Red, White & Royal Blueby Published 14 May 2019
|Red, White & Royal Blue.pdf|
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?
Red, White & Royal Blue Reviews
if this book doesn't receive the same epic treatment as Crazy Rich Asians I'm going to sue Hollywood
i just read a review where someone said they didn’t like this because it was too idealistic and happy. and like...honestly isn’t that what the world kind of needs? this book dares to dream of an america that could have and should have been after the 2016 election. this is the kind of story this world needs more of, not less of, because it shows that this kind of love story - one where two men can fall in love and still be world leaders and changers- doesn’t have to be tragic. part of what makes this book so important is that it dares to dream that dream boldly. it dares to look in the face of staunch tradition and say, “yes, you can change. and i will accept nothing less.”
i read this in one sitting. i meant to just start it before bed but then ended up just...not going to bed lol. it’s adorable and fun and i’m very happy i picked it up.
[Edit 4/7/19] Hi, Casey's mom. The book world loves your child & their debut.
ARC provided by St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.
“Is it possible you willfully forgot about the biggest international event of the year because you don’t want to see your arch nemesis?”
I honestly do not think that any book has made me happier than Red, White & Royal Blue, ever. I laughed, I swooned, I cried, but, most importantly, I finished the last page and felt such a powerful amount of hope that transcends any amount of words that I could possibly string together for this review. This is easily the best debut novel I’ve ever read, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if it ends up being my favorite book of the entire year.
First off, in this story, the characters are living in a world where the President of the United States is a democratic woman who was elected after Obama, and her 2020 reelection is quickly approaching. And I just need to take a minute to… *cries forever*! But this book really focuses on two young men, who happen to be very much in the media’s spotlight 24/7, because of the families they were born into. Oh, and one of them happens to be the First Son of the President, and up until this point he thought he was straight, that is until he finally is forced to spend time with his arch nemesis. And I’ll be damned, but this book made me simultaneously believe in love and believe in America.
➽ Alexander Gabriel Claremont-Diaz - The First Son, who is quickly realizing that he is bisexual, but slowly coming out to those he feels safe with. Alex is also biracial (Mexican and white) and (thanks to my beautiful friend Alienor) confirmed to have ADHD!
“Straight people, he thinks, probably don’t spend this much time convincing themselves they’re straight.”
➽ Henry George Edward James Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor - A Prince of England, who is closeted gay to many in his family (and to all media), because he constantly feels the weight of the expectations placed on him by his family and his country.
“O, fathers of my bloodline! O, ye kings of olde! Take this crown from me, bury me in my ancestral soil. If only you had known the mighty work of thine loins would be undone by a gay heir who likes it when American boys with chin dimples are mean to him.”
Alex has followed Henry and his fame long before his mother became president. But at the start of this novel, both men officially meet, but quickly get into a very messy predicament at a royal wedding they were both attending, which ends up being a PR nightmare for both countries, but especially for Alex’s mom, who is up for reelection. So, they are both kind of forced to fake a friendship to appease the press to save face. But a fake friendship quickly turns to a romance, that leaves both men questioning what they are willing to risk, while the press is always watching.
“First, you’ve been, like, Draco Malfoy–level obsessed with Henry for years—do not interrupt me—and since the royal wedding, you’ve gotten his phone number and used it not to set up any appearances but instead to long-distance flirt with him all day every day.”
I also wanted to make sure that I stated in my review that the author is queer (I believe they ID as bisexual, like Alex!) And even though Alex and Henry are obviously queer in their m/m relationship, this book also has such a beautiful and full cast of diverse side characters! I’m completely willing to give my life for June, Nora, Pez, and Bea, right this very second.
Like, I absolutely loved the side characters in this book. Also, you all know that I am always here for strong sibling relationships, and this book has that in spades! Alex’s family in general was everything to me; both of his parents being so supportive and always putting him (and his pace) first really meant a lot to me and makes me so soft just thinking about it. Seriously, this book is found family and blood family goals.
The banter and one-liners were perfection. This author completely understands what it is like to speak and text in your twenties, and they have mastered the craft to perfection. I was either cackling like a banshee or clutching my pearls with heart eyes during all of Alex and Henry’s exchanges. Also, since there is an ocean in-between these two, they correspond a lot of the time through emails, all of which added five years to my life.
Speaking of those emails, the romance in this is just truly a tier above the rest! The dynamic that Henry and Alex are forced into, and then the new dynamics they are forced to overcome, makes for something that you can’t help but root for with everything in your soul. Also, they are truly polar opposites with their personalities, but seeing them together truly feels like you are witnessing soulmates interact. I hate to say this but, your OTP could never.
And obviously because of the setup of this novel, this book does not shy away from US politics, and you should for sure know that going in. But the most tears I shed in this book was when Alex talked about what he felt like to be a biracial kid, and how America truly is a melting pot of immigrants and how that is something beautiful, and should be celebrated, not shamed and something that people consider to be a crime.
This is a book about two men, both in their early- twenties, discovering what they want for their lives and for their countries. Both for themselves and together. In a world that is cruelly unaccepting to anyone who isn’t white and straight, or who are just deemed different. They find friendship, they find love, and they find their voices. And to this Filipino American, pansexual, whose grandparents are both immigrants, who a lot of times really struggles to find their own voice, it meant the world to me. I’ll carry this book with me forever and always.
Overall, this book was just everything I’ve ever wanted. Put your library holds and preorders in now, because I know that so many readers are not only going to fall in love with this tale, but it is going to be one of their favorites for the rest of their lives. I promise you, it is truly that good, and this truly feels like a once in a lifetime book. Casey McQuiston has created something that is going to mean so much to so many readers, and this book is going to bring so much joy to our much-needed world. I’m just forever thankful that I was able to escape into it for a little while, while doing everything I can to make my country's 2020 and on just as hopeful.
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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
Content and Trigger Warnings for homophobia (always in a negative light), talk of racism in media, anxiety depiction, talk of cancer (pancreatic) in the past, talk of past loss of a loved one, talk of past drug use, talk of attempted sexual assault (very briefly) in the past from a very minor side character, and (in my opinion) outing. Also, this is a New Adult novel, so there are many sexual scenes throughout this book, even though they are fade to black for the most part!
❤ I also gush about this in my February Wrap Up on BookTube!
Buddy Read with Kerri from Kerri The Book Belle! ❤
❤ I also read this for Contemporary-a-thon!
UPDATE: I got to meet Casey, see them interviewed by Taylor Jenkins Reid, have them sign my book, and they are a confirmed angel! My Vlog ❤
To be honest, I wasn't expecting to love Red, White & Royal Blue. I mean, this is Casey McQuiston's first book, and it's written in present tense (ugh), but love it I did. I loved it HARD.
Red, White & Royal Blue was everything I was looking for and more.
My reading experience was simply me laughing, crying, or swooning in a continuous cycle. Sometimes all three at once. It's been a long, long time since I've wanted to melt into a puddle of goo on the floor because the romance!!! Holy god, this story was the romancey-romance of your dreams.
I'm a sucker for a few things in a romance book, and this story has nearly all of them. We get a sexual awakening (can I get a halleloo?!), an enemies-to-lovers (with all the glorious damn, your face, bruising kissing that I could dream up), witty banter for daaaaaaaaaaays, and a romance with a literal (okay, fictional... but still) PRINCE OF MOTHER FORKING ENGLAND. Did Casey McQuiston worm her way into my brain and pull out my deepest fantasies?!?!?!
I wanted to take a nap inside these pages. I took pictures and screenshots of my Kindle of the uber-romantic email exchange to swoon over later. I cried and laughed like a lunatic on my couch, huddled in a prison of tea and reading of my own making. I fell asleep with the imprint of my Kindle on my face at 3 am.
Even though I don't like reading about politics or political games, even though present tense makes me feel itchy (did I mention that yet??), and even though the sex scenes are suggestive but still fade-to black I wanted to read this book FOREVER.
The dialogue is something I will remember for a long time. The humor was absolutely everything and elevated this book from good to unbelievably amazing. The feelings were so intense I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest.
Red, White & Royal Blue is worth all the hype and more. It's worth your time and your money, and it's worth it to read something so fun and heartfelt and rare that it made it's way on to my elusive favorites list. With literally thousands of romances under my belt, this one still stands out.
And nothing will matter but just we two, we two longing loves at last come together.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
DNF @ 53%
Stand back with the pitchforks.
The award for the most over hyped,biggest book disappointment of the year,so far,goes to this book.
Firstly,let's address the fact that this book had over 2000 ratings/reviews before it was made available to buy.What on earth is all that about? Surely that many review copies weren't available? BUT, it certainly worked....I've never been so interested in reading something.I mean I've lost count of this appearing on my feed with so many glowing reviews .And that's ok,each to their own.We all have different tastes but when a book gets such positively you'd be forgiven for expecting something pretty damn special,wouldn't you?
For me,this book isn't anything special at all.It's mediocre.
-the characters are flat,uninspired,and quite frankly boring.Alex at least had something about him but Henry was like a cardboard cut out.
-the writing was all over the place and juvenile at times.The story jumped from scene to scene with no flow to the story.I lost count of how many times I had to go back and read certain scenes.
-the British stereotyping just annoyed me.It was like the Author googled 'all things British' and decided to include them regardless of whether they worked.Granted,if you aren't British this probably wouldn't be an issue.But I am.And it was.
-the sex scenes,
Firstly let me say I don't always need graphic sex scenes,in fact some of the best romance books I've read haven't had many at all.But what on earth happened here.They would start off with lots of kissing,hands in hair,a bit of desperation and then nothing.Literally.It was over and you were kind of told they'd had sex.Most of the time I had no idea what they'd actually been up to.And,as a result,I felt zero connection or chemistry between them.I didn't get them as lovers at all.They just came across as best friends for me.
-I know it's fiction but it's got to be believable.And this wasn't.I mean these two would float about in restaurants,stay in hotels where no one recognized them! This would absolutely not happen with a member of the royal family or with the FSOTUS I'm guessing Where were the bodyguards or paparazzi?
-enemies to lovers? No it wasn't.They disliked each other for ridiculous reasons quite frankly.
-a lot of people have mentioned the politics....thankfully I gave up before that got too bad.