Red, White and Royal Blue is Utterly Enchanting and Like Falling in Love (Review: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston)

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Filed under: books that I am COMPLETELY smitten with. Seriously, guys, the hype is real with this one and you should prepare to be enchanted by this love story.

About

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 and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston 
Rating:  ★★★★★

"Thinking about history makes me wonder how I’ll fit into it one day, I guess. And you too. I kinda wish people still wrote like that."

Can I just say that this is probably my favourite romance between two characters since I first read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo or the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series? There's something so magnetic about the way that these two interact. Even before the first time we see them together on page, there's energy crackling around the way that Alex even thinks about Henry. 

Which is the moment you start shipping them. When I said that Red, White and Royal Blue will be quick to enchant you--I meant it. Frankly, it is not only one of the best novels of the year it's the best debut novel. In short? CASEY MCQUISTON FOR THE WIN. 

(Do the kids still say for the win?) 

The writing in this was beyond stunning and engrossing. I couldn't put it down for much of the day that I first read it. Then, before writing this review, I read it again to annotate it. Red, White and Royal Blue was such a highlight-able (that's not a word, but go with it) read. It took a lot in me not to take notes on every page. 

As for the story... Red, White and Royal Blue combines many of my favourite tropes: found families, enemies-to-lovers, faux-relationships (or in its case, friendships) turning real, the offspring of public figures relating to one another and couples who bicker like old married couples before they're even together.

Red, White and Royal Blue is more than just romance, though. It's a humorous coming of age story that features sprinkles of politics, friendship and more. McQuiston crafts these moments beautifully and will leave readers not only swooning, but feeling warm and fuzzy. It's been a long time since a book has made feel so giddy and soft, but this book accomplished all of that and more. I love the central romance fully, and I loved the friendships and family bonds we see throughout.

If you've ever needed a reminder that life, and love, can be beautiful and hopeful, Red, White and Royal Blue is a must-read for you. It is the ultimate romantic comedy for anyone of all ages, and is wholly unforgettable and sweet. I seriously haven't stopped grinning since reading it. Also, it's got a massive plus side: Tr*mp isn't president, and never has been, in this version of things

And honestly? We all could use that. 

That being said, I think what is most striking about Red, White and Royal Blue is the manner in which McQuiston develops the cast of characters and engages in their own brand of witty dialogue. 

Each of the characters in this novel feel lively and full of so much spark, I felt like I could easily forget that they were fictional. Much like with Taylor Jenkins Reid's portrayal of fame in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & the Six, I found myself unable to remember that Alex Claremont-Diaz, and every last person in this book, wasn't a real person.  

Further, I saw a lot of myself in characters like Alex, Henry and Nora. I saw a lot of my friends in them, too, and amongst the other fantastic characters in Red, White and Royal Blue. The good and the bad qualities, these characters have so many ties to our personalities, it's impossible not to feel heard in the way that McQuiston develops them all. 

There's a lot of representation to be had within this story, too, and this is just another fantastic quality to the story.

The world outside our doors can be awful and depressing and horrify us completely, but there's something about Red, White and Royal Blue that is hopeful and that hopefulness tangles itself amongst the reader. It takes you away from this life we lead, and into something that is familiar but new.

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