Friday, August 13, 2021

Book Review: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 421
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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.

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. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

Red, White & Royal Blue is a humorous story about America’s First Son, Alex, falling for the Prince of Wales, Henry. After the ruination of a wedding cake at a royal wedding, Henry and Alex were forced by their respective heads of family, heads of state, and PR teams to be “best friends” in public. A schedule of public events they’d attend together was devised by their teams and they were forced to play ball. Predictably, their fake, Instagram-worthy friendship becomes real somewhere along the way; and then this real friendship turns into a real relationship. While it’s easier for the First Son to be in a same-sex relationship, it is much more difficult for the Prince of Wales to be in a relationship of his choosing. This is a coming-of-age story full of laughter, heartbreak, friendship, love, and self-discovery and I loved every second of it.

This was a five star read for me. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. This book does get pretty steamy, but it’s not YA so unlike Jay’s Gay Agenda, it didn’t make me uncomfortable because of my age. I’m extremely disappointed to admit that this was only the second same-sex relationship romance novel I’ve ever read, seconded to She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen a few months ago. I’m privileged enough to have never had to struggle with my sexual identity, but so many people do and that’s why stories like Alex’s are important. It’s important for LGBTQ+ people to see themselves represented in the literary world and I can’t wait to see what LGBTQ+ romance novel is coming out next.