Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!
Casey McQuiston has become one of the most talked about writers over the last few years, as her debut novel, RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE, took the book communities (and my!) breath away. Her second novel, ONE LAST STOP, came out just a few weeks ago, and needless to say, had a lot of expectations to fulfill.
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all. (Synopsis from Goodreads.com)
Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations. I was initially weary of this story because of the sci-fi elements that I do not usually enjoy, but the time travelling part of the plot was actually one of my favourite elements of the story. Instead, I had a lot of trouble with the actual romance. I have recently discovered my dislike for the “love at first sight” romance trope. I much prefer “friends to lovers” or “hate to love”, because with those tropes, the characters form some sort of connection and/or chemistry between them before they, inevitably, fall for each other. While I liked both August and Jane, the two main characters in this story, I had hard time placing them together in a romantic way, at least until the very, very end of the story. To me, the romance fell short, which is obviously very unfortunate, because the romance is the central plot in this novel.
I will admit, that while I like and enjoy McQuiston’s writing style, a lot of the stuff in this novel went straight over my head. There were a lot of random plot lines that were mixed into this story, especially at the end, which made me start to skim the last quarter of the novel (and that’s after I had already spent three straight days working through it!). A lot of the plot lines were unnecessary to me, and had a few of them been eliminated, I might have ended up enjoying the romance more!
The one things I REALLY enjoyed about this novel was August’s friend group. August’s roommates were some of the most fun and enjoyable characters to read about. There personalities and interests were all very different from one another, which I think made them work together that much better. I would normally say I would like to have read more about the side characters, but because of the length of this novel, the information that McQuiston shared about them was the perfect amount.
Overall, this novel really disappointed me, and I ended up giving it a 2/5 star rating. Because of how much I loved RW&RB, I will definitely pick up the next book McQuiston writes, because I’m hoping that my dislike of this book is a fluke. I should mention that I am the unpopular opinion when it comes to this book, so if it does interest you, I’d still recommend checking it out.
Good Night Book Owls!