Cover of One Last Stop, featuring a girl with long red hair looking at a girl with short black hair standing on a subway car

Cover Story: Missed Connection
BFF Charm: Heck Yes
Talky Talk: Ain’t No Sophomore Slump
Bonus Factors: LGBTQ+, Found Family
Relationship Status: MFEO

Cover Story: Missed Connection

There’s something singularly magical about spotting someone intriguing on the subway just before the doors close, whisking them away to their own life and out of yours. This cover captures that feeling to great effect, and I love how the two characters aren’t your still-way-too-typical skinny white folk.

The Deal: 

August Landry has just moved to Brooklyn to find a new life. She’s not there to make friends; instead, the thing she loves most about the city is the idea of getting lost in the crowd. But fate has other plans, and the moment she gets on the subway, covered in coffee and smelling like her new job at Pancake Billy’s House of Pancakes—a job she got thanks to her new roommates, a couple who are very much not interested in leaving August alone—and locks eyes with the stunning Jane Su, all those plans go out the window. 

And then she figures out that Jane’s stuck on the Q … and from the 1970s.

BFF Charm: Heck Yes

BFF Charm Heck Yes - sparklier and shinier than the original BFF Charm

August is a fascinating woman. She grew up with a single mother who was obsessed with the cold case of her missing brother and while teaching August all of her skills also used her to get more information. (Lots for August to unpack with a therapist there.) She’s got a very clinical mind and—thanks? to her mother—is very good at investigations. She’s a little closed off at first, but if you can earn her trust and make yourself a fixture in her life, she’ll reciprocate. I’d love to have the chance to break through her walls.

And when she starts teaching Jane about the present—

“August grins as the train stops at Union Square and commuters start piling off, freeing up a few spaces on the bench. ‘All right. Sit down. I’ll tell you about the Fast and Furious franchise. That’ll take a good hour.'”

—I knew she was definitely BFF material.

Swoonworthy Scale: 9

McQuiston knows how to bring the swoon—and the sexytimes. One Last Stop is as hot as Red, White, & Royal Blue, with one caveat: A lot of said sexytimes happen on the subway. I’ve been on the subway. It’s not a place I’d want to shuck my clothes and get down to business, even if the object of my carnal desires is as hot as Jane is. And I’m not talking about the very public nature of a subway car. 

The grime, y’all. THE GRIME.

Talky Talk: Ain’t No Sophomore Slump

From the very start of McQuiston’s debut, I had a good feeling that they were an author to watch. But there’s no telling what might happen between book 1 and book 2 (or any subsequent books); what seems like a sure thing could turn out to be … not. I didn’t need to worry, though—One Last Stop is just as delightful and perfect as Red, White, & Royal Blue, and even with the magical/science fiction elements, it feels even more real. The characters are brilliant, the settings convincing, the story full of little details that make it easy to get lost in the flow. I could smell Pancake Billy’s, feel the bass of the drag shows at Delilah’s, and hear the rumble of the subway cars as they left the station. The book is a love letter to so many things, and it made me love them all, too, without noticing it was happening but grateful for it in the end.

Bonus Factor: LGBTQ+

Pride flag being waved in a parade

There are a variety of queer characters in One Last Stop. August is bisexual, Jane is a lesbian, other characters are gay and trans.

And it’s not only the characters that make the book delightfully queer; there is a lot of history in the book, thanks in part to Jane being an activist in her time.

Bonus Factor: Found Family

Characters Jen Jack and Grams from Dawson's Creek standing together

When August answers an ad to become a fourth roommate, she’s more interested in the somewhat inexpensive rent than she is in making friends. Thankfully, her new roommates are all about drawing August out of her shell. Myla is a brilliant artist. Her boyfriend Niko is a psychic. And Wes is a nocturnal tattoo artist. Together they make a misfit family of the very best kind, and August immediately fits, even if she doesn’t want to admit it.

Relationship Status: MFEO

No one asked you to come into my life and make me love you, Book, but that’s exactly what you did. There’s no going back now. I hope you realize that you’re stuck with me forever!

Literary Matchmaking

Red, White & Royal Blue

If you haven’t already read McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue, please do yourself the favor.

Beach Read

Emily Henry’s Beach Read is another swoony adult romance with a little less scifi.

The Girls I’ve Been

And for another found family story with queer characters, try Tess Sharpe’s The Girls I’ve Been.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from St. Martin’s Griffin, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. One Last Stop is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.