I’ve finally finished this book! It was only supposed to take one blog, but I had so many thoughts I wrote a Part 1 and Part 2 as I went along – check them out! But this will still make sense if you want to read this first and take a look at them later.
Name: Red, White and Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuinnston
Song: Heroes by David Bowie
What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?
When his mother became President of the United States, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. However, when Alex falls into trouble with an actual prince, Henry, U.S./British Heads of the family and state and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: Stage a truce between the two rivals.
What at first begins as a fake, Instagrammable 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 presidential campaign and upend two nations. It raises 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 ben? And how can we learn to let our true colours shine through?
I was so excited to read this. There are overexcited reviews for Red White and Royal Blue plastered all over GoodReads raving about how good it is – a surprisingly high number seeing as it came out only recently. Also surprising as it was really bad. None of them are ever that specific, just that it made them ‘happy’ which is not a good enough excuse. So, here is my review of it, and settle down with a large mug of coffee, because I WILL be specific…
- One of the reviews on the back of the book said that it was ‘Made for Success’, and honestly, I think that was it’s main problem. It was just too generic. You have your enemies – to – lovers plot: the lonely nerd who just wanted to be loved and the handsome prince haunted by his parent’s death. Throw in some mind-numbingly boring politics and a major press leak and you have yourself a ‘Recipe for Success!’
- Not all British people are homophobic. I would like to think that if there was a queer prince/princess in the UK, they would be welcomed with opened arms, but Henry is actively shunned by a royal family with both names and structure a little too close to the real thing for my liking…
- Everything happened too quickly… and the book was about 500 pages long! I’m honestly not sure what happened for a large section. There were ample opportunities for the author to have sufficient ‘pining for my love across the ocean’ scenes, but NO.
- The ending was awful. That’s just it. Everything tied up in nice neat little bow – no spoilers! – but it was just too unrealistic. I honestly didn’t care about all the American politics (I didn’t understand half of it to start off with) and the love story pretty much concluded 100 pages before the end.
- The dialogue was awful. 20 year olds just don’t use adjectives when they speak, and when they did speak like 20 year olds it was just a bit… graphic?
- The characters were awful too – I can’t say I cared too much about Alex or Henry. They were just so 2D; and the British prince was ridiculous. Shock! There are people from England who do not drink tea (my hand is firmly in the air). I did quite like Alex’s uni boyfriend who Alex seemed to not be aware he was dating, but we literally get one quick mention of him, and then it’s bAcK tO pOliTiCs!
It was just awful in general.
There were a few redeeming qualities, such as the emails you get from Alex and Henry complete with some neat little quips that didn’t seem to tie in with whatever they were saying, the author just wanted to get a grammable quote in. However, the plot with the emails was very similar to that in ‘Simon vs the Hompsapien Agenda’ by Becky Albertalli – which is an AMAZING book. Read it to clear this gunk out of your system.
There were a few times where I was kind of feeling the book (I thought their first kiss was alright) but then there’s a bad English reference or we’re talking about pOlOtiCs and I’m back to no stars. If you can detach yourself from the story and enjoy it in a kind of impersonal way, then I can kind of see why you might be compelled to rave about it on GoodReads. But I won’t be any time soon.
So? Is Red, White and Royal Blue’ worth the hype?
No. No it is not. In my opinion, it was very generic, the characters were very 2D and I wasn’t happy with the portrayal of the British Public. However, the only good thing that has come from this book is that there is some beautiful fan art from the really talented Vanessa Kelley on Tumblr . You should check her out! I’m really interested if you have read this book and have the same/different opinions to me. Please let me know in the comments section!
Have you read this book? Got any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!