Summary (from the publisher): 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?
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
If I could scream my love for only one recent read of mine, it would have to be Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue. Why? Red, White and Royal Blue delivered on absolutely every single element, from its plot to the romance to its humor and more.
Red, White and Royal Blue has received so much early hype and praise across the online book communities. What else would you expect from us fangirls when it comes to a book about rivals turned love interests, who happen to be the First Son of the President of the United States and the Prince of England? Alex and Henry’s relationship was so well-developed and craved every scene with them together. I obviously loved their in-person interactions, but their email and text chains we’re so easy to fall into. I have a love/hate relationship with digital dialogue, but I loved their online banter, including their email signatures. These excerpts also provided a lot of back story for both characters as they get to know one another.
Speaking of characters, Red, White and Royal Blue has an amazing and absolutely hilarious cast. On Alex’s side of things, June and Nora were the perfect best friends for him. The White Trio provided a really interesting dynamic, as the three spend time in and out of the national spotlight. How could I also not love a character who watches Parks and Recreation like June? While Alex and Henry’s romance is at the story’s heart, I really enjoyed how we explored most of the characters’ personal lives. Despite their individual successes, June and Alex as siblings provided an interesting juxtaposition, as they have varying desires to start careers for themselves in the political world. I also loved their relationships with their parents—who knew that their mom, the President of the United States, loved to kick back with pizza and pool?
As someone who loves books about characters involved in politics and royalty, it was so much fun getting to explore the White House and political world. Although the characters are very down-to-earth, I loved getting to explore their extravagant adventures and parties. Zahara and Shaan were two of my favorite characters, specifically for their dry sarcasm and Zahara’s toughness (love her, but I seriously wouldn’t want her barging into my bedroom at any given moment). I also enjoyed learning about Alex’s mom as president and her re-election campaign, including the inner workings and scandals.
Red, White and Royal Blue also provides great discussions on sexuality. Alex is figuring out his own sexuality and Henry contends with how to present his sexuality to the world. However, the entire cast overall was very diverse and had a variety of different sexualities and romantic interests.
My favorite part of Red, White and Royal Blue? The humor! I am always for funny one-liners and humor, but this book consistently had me laughing out loud.
“ ‘I still think we should have let him get a tramp stamp’ ”
“The class is Ethical Issues in International Relations. He really has got to stop taking classes so painfully relevant to his life”
Despite that I’ve seen much love for this book amongst YA readers, Red, White and Royal Blue is definitely not a YA read. Alex, Henry and co. are all in their twenties, trying to figure out their post-college lives, but in the political and international spotlight of course. While YA fans will surely love this one, there is plenty of intimacy and romance, drinking and partying, and cursing. As someone who has increasingly been enjoying new adult, I loved the romance scenes and the other more mature elements.
Overall, Red, White and Royal Blue is the textbook definition of “I stayed up past my bedtime to read this book and it was absolutely worth it.” I’m so excited for everyone to read this book and I can’t wait to see & read what Casey McQuistion does next.
Red, White and Royal Blue comes out on May 14, 2019.
This review is based on an advance reader copy. By no means did receiving this ARC affect my thoughts or opinions.
Is Red, White and Royal Blue on your TBR? Share in the comments!