There’s just something about the subway, isn’t there? It’s sort of like a grungier, condensed version of the airport experience. Time doesn’t feel real, and you sort of just drop off the grid while you’re in transit. It’s a kind of limbo or purgatory that all subway or metro riders will recognize. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, who also wrote Red, White & Royal Blue, centers on an extreme version of this phenomenon with a romantic twist.
I’d call this book a sci-fi lite modern romance with the love story front and center. I don’t typically love romances, but I did enjoy this book! It was a fun read with LGBTQ representation and bi visibility, which I personally appreciate. The charming characters were my favorite aspect of this novel, and the detailed New Orleans references won me over.
That being said, there were super cheesy romantic moments that gave me secondhand embarrassment so hard I had to pause reading for a second. I know romances in general tend to walk the endearing/cringe line, so that could be a me problem. There were also some gaping holes in the sci-fi premise, but this book isn’t meant to be a detailed, scientific sci-fi novel. It’s a cute, fun and quick read that I quite enjoyed.
A Brief Summary
August Landry, a 23-year old New Orleanian turned New Yorker arrives in NYC with just four boxes of belongings to her name. She’s just transferred schools, and she’s hoping that she can get a fresh start in the Big Apple after spending most of her life (including childhood) as a permanently on-call research assistant to her mom in the unsolved case of her missing uncle.
August has since quit the case, traumatized by her mother’s obsession with it, but she still has trouble understanding who she really is aside from her Nancy Drew instincts. It isn’t long before August secures an apartment above a Popeye’s (score) and becomes family with her roommates. She even has a crush on one of the subway regulars on her route — a tall, attractive woman who goes by Jane.
After lots of subway chats and flirting, August asks Jane out a couple of times, but Jane never shows. Yet she’s always happy to spend time with August on the subway. It isn’t long before August realizes that Jane is no ordinary lady…
Once August realizes that Jane needs her help, she will do nearly everything to save her — attending a séance led by her psychic roommate, spearheading a drag show to end all drag shows, and spending hours and hours on the subway talking to Jane about her past to find clues, which is totally the only reason August keeps riding the subway over and over with Jane. She’s totally not in love.
You know, except that she is. So in love that August gets her friends to help her defy laws of physics in the name of Jane.
I chose to make the Su Special for a few reasons:
- It’s the go-to employee order at Billy’s, the diner where August currently works. Turns out, Jane, whose last name is Su, invented it while she worked there, so that in itself makes it the perfect choice.
- Every time it’s mentioned, it sounds amazing.
- It’s a breakfast sandwich, and that is my favorite type of breakfast.
‘That Su Special, though,” August says.
The spark in Subway Girl’s [Jane’s] eyes ignites so brilliantly that August expects her to jump out of her seat. ‘Wait, that’s my sandwich! I invented it!’
‘Yeah, that’s my last name! Su!” she explains. ‘I had Jerry make it special for me so many times, everybody started getting them. I can’t believe he still makes them.’One Last Stop, pg. 35
See what I mean? Perfect dish to make for this one. It’s also super simple, and I can actually see myself making this again. It’s just a runny fried egg, bacon, hot sauce, and maple syrup on Texas toast. Easy-peasy.
- 1 egg
- 2 – 3 strips of bacon
- 2 pieces of Texas toast
- maple syrup
- hot sauce I used Sriracha.
- Prepare your bacon on the stovetop or in the oven. I like to cook my bacon by putting it on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and putting it in a cold oven. Then, I set the oven to preheat to 425°. Usually, it's perfect by the time the oven preheats.
- Then, take advantage of your pre-heated oven to prepare your Texas toast.
- While your toast is in the oven, fry your egg sunny-side up.
- Once your bacon, toast, and egg is prepared. Assemble the sandwich. Add as much syrup and hot sauce as you like and enjoy!
One Last Stop was a cute read. I liked it a lot, but I can’t say I loved it. If romances are your thing though, give it a shot! Or even if not, it’s a well-written and entertaining book. The characters are dynamic and memorable. Overall, I enjoyed reading it.
Please do yourself a favor and make the Su Special for breakfast one day. I had it the other night as breakfast for dinner, and I can verify that Jane is a culinary genius.
Let me know what you think!