner are tough on the outside but inside they are so much more that it’s hard to describe. I wanted to be friends with all these people who are so supportive of one another.
Of course, this story isn’t without its share of heartaches. There’s how much of a toll Jane being “present” has on her. The life Jane and others have lived prior to the start of this book. The hate towards LGBTQIA+ community and the resentful disappoint some of the characters have experienced. And ultimately how time hinders the growing love between August and Jane.
I had some trouble getting into the story and really feeling something for what was happening. It felt slow going, as if the story could have been wrapped up much earlier. In hindsight, the story was fully told and what took place made the plot and characters richer.
My favorite parts were Isaiah’s annual drag family Easter brunch and the Christmas in July party. Those scenes were so much fun and allowed August to really consider and experience things for the first time in her life.
In the end, I enjoyed reading One Last Stop. It’s a unique, time-travel romance with a well-written mystery to be solved. All of the characters are wholesome, lovable, and vibrant. A beautiful story.