Book Review: Red, White & Royal Blue + A Word on Representation in Lit

My review for Casey McQuiston’s debut novel,   Red, White & Royal Blue

My review for Casey McQuiston’s debut novel, Red, White & Royal Blue

Have you ever read a book and wondered 1. if you actually blacked out for some period of time and wrote it or 2. it was written with you directly in mind as the reader? This is how I felt the entire time I was reading Casey McQuiston’s new-adult romantic comedy, Red, White & Royal Blue. The story is funny, sexy, HOT, heartbreaking, important, and relevant. Due out in May, pre-order is available now.

REPRESENTATION MATTERS

Expanding our world with different perspectives is part of the thrill of reading, but it can be very lonely to only read books where there isn't anybody like you. I support authors that include a diverse array of characters in their stories. I want younger generations to read a book and find themselves within the pages, I want them to feel included and inspired to be the hero in their own story.

PLOT AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

The First Son of the United States of America falls in love with the Prince of Wales. It’s not insta-love but it is a little bit of enemy turned lover. What at first begins as a fake, Instragrammable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. What would (or could) it look like for a political figurehead of the United Kingdom and the United States to fall in love with one another and discover their sexuality along the way?

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is so lovable, believable, relate-able. I want to be his best friend so that I can tell him to shut the actual fuck up. Prince Henry is a soul-wrenching heartthrob. He has been forced to divorce from who he truly is for who he was born to be. As these two get to know one another and grow together, you can’t help but fall in love, laugh out loud, scream, and cry along the way.

The secondary characters are well developed. June and Nora are the sisters and best friends I wish I had. It is this kind of character development that makes me cross my fingers and hope for a sequel. The kinds of characters you want to KNOW. The complexities and representations of the characters in this story are genius and cleverly done.

WHY I LOVED IT

  • Besides the fact that it was a romantic comedy centered around a queer couple, I absolutely fucking adored the political and historical plot-line and banter within. My undergraduate degree is in international affairs so I felt that it was an added unique layer that absolutely drew me in.

  • I LOST COUNT OF HOW MANY HARRY POTTER REFERENCES WERE MADE. “Hufflepuff ass bitch” is a direct quote. Need I say more on this?

  • Speaking of Hogwarts, I’m a Ravenclaw, and I appreciate when I can tell that an author did their research. Casey, I see that hard work and I appreciate it.

  • Lots of cussing. I want to read about characters that speak like I speak.

  • The relevancy of the topics within are so good. There are these really smart references to the current political climate that I just could scream about, honestly. It is done in such a clever way. Is the author a Ravenclaw? The wit. McQuiston manages to quietly address gun control, representation in government, “thoughts and prayers”, Brexit, lack of a female POTUS and others that make me want to already go back and read for again. It is in this quiet way that makes it feel even more powerful.

  • I wasn’t sure how it was going to end. There is honestly nothing I dislike more than a predictable ending.

  • It gave me hope. Hope for a future America that looks like the America depicted in this parallel-but-not world within RW&RB

WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT

Would you consider yourself to have a certain amount of sass? Do you identify as a millennial or Gen Z? Did you grow up on Harry Potter? Do you stay up-to-date on current politics? Do you enjoy laughing? Do you wish that there was a show that was a cross between The Crown and Queer Eye? Do you have a soul? THEN YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK.

Will this land on my “best of 2019”…the potential is there ya’ll.