Book Review: Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (St. Martin’s Publishing Group)

History, huh?

For my last Book of the Month order, I got the add-on of Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (published by St. Martin’s). I had seen this book all over bookstagram for the last year and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Let me tell you, it did not dissapoint.

Casey McQuiston is an author who focuses on fun, escapist romances. She lives in New York and has also written One Last Stop and I Kissed Shara Wheeler.

When Alex, first son of the United States, accidentally causes an international incident with his arch-nemisis, Henry, the Prince of Wales, he’s forced to fake a friendship to show the two nations are doing great. That fake friendship soon blooms into a very real, and forbidden love, however. A love that could upend Alex’s mom’s reelection campaign and cause disaster for the Crown.

I loved what social commentary this book had to offer without being too on-the-nose about it. Both Alex and Henry are academics and philanthropists and want to better the world. Alex’s mom is a woman president with a mixed-race family. It’s like diving into a world that, however still imperfect, is so much better than what actually happened in 2016. I loved being able to see the mess and the promises and politics of both the US presidency and the British monarchy.

I loved both Alex and Henry and seeing their personalities. Alex is a bit more of the wild and cheeky one, with a sense of needing to live up to his own unrealistic expectations of himself. Henry is more stoic, hiding much of him away for fear of discretion, but has such a golden heart and is an overall sweetheart. The way they both always supported each other made me so happy.

Their romance, not without drama, was so sweet. The drama came from the outside world, for the most part. They seemed to always support and believe each other–this is the kind of romance I root for; there was no jealousy trope, no miscommunication trope, none of that gross stuff, just love and support in a world that might not accept them.

The emails they sent each other made me melt. I loved the love quotes they would send in the post-script and so many of the details of the emails just showing how invariably and irrevocably loved each other.

Alex’s relationship with his sister, June, and best friend, Nora, was also amazing to read. They were also not without faults, but still tried their best to emulate support. I also find it equally humorous and heartening to read the hints that something happened between June and Nora and possibly Henry’s friend, Pez.

Let’s not also forget to mention the complex character of Rafael Luna. I could have read more about that dynamic and what happened with his drama and tragic backstory that led to his own unlikely heroism. His story nearly brought me to tears, and his character was just as important as our protagonists.

Ultimately, the most heartwarming part of this book was the messages of identity, acceptance, support, and a need to better the world. We need people like the characters in this book in politics and ruling the world, please.

I thought the writing here was beautiful in that the words are believable to come from the minds of 20-something men but still convey the cutest sweetest romance. The writing conveys both dreams and love but also common vernacular that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear anybody to be saying today. Plus, there was undeniable banter between the characters that made me smile, because it’s just like the banter between me and my friends or me and my boyfriend. Just good-natured humor with a few relatable, cringe-worthy moments. (The falling into a wedding cake made me cringe so hard).

This is one of my favorite LGBTQ+ Romances–I’m just debating wheter I like this or The Song of Achilles more. This one, at least, is happier. I’d definitley reccomend to anyone who loves cute romances with some spice, but not over-the-top spice. Perfect for adults in their twenties. However, if you don’t like spice at all or prefer fade-to-black scenes, this book is probably not for you. That being said, I’m not super into spice, but I still enjoyed this book!

Five stars all around. I loved this book so much, and that’s rare for me with something that’s not fantasy. I need a “History, Huh?” shirt, pleaseeeeee.

See Casey McQuiston’s Instagram here.

See Casey McQuiston’s Twitter here.

By myadventure2017

Writer, Reader, Bookstagrammer, Booktoker, Blogger

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