Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Goodreads Overview:

What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There's only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?


This book was absolutely fantastic and more than I ever anticipated when I first started reading. It ties in a variety of real life political struggles with an unforgettable romance that will capture the hearts of readers.

Alex Claremenot-Diaz is the first son of the United States and has despised Prince Henry ever since he met him at the Olympics several years ago. What he doesn't realize is why his feelings towards the Prince are so strong after such a brief encounter. He has been fixated on him ever since and has considered him his number one rival.  

Prince Henry had a much different interpretation of their first meeting and uses their scandal and forced "friendship" to his advantage.  He never imagined Alex would reciprocate his feelings, but as Alex gets to know the real Henry, he can't deny the connection and friendship that is developing. When their relationship begins to escalate, they are both frightened and concerned with how it could impact their families as well as their counties.  They have lived in the public eye their entire lives and there are expectations that must be met. Are they willing to sacrifice their lives and their happiness for the benefit of others or will they decide to put themselves and their relationship above all else?

I absolutely loved the dialogue between Alex and Henry. Their emails and text messages ranged from hilarious to swoon worthy. They poured their hearts out to each other, but we could clearly see the struggles they were experiencing as they came to terms with their feelings. The references to past presidents, U.S. and British history, and the quotes from various authors and letters were very cleverly woven into the story and often brought a smile to my face. One of my favorites was the reference to George W. Bush's Scottish terriers, since I have a Scottie.

In addition to our two main characters we were introduced to the rest of the White House Trio, which consists of Alex's sister June and the granddaughter of the vice president, Nora. The trio grew up together and are the only true friends they all seem to have.  In addition, we met Henry's best friend Pez. Henry, Alex, and their three BFFs quickly become a tabloid sensation. This cast of supporting characters was highly entertaining in their own right and greatly added to the development of the story.

I honestly can't say enough about this book. It took me longer than it should have to read because I kept going back and rereading scenes. I simply couldn't get enough. The quotes, the snarky dialogue, and the references to the monarchy were all so enchanting that I just didn't want the book to end. This is by far my favorite book that I have read this year and I would highly recommend it to any YA fan.