One Last Stop
It was Valentine’s Day yesterday, and I was stuck in quarantine, but at least I had something sapphic to read!
August is a woman who doesn’t know where, exactly, she belongs. She’s ended up in New York, in an apartment with three other weirdos, but she’s still not quite sure. Until she meets Jane on the Q train, and everything spirals. Jane is...wonderful and an enigma, and everything that August has ever pushed away. But some mysteries are too interesting to ignore.
Okay, okay, before I get into everything I want to address my issues. SPOILERS, of course.
So, the whole reason that Jane is on the line is because she should’ve died when she fell onto the third rail, but then August kisses her when she‘s on the third rail, and somehow doesn’t die? Also they have sex on the subway? This book requires you to suspend your disbelief, which I did, but only because I trust this author. If this book wasn’t so well-written, and by an author I was familiar with, I realize I’d be ranting about this, but I digress. Also, they live in New York. They live in New York, August is a full time student, and her rent is $700 a month. For at least a month, she skips off work and school to hang out with Jane, but she’s still able to pay rent, pay for the subway, pay for food, and manages to graduate on time because she ONLY missed two midterms and her grades were already so good. It’s just hitting like main character syndrome, where August can do a number of things and still keep her job, keep her school, get the girl, and can still manage to feed herself and Jane. It’s not very realistic, especially since I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. I don’t care if a hot lesbian dropped out of the sky, I am not blowing off my job for three weeks for her, no matter her sci-fi conundrum.
Anyway. This book was too good for any of that to bother me for long, so onto what I liked!
Everyone is gay, and I’m absolutely here for it. There are two maybe straight people in the whole book but they’re both dating an LGBT so I’m still not wrong. There’s bi, lesbian, pan, and trans rep, and it’s all done in such a wonderful way where it feels natural and not like just a box to check. Speaking of, there are only two white people in this book as well: August and Lucie. It‘s so refreshing to read a book with the white people in the minority, especially in a romance. Reading all of those romances in December were a nightmare with all the cis straight white people.
I love mixing science in with my books, and after having to slog through The Love Hypothesis (ick), having just a character casually be an engineer (turned artist, Myla is a woman after my own heart) that can help Jane and August piece everything together gives me the same good vibes as all the characters in Into the Drowning Deep. It’s lovely.
This book is all about found families and different kinds of love and accepting yourself and others and I’m so here for it. There’s a plotline about the drag community, plotlines about healing and opening yourself up to relationships that will be good for you, plotlines about healing familial relationships, and so much more. I’m so used to LGBT centered books to be a coming out story, and it gets so old after a while. This book was very much not that. It was all about the joy of being yourself, being LGBT and proud, and it was so good. Like I said before about the representation, this book was just so refreshing.
All of the characters felt real. They talked like real people, loved like real people, and it was great after reading some flat characters in other books I’ve finished recently. Dialogue is hard. I know, I’ve written dialogue. Especially with the way this book is written, with the flowery language and descriptions, dialogue can be hard to understand or not very realistic, but it was good. I think the pop culture references were a little heavy handed at times, but it’s fine. It didn’t annoy me, at least.
I wish this book was the 2020 we had instead of the 2020 we got.
Trigger warnings: sexual content, homophobia, racism, death, grief, car accident, hate crime, fire, violence