Hello everyone! I was given the opportunity to read and review an early copy of Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. The book actually came out today, so make sure to grab your copy if it interests you (which I definitely think you should do!)
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?
Wow, this book is absolutely incredible. I did not know that I needed it until I was reading it. And I’m so glad I did.
This book follows the first son of the US (in a world where a woman becomes President after Obama) and the Prince of Wales. Alex and Henry start off as enemies but quickly turn to lovers, and watching their love–which needs to remain a secret–unfold was beautiful.
I really enjoyed getting to know both characters, as well as getting a look into their lives with the eyes of the whole world on them. I can’t even imagine being in that position. Alex is figuring things out, from his sexuality to his future career, while Henry is dealing with grief and hiding his true self from his family.
Aside from the main characters, this book features a whole group of diverse characters. Alex and June, his sister, are biracial (Mexican/white), Henry is Gay, Alex is bisexual, and there are many more examples of diversity throughout the book in other side characters. The friendships in this book made my heart swell with happiness. June and Nora are Alex’s closest friends (until Henry), and the support the three have for each other is immeasurable. Bea and Pez, Henry’s sister and best friend, are also such incredibly supportive people, and anyone would be lucky to have them.
My favorite of the side characters was probably June- she’s a writer and she’s such a good sister!!
The romance was steamy, and the connection Henry and Alex have is like no other.
My one issue with the book was some of the writing felt a little off. There were strange time jumps where the scene would change randomly, making it a little difficult to follow. I also didn’t like the point of view the book was told in. I much would have preferred the first person, because the third person omniscient felt a little awkward to me.
However, I loved the story so so much. It felt very realistic, and it made me feel hopeful for the future. Overall, it was a solid story, with such strong characters, a great plot, and lots of love- both romantic and platonic.
I gave this one a 4/5 stars!
Some trigger warnings to be aware of: the death of a parent, homophobia/racism, anxiety/depression/panic attacks, sexual assault.
Are you planning on picking this one up? Let me know in the comments! Also, feel free to recommend similar books to this one if you know any, I would love to add some to my TBR!