red, white and royal blue review | YA contemporary

May 26, 2019 | Posted by Victoria in Book Reviews | 6 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
red, white and royal blue review | YA contemporaryby Casey McQuiston
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
Publication Date: May 14, 2019 by St. Martin's Griffin
Format: eARC
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5 Stars
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

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?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Oh my god I love this book. As soon as I heard the premise of this novel I was excited to read it, the First Son and the Prince of England fall in love…yes please! I was so worried going in because there was so much hype surrounding this book, and I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Thankfully I was so wrong. This book is just as amazing as everyone is making it out to be!

“Someone else’s choice doesn’t change who you are.”

Red, White, and Royal Blue is hilarious! All of the characters are amazing and so witty. I love the banter between Henry and Alex. Sometimes the words are mean, but both know it means the other cares. It’s not just the two main characters that are funny, it’s everyone! Alex’s sister June and their best friend Nora are also hilarious, as is the president. I love how comfortable with themselves they all are. They make fun of each other, they cuss at each other, they support each other. This was such a great book. Not only was the romantic relationship my fave, but all the relationships were great. I love the friend group of Alex, June, and Nora, and then I love how it expands to include Bea and Pez as well.

The novel follows Alex as he finishes his last year of college, begins working on his mother’s reelection campaign, and begins to fall in love with the Prince of England after they start spending more and more time together. Alex and Henry have to do damage control quickly, after rumors of their hatred for each other begin to affect how the public views Alex and his mother the president. The two men have known each other for years, and disliked each other for just as long. As they start spending more and more time together, Alex begins feelings for Henry even though he’s straight, or so he thinks. While spending time together and getting closer, Alex begins working through what he thought of his sexuality before and realizing he’s actually bisexual. I can’t speak for myself, but I’ve read many reviews where bisexual reviewers talk about how close Alex’s experience were with their own, and how it was great to read a story about a bisexual young adult realizing his sexuality. Something I love about romance novels is that they aren’t only about the romance, they can also be a place for individuals to see themselves or their experience in stories.

“He rolls onto his side and listens, trails the back of his hand across the pillow next to him and imagines Henry lying opposite in his own bed, two parentheses enclosing 3,700 miles.”

I also love how political this story is. It’s not overtly political, but it’s definitely going to be part of the book since Alex’s mom is the President of the United States, and he’s super into politics. I love this timeline where Ellen Claremont became the president of the U.S. in 2016 after Obama. It also made me so happy to see that she’s a Democrat from Texas (Whoooooo!). The politics were woven into the story so naturally, and didn’t feel like it overpowered the romance at all.

Overall I really loved this story, and cannot wait to read more by Casey McQuiston (I can’t believe this is her debut!!). Red, White, and Royal Blue is definitely one of my favorite books of the year, and one I know I’m going to go back and reread whenever I need a cute comfort read.

Have you read this amazing debut yet? What did you think of it?
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6 responses to “red, white and royal blue review | YA contemporary

  1. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the romance and the friend group was top notch. I knew there was going to be politics, but I felt like it overshadowed the romance at times, especially the ending. I get what the author was trying to do, but I like the romance to be center stage in my romance books. Still a great book.

    • Glad you enjoyed the book as well! I thought there was just enough politics, but I totally get how it could have been too much at times.

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