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Saturday, April 24, 2021

Book Review: One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

August has had a tough life. Not as tough as some, but not fun either. Her mom has been obsessed with her missing uncle since before August was even born (she's named after him.) And August spent her entire childhood learning how to research, finagle, request, and dig to find answers, even where there don't seem to be any. The two of them lived hand to mouth in New Orleans and now she's finishing up college, having transferred to Brooklyn College. She moves into an interesting apartment with pretty unique roommates, and gets a job as a waitress at a local pancake house. Her first day commuting to class on the Q, she spills coffee all over herself. A stranger on the subway offers her a scarf to hide the stains. The stranger, who she dubs Subway Girl, is mysterious, confidant, and sexy. August sees her again the next day. And again the day after that. As they share the same commute, they eventually strike up a conversation, and August finds herself reluctantly falling in love.

Then, there's a twist. A pretty new twist, to me. One I really didn't see coming. That's when I finally was all-in on this book. It's no fault of this book, but Ms. McQuiston's last book, Red, White, and Royal Blue, was so bananas amazing that I was having a hard time at first getting over the fact that this wasn't Red, White and Royal Blue II. But the hook got me.

Now August has a new mystery on her hands to research. She has to figure out the twists and turns of her new relationship. She loves her found family, but also is wary of risking her feelings. Speaking of feelings, her relationship with her mother changes too. Oh, and she finds out something about her uncle. And the pancake house might close. And there are drag queens. And an epic party.

It's a super fun book with all the feels. It came at me from a different angle and I really appreciate that. Having lived at the very end of the W, I understand what it's like to have strange opinions about different types of subways cars, and the weird feeling when you start to notice the same people day after day. August grows up, starts to come into herself, and makes some room for other people in her tightly wound heart. A colleague said this book is like a warm hug, and it's hard to argue with that, or come up with a better summation.

This book is published by St. Martin's Griffin, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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