Red white and royal blue, where to begin? I am well aware that I am late to the party but I have arrived nonetheless and (some) the cast members have been announced for the live action. I SCREAMED when I saw it and the casting is pretty accurate too.
But we aren't here to talk about the live action we're here to talk about the book!
Red, white and royal blue (RW &RB) follows the characters Henry and Alex in their short-lived enemy to lovers arc. Henry being the Prince of Wales and Alex being the first son of the female president of the USA anything other than bromance shouldn't be on the list at all.
Until it is.
The book was set in an alternate universe that still has the same social problems in our world, however it was a lot more hopeful and diverse compared to the world as we know it now. I think the main criticisms of this book were the lack of realism and in my humble opinion I believed that the book was realistic in terms of some political statements and the jabs made at the royal family and Britain's ridiculous attachment to the monarchy.
"What kind of legacy? What kind of family that say's, we'll take the murder, we'll take the raping and pillaging and the colonising, we'll scrub it up nice and neat in a museum..." - Henry Windsor
Most people who didn't like this book were most likely pretentious royalists or republicans, not saying that the book is above criticism just saying that it's obvious who the demographic is.
Things that I loved
- Dialogue, this was RW & RB strength. Casey McQuiston did a great Job of making each individual characters very clear through conversations.
- Nora, June and Oscar. Their whole family dynamic was to die for 100%
- Alex's inner dialogue, especially when he was figuring out whether he was straight. I particularly liked him having short flashbacks of him picking out the moments where he realised he was bisexual, it felt very real.
- The feeling I got while reading it. This book got me out of my emotional funk during exam season (so happy to say that's over now).
- THE LOVE LETTERS my heart struggled to absorb that much cuteness.
- Alex's 21 things I love list
I can't really say there were things that I disliked about the book apart of me wished that we got more insight on Leo, the presidents husband (heading into SPOILERS now).
We never really got any flashbacks to how Leo became a trusted member of the family, details about Alex's relationship with him or how Leo reacted to his stepson being outed to the world.
Despite this, I gave the book a five stars, I haven't read a romance book in a very long time, they usually aren't my favourite but this definitely changed my mind.
My FAVOURITE quotes
Straight people, he thinks, probably don't spend this much time convincing themselves that they're straight.” - Alex
“I thought, this is the most incredible thing I have ever seen, and I had better keep it a safe distance away from me. I thought, if someone like that ever loved me, it would set me on fire. - Henry
“History, huh? Bet we could make some.” - Alex
Because you’re it, okay? I’m never gonna love anybody in the world like I love you.” - If someone ever said this to me I'd explode into multicoloured ash.
"Who fucking decided that politics had to be about lying and hiding and being something you're not"
“Hey, have I told you lately that you're brave? I still remember what you said to that little girl in the hospital about Luke Skywalker. 'He's proof that it doesn't matter where you come from or who your family is.' Sweetheart, you're proof too.”
“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.”
" I really wanna see a member of the royal family wait in line for hours to eat cow parts"
“On purpose. I love him on purpose.”
So looking back at the quotes page on goodreads I realised that practically the majority of the quotes are my favourite. So go check them out and give the book a read! Will definitely be checking out McQuiston other books the next one on my radar is One Last Stop.
Happy pride month 🏳️🌈 and thanks for reading and see you soon!