What I’m Reading: Red, White & Royal Blue

From the book jacket:

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable 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 campaign and upend two nations and begs 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 be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

My review:

I picked up a copy of this book after hearing a lot of positive feedback about it. The idea behind the book was quite intriguing, but I think it really could have been put together more cleanly. Also – I can’t help but assume that this is a fictitious spin on what politics may been like if Clinton had won the 2016 election, but I digress…

The main story idea itself was good – a secret love between the First Son and HRH? Scandalously wonderful! I cheered for Alex and Henry’s love story and I truly wanted them to be together. Love know no boundaries (or political policies), you know? But all details involving their “bow-chicka-wow-wow” moments was … Meh. I don’t know if it was skirted over on purpose or if the author was too apprehensive of researching the subject matter, but those moments fell flat, IMO. There needed to be more than kissing, a smile, an “Oh Baby” and spooning.

Additionally, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m not American, but I just didn’t enjoy the whole re-election subplot and felt that the story could have had the same impact if it didn’t revolve around an election.

Red, White & Royal Blue definitely has an important message behind it – that policies need to change with the times and you should be allowed to love whoever you want to love openly – but I feel the story could have been delivered better. Chop out the centre third of the story and again, the point still could have been made. It was too long for what it was.

In a nutshell: I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. It just didn’t live up to the hype for me.

My rating: ★★★/5 Stars

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