Overall: 5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: I spent 95% of my time reading this book smiling. I’m sure I terrified some people, but oh god was it worth it. (Side note: The other 5% was happy crying)
“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. History, huh? Bet we could make some.”
// Content Warning [MINOR SPOILERS IN BRACKETS]: Mature Content, Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Depression, Sexual Harassment Attempt (Mention), (Drug) Addiction (Mention), Alcoholism, Parent Death (Mention), Mental Illness, Homophobia, Racism, [Public Outing (Without Consent)] //
Red White and Royal Blue is told in the third person perspective of Alex Diaz-Claremont, the First Son of the United States. When his beef with Prince Henry of Wales gets him in the papers, he must stage a fake friendship with him in order to not jeopardize his mother’s re-election campaign. But Henry isn’t as bad as he thought, and he finds himself trying to hide their newfound relationship from both of their nations.
“But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable.”
Read more for all of my incoherent ramblings on a book that completely destroyed me!
“The whole world watched, and history remembered.”
Writing & Setting
I love the writing in this book. It’s sharp, quick-witted, and hilarious, while still being heartfelt and honest. There were quite a few times where I caught myself laughing out loud. While it’s mostly told in third-person, there are also emails, texts, and the occasional speech peppered throughout the book to break up the longer chapters. Casey McQuiston’s writing is truly unique, the prose is the perfect mix of beautiful yet relatable and easy to devour. As for settings, there are quite a few mentioned, but all of them feel so real and tangible. I especially loved Texas, a place I’ve been to only a few times in my life and never really had an appreciation for. This book made me love it with all of my heart.
“That’s the choice. I love him, with all that, because of all that. On purpose. I love him on purpose.”
[ Related: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren – Review ]
First off, this book may be 420 pages, but it doesn’t feel like it at all. I flew through it, only stopping so I can prolong my enjoyment of it. There was never a point where I felt like something was unnecessary or just filler. It was all purposeful and made the impact of the story that much better. The plot centers around the romance, but also deals heavily with politics. I absolutely loved that aspect of this book, because it grounded it even more and added such a fascinating and unique layer to the story. Red White and Royal Blue also touched on mental illness and grief in such a beautiful way. Plus there’s the LGBTQ+ aspect of this book, which was not only adorable but just done so well in this political climate. Red White and Royal Blue made me feel seen, understood, and hopeful for the future of this world. I still want to cry every time I think of “History, huh?”.
“Someone else’s choice doesn’t change who you are.”
Oh boy these characters. They truly do live and breathe in these pages, every single one. Usually, the side characters are kinda brushed aside in favor of the main couple, but I have to say, June, Nora, Ellen, (I could go on naming characters for a while) felt so real despite all having various amounts of page time. Every character felt like they had a story to tell, and you could see aspects of them bleed into the lives of Alex and Henry. Speaking of our main couple- Alex and Henry are so amazing. Their romance is perfect, but I also just loved them as their own separate characters.They felt down to earth and relatable, while also like real people instead of audience surrogates or “perfect love interest” types.
“History will remember us.”
Pros- Funny, moving, cute, and it’s actual perfection so just please read it
Cons- If you don’t like happiness or feeling emotions, maybe this isn’t for you because oh god did this pack a punch and I don’t know if I’ll ever recover
Overall- 5/5 stars.
Red White & Royal Blue is absolutely adorable. I went into this book with high expectations, and it exceeded every one of them. This book is so important for the world right now, but I also can’t express enough how important it is to me.
“To every person in search of somewhere to belong who happened to pick up this book, I hope you found a place in here, even if just for a few pages. You are loved. I wrote this for you. Keep fighting, keep making history, keep looking after one another.”
What is your favorite LGBTQ+ read?
Also have you read Red White and Royal Blue yet? Have you managed to move on from your life afterward, because I’m still struggling.