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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.6 out of 5
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  • So authentically, joyfully queer

    This book is so authentically, joyfully queer in a way that kind of wrecked me. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that has felt quite as much like it was written for and about people like me - queer adult women in their early to mid 20s. The heroines - August, a 23-year-old white bisexual woman who just moved to NYC, and Jane - a 24-year-old Chinese woman from the 1970s who is stuck on the Q train - are, both together and individually, an absolute revelation. They are smart and sexy and1 hilarious. The book tackles an impossible conflict with beautiful, complex characters and a stunning romance. It is so loving, messy, and vulnerable. It's intense, intimate, and mature, with a great, expansive cast of characters that feel both integrated and integral to the romance without overtaking the central story. Both August and Jane are jagged and hopeful in the best of ways as they learn how to love both themselves and each other. The story doesn't hinge on one or the other of them coming out or discovering their queerness and while their trauma is important and central to the story, joy and light truly do reign in this book. One specific aspect I particularly appreciated was the representation of August's virginity. She's a mature virgin in her 20s navigating what having sex means to her, and that felt really real to me in way that I rarely see in romance, today or in the past. Another highlight: KISSES FOR EVIDENCE GATHERING. This book also deals with queer history in a way that feels so reverent and necessary. Because Jane is a lesbian from the 1970s, she lived through some of the most revolutionary times in queer American history. This means that she lived in a time that was both wonderful and scary, transformative and ordinary, and Jane asks both August and the reader to confront what we owe our ancestors who fought for us then. I am both moved and impressed by the way this book melds past and present on the warped continuum of time. One thing I do want to note is that it does feel disconcerting to read a book set in New York City in 2020 that does not address Covid-19 at all. I imagine this book was written/drafted before the pandemic hit, but I found this alternate timeline, especially in light of the great attention to precise history and events in both NYC and elsewhere, strange. Natalie Naudus's narration is fluid and intimate and all together spectacular. I laughed, I cried, I thanked my queer ancestors. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the ALC. CW: missing persons, homophobic family, death of a family member, homophobic violence/hate speech (off page), police violence (off page), racist violence (off page), arson, historic hate crime

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  • This was so much fun!

    Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for the audioARC of this in exchange for my honest review. This was so good! I loved RWaRB, and so when I heard that Casey McQuiston had another queer book coming out, this time with a sci-fi twist, I was desperate to get my hands on it ASAP. The premise was so fun, and I loved watching Jane get her memories back, while August finds herself a family, finds love, and finds herself. I couldn't put it down, and I loved the ending so much. I'm glad we got closure on what happened to everyone.

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  • Fun romance with a bit of a fantasy/sci-fi twist

    {Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan audio for the gift of an ALC in exchange for an honest review.} CW: referenced homophobia, racism, public sex August is a young bisexual woman moving to Brooklyn with more emotional baggage than material possessions. Trained from young age in the arts of detection and not trusting anyone, August wants nothing more than put her past behind her, and stop assisting her mother is her obsessive search for August’s uncle who disappeared when his sister was a child. One day, August meets Jane on the Q train, and is immediately smitten. The only problem is that Jane is actually from the 1970s, and has somehow been stuck on the train for forty years. August must dust off her detecting skills and, with the help of her found family, help Jane get unstuck. This is a f/f romance novel with a bit of a supernatural twist due to the time-travel element. A word of warning: the novel treats in a pretty light manner issues like homophobia in the 1970s, police brutality against LGBTQ-rights activists, and racism against Asian people. August even cheerfully tells Jane (a Chinese-American woman) that racism doesn’t exist anymore immediately after Jane recounts a racist attack she just experienced. This certainly shows a lack of awareness and sensitivity in the writer that has to be pointed out. My favourite parts of the novel have to do with the way August, who has been solitary her entire life, learns to let her roommates in and they become her family. I am a sucker for the found family tropes and this one is delightful. The secondary characters were quirky and fun, from August’s roommates to the employees of the restaurant she works at. I am also a sucker for a heist, especially in a book where that kind of thing doesn’t seem to belong, and this one has a heist! The romance is lovely and features several pretty hot sex scenes which made me glad I wasn’t listening to the audiobook in public. There is a fantasy/science-fiction element in the time-travelling/ghost love interest that may be off-putting to a reader who doesn’t expect it, but I really liked it even though it required a pretty strong willingness to suspend disbelief. The narrator was excellent, her speech was quick, lively, and full of emotion, especially convincing during the sex scenes. Towards the end I felt like the voices for the two male roommates became a bit confused, but aside from this little detail she was perfect.

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  • WLW Dream Come True

    Casey Mcquiston has done it again! A wonderfully familiar story of strangers meeting and falling hopelessly in love with the most unexpected will they/won't they twist. A definite must read for pride and every other month of the year!

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  • One of my favourite stories this year

    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.

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