I have some bad news about One Last Stop. It is marketed as a romance but I am here to tell you that it is not a romance novel. Does it have two people that flow through the typical HEA-type storyline? Sure does. Are there sexy scenes? Yup, although it was difficult for me to think about Jane and August having sex on the New York subway system given what I have heard about its safety and cleanliness.
One Last Stop has a romance storyline in it but it is a book about belonging. It is a book about found family. And even more than that it’s a book about acceptance.
I cannot think of the last time I sat down to read a book that wrapped itself around me like a warm, soft blanket like OLS did. So many different LGBTQIA+ were represented in this book and their interactions were absolutely seamless and normal. The community around August and her roommates is so diverse and weird and wild and everyone in it would stop what they were doing to support each other and that was just…I don’t know what to say but I felt like I was being held after doing a trust fall. Every character was allowed to be themselves unapologetically and everyone around them accepted them for who they were wholeheartedly. The safety in which this story holds you cannot be overemphasized. I would pity anyone trying to ruin what August’s community has going. They would be smushed by the nearest drag queen’s fabulous high heels and then THANK THEM FOR IT because those shoes are FABULOUS girl.
Jane is an interesting source because she is magically out of her own time. She was part of the riots, protests, and struggles of the LGBT community in the 1960-70s, and so McQuiston pays homage to all the struggles and sacrifices that allowed the community that August enjoys to exist in the first place. This is very important, and the recognition of the past made the present that much more meaningful. I appreciated the warm blanket even more and sent up a thank you to those who wove its threads together.
Red, White & Royal Blue is a completely different kind of book from One Last Stop. They are both romances, but where RWRB shows the struggles of how difficult it can be to be gay in a world where it is forbidden or shunned and overcoming those obstacles, One Last Stop shows how a community can celebrate all aspects of all people and how we can hold each other up instead of holding others back. Do yourself a favor: grab a comfort beverage and wrap yourself in this warm, welcoming, accepting story. You deserve it.
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