The Best and Most Beautiful Moments From Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop

Reflecting on this electrifying novel, here are some of the most heartfelt and magical scenes perfecting this book. Read on to discover them!

Book Culture Bookish Lifestyle Just For Fun On This Day Pop Culture
On a cork board, Casey McQuiston's 'One Last Stop' is in a polaroid in the center, next to polaroids of the New York City Subway, newspaper clippings, a retro diner, and pride flags.

If Casey McQuiston has no fans, you can confidently assume I fell off the face of the Earth. McQuiston’s ability to expertly craft charming, three-dimensional characters, captivating, robust plots, and the most romantic, human, and heartfelt dialogues and scenes is truly masterful. The acclaimed author’s second novel, One Last Stop, is a prime example. Warning: spoilers ahead!

One Last Stop Summary

August Landry is looking for a fresh start, determined to be ruled by logic instead of emotion. She’s convinced that the only way to get through life mess-free is to be alone. Despite her new weird but charming roommates and an oddly comforting job at an otherworldly pancake diner, August keeps her cynicism alive. But one awkward yet fateful encounter has her thrown into the arms of Jane Su, a girl on the subway in a punk leather jacket and combat boots, who was somehow displaced from the 1970s, unable to leave the subway.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston book cover.

Against the backdrop of the vibrant New York City — a character in itself — August, Jane, and their found family of friends must figure out a way to release Jane from the Q train, even if that means sending her back to the 70s and losing August. Traversing through Jane’s past relationships, intertwined with American queer history, the art and science of time travel, and loads of humor, the two girls finally discover what love and home means.

Although the entire book is remarkable, a few key moments lie at its core. Looking back on the timeless novel, including the special edition bonus chapter, we will reminisce about the parts of the book that made us laugh, cry, or both!

The Su Special

The Su Special, an off-the-menu Pancake Billy’s sandwich created for and named after the enigmatic Jane Su, is a testament to how many lives she’s impacted across time and space. The first time August had it, it was ordered by Lucie and made by Jerry, both of whose lives were either very directly or indirectly touched by Jane. Through this small but touching gesture at the diner, we can see August beginning to make roots in New York.

The Su Special is also first introduced right after August meets Jane. Referring to her as Subway Girl in her mind because she never got her name, August doesn’t believe she’ll ever see her again in the hustle and bustle of the city. But indulging in the Su Special is proof of the fateful link that exists between Jane and August.

When Myla…Did Literally Anything

Casey McQuiston has a knack for pumping life into every person in their novels; readers almost fall more in love with a side character than the main ones. In the case of One Last Stop, that side character is Myla. Myla is the very definition of BFF. From the moment readers meet her, we are captivated by her personality and intelligence and charmed by her enormous heart. She helps August get her job at Billy’s, acclimates her to Apartment 6F, and is a crucial driving force in releasing Jane from the Q. No matter what, she has her friends’ back.

Isaiah’s Drag Family Easter Brunch

Isaiah’s drag family Easter brunch is a celebration of queer culture, found family, and friendship. Readers see the unity among residents of Apartment 6F, Isaiah’s drag family, and Pancake Billy’s House of Pancakes workers. Their humorous but full-of-love banter and electrifying energy make for a night that dances off the pages.

Toward the end of the party, August works up the courage to kiss Jane truthfully and faithfully. It unlocks a memory not of the girls of Jane’s past, but of her family, birth name, and everything else she’s forgotten in the decades on the train. This glorious party ends in a life-changing breakthrough for both Jane and August, pushing the plot forward.

That Subway Scene

Although Jane’s entire existence is connected to the electricity of the subway rail, this makes for excellent symbolism, as electricity acts as a manifestation of her love for August. When Jane is with August, the subway lights flicker, sparks fly, and, at times, the entire rail short circuits. Although August second-guesses her ability to be loved by Jane, she doesn’t have to. The signs were there from the very beginning!

Jane’s Gray Hair

After August jumps on the third rail to zap Jane back into reality, she can’t find Jane for weeks. But for Jane, it’s mere seconds before she can walk out of the station and into the party at Billy’s. The two reunite and rush back to Apartment 6F, the apartment August proudly calls home, delightfully relishing the possibility of a future together.

One day, August notices a gray hair on Jane’s head. They rush to the bathroom mirror to marvel at it together, and it finally hits them: Jane is staying in this timeline, and their future together becomes a fact. This sweet moment is also a nod to Jane’s family, who grays early, making it even sweeter.

Myla and Niko’s Wedding

In the bonus chapter included in the stunning special edition of the novel, Myla and Niko get married. It is reminiscent of Isaiah’s Easter brunch, bending society’s heteronormative ideals in favor of an authentic, bighearted celebration of their love. Wes and Isaiah are together, and August and Jane conclude the chapter with their own engagement. Preceded by Jane’s poignant and profound reunion with her family in San Fransico, the novel’s themes of family, queer history and culture, and unconditional romance are perfectly wrapped up.

A Timeless Novel

One Last Stop is multi-dimensional, layered, and the ultimate read for anyone looking for a rom-com-style book with rich characters and plots. If you love One Last Stop, check out Casey McQuiston’s other two published works, Red, White & Royal Blue, and I Kissed Shara Wheeler, and stay tuned for future works!

Click here to read more about One Last Stop.

For more LGBTQ+ book recs, click here!