Author: Casey McQuiston
Series: n/a
Series #: n/a
Genre: LGBTQ+, romance, myster
Age Group: young adult
ARC?: yes

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.


But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.


On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square.


Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.


Review

Thank you to the publisher for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.


First off; I still love RW&RB more than anything McQuiston’s written since. Saying that, as their first foray into YA, this book read way more to the adult end. There isn’t anything in here resembling adult content, but it has the feel of an adult book written about teenagers and there is nothing wrong with that.

In fact, I love McQuiston’s writing. It’s fabulous. They truly have a gift for writing, and reading each page was a general pleasure. Even during some of the parts that I struggled with. And that’s just because I don’t enjoy YA contemporary that much anymore, but McQuiston’s name was on it, therefore I had to read it.

Overall, I think the book was good. It had themes that are going to resonate with each other, and as with all their books there was a bunch of diversity and pretty much the entire cast of characters were queer. I think this is really going to appeal to teens who seek to see themselves represented in places where it seems the most unlikely.

This shows how it feels to grow up in a very religious area who do not like anything different and still have racism embedded in the everyday life. But it also shows that there are people who are different from that; and that not everybody who lives there is terrible, and I think that is so important for teens who feel isolated or that they’re the only ones who feel like that.

I think this was a powerful book and is going to be very popular and become well loved. It was well written and touches on important topics in a way that meshes well with the story.

I think my only major complaints are that sometimes I felt the characters were a little flat, and that the pacing/plot of the story was a little awkward. But it was an enjoyable read.

.

Author: Casey McQuiston
Series: n/a
Series #: n/a
Genre: romance, LGBTQ+
Age Group: adult
ARC?: yers

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.


Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

It took me some time to evaluate how I felt about this book. When I read Red, White and Royal Blue it was at the right time, right place. I can’t articulate what resonated about it with me. I had hoped that One Last Stop would follow in those footsteps. This book also encompassed things I liked – more so than RWRB, so why did I like this one less than RWRB? My only conclusion is that I felt RWRB had more heart than OLS did. For me, personally at least. I really wanted to be like 10000/5 stars, but unfortunately, for me, that isn’t the case.

Let me make it very clear this book is still fabulous and a lot of people will love it but I think overall it had some issues because I feel RWRB was a lot to beat. Now that I’ve said that, there are some things that this book does that RWRB did as well, and did splendidly. As always, there is a lot of diversity in this series. It feels like McQuiston is really trying to reach the largest audience and most diverse one. So points for that. I think that they accomplish this very well. We’ve got Asian characters, Black characters, trans characters, queer characters and I do believe August is fat, so fat characters as well.

Pacing

I think my biggest issue with this book is the pacing. The pacing was driving me up the wall. I love a good slow paced character driven book. And this I think was supposed to be that. Unfortunately, some of it was a bit repetitive and boring at points. Usually you’re supposed to see character progression and we don’t really get that until the very end. I really think the pacing of this book is what made me love it a little bit less.

Characters

I did enjoy the characters. I like that August feels real. She was relatable to me in many ways, and I think she was the perfect character for the story to focus on and around. We get to see her POV more than anyone else’s and it is her story that drives the book. But as I said previously, at times it feels like the pacing doesn’t work and we’re not getting any progression which doesn’t help August’s character at all. I know August is supposed to be bi, and as a bi person and fat, I love her for it. I just wish…I’m not sure what else I wanted from her. But I feel that it is missing something for me.

The side characters were lovely too. I like how they all interacted and their stories that we get briefly. I especially liked how it all came together in the end. I’m not sure I could pick a favorite side character.

I very much enjoyed the relationship between Jane and August. I think the romance was well developed and absolutely adorable. As a note for people, this book does have explicit steamy scenes. So…yes. 😏

Moving on…

Plot

The plot. Granted, I only half read the description. Saw the author the cover, heard f/f meet cute essentially and was sold. I did not realize how much of a supernatural or paranormal element there was going to be in here. That was a lovely surprise because I love those elements in any story. I like how it was introduced too. I think that was so well done, that if you hadn’t know it had a supernatural element your jaw would drop. Mine did.

I think the only downside also is that it feels like there was so much going on in this book. Lots of little subplots supposed to be connecting to the next, and while I generally felt it was well done, I did feel that at points it was almost too much trying to juggle.

Last Thoughts

But overall, I think this book was absolutely amazing, and people are going to LOVE it. This is a sweet paranormal rom-com meet cute book, and it is going to appeal to a lot of people.

CW: mentions of death, anxiety, homophobia, racism, and blood.

.