Review | Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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

When his mother became President of the United States, 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 an 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 the family and state and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: Stage a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instagrammable 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 presidential campaign and upend two nations. It raises 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 ben? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? , how will history remember you?

Red, White & Royal Blue was one of my most anticipated books of 2019, in part because of how much everyone seemed to adore it. Thankfully, it lived up to this expectation. The romance in Red, White & Royal Blue was fluffy, sweet, and filled with banter. I loved seeing the transition from enemies to fake friends to lovers, and watching it play out through emails (and Alexander Hamilton quotes!) made it very obvious how much chemistry there was between Alex and Henry.

I wasn’t expecting to like Alex as much as I did, given how brazen and arrogant he was. His sense of humour definitely grew on me, and I was quickly enamoured by how much he truly cares about his country. Alex doesn’t want to get into politics because of his family history; he wants to get into politics to help underrepresented groups.

I’m not sure how to feel about the politics in Red, White & Royal Blue. I enjoyed reading about the proposed policies and strategies, and as a Canadian, I was fairly proud of myself for recognizing the names of current politicians when they popped up. However, the revisionist angle of the 2016 election left me feeling unsettled; the “but her emails!” level conflict, in particular, was resolved so easily compared to what actually happened. America would be in a much better position if someone like Ellen Claremont was elected President.

Overall, Red, White & Royal Blue was a sweet, fluffy read that lived up to the hype. I will happily read anything Casey McQuiston writes next.

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