Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I read “Red, White & Royal Blue” in one day and I’m pleased to admit that I cried through the last quarter of it. This book is exactly the balm that my poor, battered, immigrant-Canadian heart needed.

It’s probably not lost on anyone that the past few years have been a challenging time to survive if you’re open-minded, left-leaning and a believer in love and human kindness. Clearly, the author is on Team-Love-Wins and hopes for a better world.

If you want to have a cry over an honest-to-goodness digital age fairy tale complete with handsome Prince Charming, pop culture references and political intrigue, then this is the book for you.

Whip-smart Alex Claremont-Diaz is a Mexican Texan blazing a trail as American’s First Son. Just like his mom, first woman POTUS, Alex’s career trajectory is politics and he’s got it all planned out. He’s sarcastic and hilarious, flawed and… he has a nemesis. Prince Henry – yes, the Queen of England kind of Prince – and he’s been rude to Alex since the first moment they met. Of course, Alex keeps an eye on HRH because he’s the primary contender for the title of global media darling.

A Royal Wedding takes Alex to England and he has a run-in with Prince Henry. A photo of the two young men having an altercation ends up in the tabloids and some serious steps are undertaken to put a positive spin on things.

Alex is forced into a contracted, fake, bromance with the prince. They are to be seen in public being friendly at all the right places in order the repair the publicity nightmare they have unwittingly created.

Soon, Alex realizes that there’ more to Prince Henry than he thought. Through a series of uncomfortable events, texts and emails, their fake bromance slowly blossoms into something more. I don’t care if you think you might have read something similar before because you haven’t.

McQuiston’s story unfolds cleverly through witty prise, historical quotes, interview transcripts, speeches, group texts, and emails. Have I mentioned that Alex’s sister June, their friend Nora… when combined with Prince Henry and his business mogul besties, Pez (like the candy) is like an upgraded Breakfast Club for 2019.

There are ups and downs in the story of these two fellahs. Alex and Henry have a lot of roadblocks between them. More than once, my heart ached for Henry and his perfectly planned out life… that seemed nothing like what he actually wanted. But, McQuiston handles the story with gentle, poetic prose that helps to soothe the hurt that can arrive with great love.

This book filled me with joy. Can the glorious future in this novel become a reality, please? I have hope again. Thanks Casey McQuiston. I ♥ you and your book.

-=-=-=- from the publisher’s website -=-=-=-

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

“I took this with me wherever I went and stole every second I had to read! Absorbing, hilarious, tender, sexy—this book had everything I crave. I’m jealous of all the readers out there who still get to experience Red, White & Royal Blue for the first time!” – Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Love and Other Words and Roomies 

Red, White & Royal Blue is outrageously fun. It is romantic, sexy, witty, and thrilling. I loved every second.” – Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Maybe in Another Life

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