One Last Stop – Casey McQuiston & Natalie Naudus (narrator)

One Last Stop is the kind of book I have to stop reading/listening to every fifteen minutes or so to let my heart rate slow down. The kind I don’t want to end. It’s delightful and charming and wonderful. It’s hot chocolate on a cold afternoon, sweet and warm and perfect.

August Landry left New Orleans to try and free herself from her mother’s obsession to solve her uncle’s disappearance. When she moves to New York, she expects to feel the way she’s always felt: like an outsider. She hopes to disappear in a city so big anonymity is an achievable goal. The opposite happens as she begins to belong, becomes someone, with a purpose and a raison d’être, thanks, in part, to her weird but wonderful roommates. At twenty-three, August is trying to convince herself she’s a loner and happy on her own, and never imagined she’d meet the most captivating girl on the subway. Jane Su is gorgeous and mysterious, kind and funny. With her tattoos, her leather jacket and her cassette player, she’s also endearingly quirky. A quirkiness that can be explained by the strange situation she’s in: if August sometimes feels lost in her own life, Jane is literally lost in time.

There’s so much longing and I love it even as it makes my heart ache. The longing isn’t only romantic, August longing for Jane, it’s also Jane’s longing to figure things out.

August is adorable. She doesn’t trust people but she trusts fried chicken, and she’s definitely not tough like a cactus. Seriously, I just want to take her in my arms and tell her everything is going to be alright. And I don’t take people in my arms. Jane, on the other hand, is so cool she shouldn’t need saving and yet…

When I wasn’t trying to stop my heart from breaking from all this adorableness, I had a huge smile on my face. And the best part is, all this exquisite sweetness doesn’t stop this book from being oh so sexy. The story is told from August’s point of view, in third person, and trust me, you’ll feel Jane’s hotness through her eyes.

August and Jane have undeniable chemistry from the moment they meet, August with coffee dripping off her shirt, Jane all cool and kind, but being hopeless sapphics, it takes them forever to act on it. Casey McQuiston makes longing and yearning really hot, with furtive glances and stolen touches, and a tenderness that should be at odds with the hotness but instead enhances it.

Technically, One Last Stop could also be categorised as an age gap story, as Jane was born forty-five years before August. The way the author chose to tell the story, however, they’re about the same age when they meet, albeit each with her own time period knowledge and experience. Hearing Jane talk about being a queer Asian woman in the seventies is fascinating, and mixes surprisingly well with the music and other pop culture references from August’s time and the times in between.

The secondary characters are some of the most charming and lovable I’ve encountered. August’s new roommates Niko, Myla and Wes, the accountant/drag queen neighbour, August’s coworkers at Pancake Billy’s House of Pancakes are as much part of the story as the two main characters. One of the many, many reasons this book is so good is because of what it says about found family and how fundamental it is for most queer people. It goes beyond a mere sense of community, it’s deeper and stronger.

I think this was my second narration by Natalie Naudus, the other one was as Victoria Mei and the book was nowhere near as good as this one, which explains why I don’t remember it. Her voices for the main characters are exactly what they should be, and the same is true for the secondary cast too. There’s never any doubt as to who is speaking, the pace is on point, the characters come to life. In a word, it’s perfect.

I wish I could give this book more than 5⭐️. I don’t often feel like rereading a book right after finishing it and I was already considering it before the end.

5-stars

One Last Stop @ Kobo

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