Red, White and Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston


Red, White and Royal Blue crashed into the book world, pretty much popping up everywhere and credit to Casey McQuiston for her stellar debut. As you may very well of heard Red, White and Royal Blue follows the unlikely romance between the First Son of America, Alex Claremont-Diaz and young Prince Henry of England.

“History, huh? Bet we could make some.” 

The boys, who’ve been rivals for years and followed by the media finally cause a scene big enough to warrant drastic action… the boys need to get along, at least in the eyes of the public.

But what starts off as a chore starts to become something more and before they know it, they’re kind of best friends.

“You are”, he says, “the absolute worst idea I’ve ever had.” 

Set to a back drop of a political campaign reminiscent of current times what unfolds is part love story, part social commentary and there is enough of each that Red, White and Royal Blue is packed with plot. We have a political landscape of an upcoming election for a second term, scandalous royal secrets, two boys trying to decide what to do with their lives and a whole lot of loveable side characters.

“But he thinks about Henry, and, oh. He thinks about Henry, and something twists in his chest, like a stretch he’s been avoiding for too long.” 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, what really appeals to me about the MM genre is where one or more of the characters is discovering their sexuality. It just makes it that much better to read about people experiencing things for the first time and learning about who they truly are. I also love seeing them then fighting for their new self.

“I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us.”

What lost the one star for me here was the one-sided nature of the story. We did see a little into Henry’s life in England and the consequences of his choices there but overall the book was very focused on the USA side of things. I would have loved some content from Henry’s POV. Additionally, for me it got stuck a little too much into the logistics of the presidential campaign, rather than just a more top-level inclusion. As I’m not from the USA and don’t have a strong understanding of their culture of politics it’s didn’t resonate with me as much as I think it would for an American. Politics is just not like that in Australia!

“He kisses Henry until it feels like he can’t breathe, until it feels like he’s going to forget both of their names and titles, until they’re only two people tangled up in a dark room making a brilliant, epic, unstoppable mistake.” 

Minor things just off from perfect for me though I can definitely see that all the 5 stars are worthy! Overall I loved spending time with these boys and in this world. I would definitely reread and I also think this would make a great sequel, them a bit older navigating their relationship while leading the world to a better place. Maybe Henry is even on the throne!

“I’ve always thought of myself as a problem that deserved to stay hidden. Never quite trusted myself, or what I wanted. Before you, I was all right letting everything happen to me. I honestly have never thought I deserved to choose.” 

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