Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (May 14, 2019)
ARC provided by Macmillan USA International
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?
What’s pink, queer and super swoon-worthy? Any takers? I promise, it’s an easy one. You’ve probably seen it all over my Twitter feed as I’ve been retweeting tweets about it and even tweeting about it, shouting to the internet void about how fucking amazing Red, White & Royal Blue is! Bless my gay heart because you have not lived until you’ve read Casey McQuiston’s utterly sharp and charming debut novel.
“That’s the choice. I love him, with all that, because of all that. On purpose. I love him on purpose.”
Red, White & Royal Blue features one of my all-time favourite tropes: enemies to lovers. I know, I am absolute trash when it comes to this trope and I am unashamed to admit that it was the reason I was dying to read Alex and Henry’s story! Aside from it being a queer romance novel—readers, please take note that Red, White & Royal Blue is not a YA book. It is categorised as a fiction and there are some rather steamy scenes—Casey McQuiston’s sparkling debut is set in the background of the USA presidential campaign as Alex is the First Son of the President, which proved to be a story that is informative and incredibly thrilling to read.
The First Son of the POTUS who is bisexual and very much a debonair! The Prince of Wales who is the softest cinnamon roll there is! Fake friendship that turns into a secret relationship and possible love! Sassy banter that will leave you in stitches! Great exploration of queer identities! Kickass squad you would want to be a part of! Swoon-worthy romance that will melt the coldest and frostiest of hearts! Boys kissing!
At this point, I realise that I am doing a rather shit job at convincing you to pick up this stunner, am I not?
Okay, please allow me to gather myself so I can form coherent thoughts on Red, White & Royal Blue.
Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the POTUS, and Prince Henry of Wales have never seen eye-to-eye. They would even consider themselves nemesis to a point that they’d wrestle each other while covered in frosting. What a sight, am I right? However, when one of their stunts go way out of hand, it comes highly suggested that they should do some damage control by staging a fake friendship! But what happens when locking horns turn to something else when they both discover that they aren’t who they seem behind it all?
“Take anything you want and know you deserve to have it.”
Seriously, guys, I don’t see the need of me writing a short summary of the book when you can just read the damn book because it is a work of art. Red, White & Royal Blue comes highly recommended because this book by Casey McQuiston made me feel things. Which says a lot because I am convinced that I have a heart-shaped ice where my heart should be.
It’s so adorably wholesome that it made my heart swell with love and I couldn’t stop smiling and grinning and sighing and telling myself that there isn’t a prince that I hated and there’s no such chance that he existed and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to fall in love with him but here I am, writing this review while reminiscing about this incredible book which I loved with every fibre of my body.
Alex and Henry are such a dynamic duo who deserve all the love in the world. Thank you, Casey McQuiston for creating such delicious little cinnamon rolls for us to love and my life is closer to being complete because when I am feeling down and in desperate need of cheering up, I will remember them fondly and have a sudden urge to reread Red, White & Royal Blue and allow myself to feel things again.
“I thought, this is the most incredible thing I have ever seen, and I had better keep it a safe distance away from me. I thought, if someone like that ever loved me, it would set me on fire.
And then I was a careless fool, and I fell in love with you anyway. When you rang me at truly shocking hours of the night, I loved you. When you kissed me in disgusting public toilets and pouted in hotel bars and made me happy in ways in which it had never even occurred to me that a mangled-up, locked-up person like me could be happy, I loved you.
And then, inexplicably, you had the absolute audacity to love me back. Can you believe it?
Sometimes, even now, I still can’t.”
Casey McQuiston writes with so much hearth, that every page is a thrill to read. I loved how she made me fall in love with her characters so easily. And hello, BTS and Drag Race references in the book? I am very certain that you can spell perfection with Red, White & Royal Blue because it’s my favourite book of the year and it’s pretty unfair for other books, if you’re asking me. I found my favourite book in February. Jesus take the wheel because I really have no idea what else to write about this amazingly heartfelt novel that is the intersection of humour, sass and a whole lot of queer rep.