Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: May 14 2019
Personal Rating: 4/5
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston follows the story of Alex Claremont-Diaz the college student and first son of the first female president of the USA. Alex thinks he has his life and future all figured out — to be the youngest member of Congress. That is until he goes to the royal wedding and accidentally makes an expensive cake topple over him and his nemesis: Prince Henry of Wales. Alex is soon forced to be in a fake friendship with Henry and cue in enemies, to friends to lovers troupe and lots of adorableness.
I read this book in under 24 hours because I was just so engrossed in the story. Never once did I find myself bored with the story. I dreaded putting the book down.
It is the ultimate cute romantic read — and I don’t read many contemporary romances because I find them all to be the same. Not Red, White, and Royal Blue — this book was unique.
Alex is mixed. He has a Mexican father and a white mother (who also happens to be the US president). And a constant topic brought in the novel was the reality of how people of color have to work twice sometimes three times as hard as white people to get the respect and recognition they deserve. Topics like that are so important to have in modern literature. I also loved the banter between Alex and Henry — I actually laughed out loud a few times and the people on the bus looked at me weird.
Unlike some romance novels (that I have personally read) this story focuses a lot of the relationship between families, especially between siblings and parents. Alex’s family is very present throughout the novel and involved in his life in a positive aspect — which we need more off in literature. But we also see the other side of not very involved families with Henry’s own family. The contrast between the two was well done and so so important because it seems that most of the YA novels don’t include healthy/healing family relationships.
Ms. McQuiston’s novel is a bit dialogue heavy for my own personal taste and sometimes it became a bit confusing to follow the dialogue and figure who is was speaking. I found myself reading a few lines before to see who was saying what because it gets lost. The texts were also a bit difficult to follow but I believe it was due to my ARC ebook format that gave me the problems.
Overall, this is a great light hearted LGBTQ+ novel that everyone should read in order to bring some sunshine into your life. It is, however, very American politics heavy and none Americans might get a bit lost with all US politics jargon.
I believe this novel would be classified as New Adult rather than Young Adult but alas there is no such category yet.