Title: One Last Stop
Author: Casey McQuiston
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Romance, LGBTQA+, Science Fiction
Gisselle's Rating: 5/5
Release Date: June 1, 2021
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
DISCLAIMER: This review may contain spoilers for One Last Stop.
You know that moment when you are on public transit and you lock eyes with someone, and you are, for those few moments that you're traveling together, just a little bit in love? Maybe it's irrational and a slight bit insane, but something about their presence captivates you from the second you see them, and you can't help pitching forward in time to a possible future that involves that person, because what if they're the one? It could be their strong arms, and you imagine a set of arms like that wrapped protectively around you at night, or it could be their well-loved copy of your favorite book, and you picture deep conversations about the plot and character arcs, or it could be a dazzling twinkle in their eye as they smile when they catch you staring. Either way, the harmless fantasy ends when either of you depart at the next stop, only to start again with someone else some day. But what if that brief blip of infatuation did evolve into something deeper, and it brought a huge mystery and an adventure straight of out of science-fiction along with it?
Casey McQuiston's One Last Stop tells the story of August Landry, a bi woman who just moved to New York City for a fresh start: new school, new roommates, new life (hopefully) away from her mother's obsession with solving the long-abandoned case of her missing brother. August is firmly against believing that anything like 'love at first sight' and 'magic' exists. Moving to New York, August might be right in her judgements; adult life - shifts at the local pancake diner, weird and slightly invasive roommates, and traveling the Q train for her school commute - is exhausting and not at all magical. All of that instantly changes when she meets Jane, the girl on the Q, clad in a leather jacket, red Chucks, and gentle smile that melts August's cynical heart. As the days slip by, however, August discovers that Jane is otherworldly in more ways than one: she truly is not of August's reality, having been displaced from her own time in the 1970's and has been a passenger on the Q for over 40 years. August must rely on her past life's skills to help Jane return to her own time... all while fighting a losing battle against love in the process.
Title: The Cousins
Author: Karen M. McManus
Genre(s): Young Adult Fiction, Suspense, Mystery
Gisselle's Rating: 3.5/5
DISCLAIMER: This review may contain spoilers for The Cousins.
In Karen M. McManus's most recent young adult suspense-thriller, three cousins - Aubrey, Millie, and Jonah Story - are mysteriously invited to the Story family's famed island resort by their grandmother, Mildred Story. After their parents had all been disinherited by Mildred years ago, this invitation brings much confusion, but also opportunity for the Story children; Mildred's invitation could allow for the cousins to ease their way back into her good graces... and find out exactly why their parents had been cut off in the first place. But nothing is what it seems; the Story family has many secrets, the cousins each have their own agendas, and all of them will be unveiled in the sunny resort of Gull Cove Island.
I began reading McManus's novels only a few weeks ago, beginning with One of Us Is Lying (review coming soon) and moving quickly onto The Cousins. Getting through novels as quickly as I did with The Cousins was a relatively good sign for me. I was enraptured enough in the story to keep my focus trained on it. I would read my physical copy when I was still and listen to the audiobook while at work and driving, caged in my desire to keep reading. I flew through the pages of The Cousins, and I did find myself enjoying the story - hah! - and the thrill of unraveling complex secrets and finding answers to the question that was the Story family.
I did manage to reach my own accurate conclusion of the partial reason the Story siblings had been disinherited, and although predictable through various tells and hints in the text, it did still shock me to the extent of the damage that this disinheritance caused. The biggest twist of the novel had me physically lurching forward into a sitting position from where I was laid back on my pillow, startling one of my pups with incredulous "What?"
Any book that can inspire such a physical reaction from me is usually pretty good, in my book (lol, puns).
Yet, as much as I enjoyed it, there are a few elements of the plot that I critiqued just as much.
Title: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Adult Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Romance
Gisselle's Rating: 4.5/5
DISCLAIMER: This review may contain spoilers for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.
Once I began college, I fell off the wagon when it came to reading for pleasure. I enjoyed the analyzation process and literary criticism of my degree, but it had been a while since I read a book because I wanted to immerse myself in a different world. So when I picked up this book for the first time in February, I was expecting a battle with myself to keep disciplined and focused on the story, to try to get back to that same level of passion that I had towards reading in my youth. However, my preparations weren't really needed; V.E. Schwab's masterful storytelling and ability to grip and immerse me completely in her world drew me in without reservation. I remembered what it felt like to completely fall into a new setting and story that was not mine.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue depicts a devastating concept: a young woman makes a deal with an entity to be immortal, but at the ghastly price of being forgotten by everyone she encounters. On first assumption of the text's contents, I thought it was going to be about an immortal that would not be able to leave a mark on the world in the sense that perhaps she could not have children or could not become famous. I was not aware to the extent of the excruciating nature of Addie LaRue's reality, which was that she would not be remembered at all, leaving no memory of her presence even after she left someone's life for only a moment. However, all what Addie knows of her new life changes when she is introduced to Henry Strauss, a wandering soul that works in a local bookstore in New York City, and the first person to have remembered Addie since making her bargain.