A few weeks back, I had eye surgery and was exploring audio books when I stumbled on an unexpected LGTBQ+ romance called “One Last Stop,” written by Casey McQuiston. I figured, why not?
Now, to be clear, the “why not” doesn’t necessarily refer to the heroine being from an underrepresented community. What made me hesitate (and ultimately purchase the book) was having Siri read me a summary that described it as a “magical time-travel romance.” To be fair, it was hard to see what I was buying.
Still, when better to try things out of the norm than when you are sick, feeling sorry for yourself, and have a lot of time on your hands?
And so I blindly – literally – clicked and listened.
It started a bit on the slow side. Our young female protagonist August moves to New York into a quirky flat share. But contrary to her belief that the only good way to go through life is alone, she finds herself involuntarily befriended by her room mates and enjoying her interactions with her colleagues at the 24-hour pancake diner.
She’s determined to stay the loneliness course, though, with her subway commute being a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
And then it happens. She meets a gorgeous girl on the metro and instantly is drawn to her. Lucky her, the girl, Jane, happens to be on the same train every time August gets on that train. Imagine the odds. Well, in this case the odds are pretty good. That’s because – and here is the magical part – Jane’s actually displaced in time from the 1970s and is stuck on the train.
Now August embarks on a different journey.
August activates all that she hates about her own past to help Jane, and even pulls her room mates into the adventure. Before she knows it, she’s not alone at all anymore. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.
While the start was a bit slow, the world of New York was well written. And the story really comes to life with the quirky characters you meet and the mysteries you solve. About 5 chapters in, I found myself rooting for the crazy psychic roommate, listening to 70s punk rock when I wasn’t listening to the audio book, and thinking about how August could help Jane.
It was nice see things from August’s point of view, albeit a slightly depressed view at times. And I found myself really hoping for August to connect to not just Jane but also the world around her, to leave her self-imposed loneliness behind. Because it’s one thing to want to be alone, but no one should want to be lonely
I won’t spoil the ending, but let me just say that it is worth the listen. Or read, if you prefer.