Red, White & Royal Blue (AKA my fave of 2019 so far) — Casey McQuiston

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TITLE: Red, White & Royal Blue
AUTHOR: Casey McQuiston
RELEASE DATE: May 14, 2019
GENRE: Romance
AGE RANGE: NA

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Alex, the First Son, has one arch-nemesis: Prince Henry of England, the Crown’s golden boy. After their long-held feud escalates to a disaster at the Royal Wedding, the two are forced to fake a friendship in the spotlight to smooth international relations, and it’s going to be absolutely terrible. After all, Alex hates Henry! … doesn’t he?

Okay, look, I don’t even know how to start this review so I’m just going to apologize in advance for my fangirling, because honestly, it’s really just NOT fair at all that we’re less than three months into the year and I’ve probably already found my favorite book of the year. I mean, HOLY HELL, Y’ALL, THIS IS SO GOOD.

“And you are good. Most things are awful most of the time, but you’re good.”

I mean, this book is exactly what I’m referring to when I say that romance thrives on tropes and that we should embrace tropes more often because, seriously—international relations? Reluctant royals? Enemies-to-friends-to-lovers? Fake friendships? Fake dating? IT’S ALL HERE AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL.

“The turkeys are not going to Jurassic Park you. You’re not the bloke from Seinfeld. You’re Jeff Goldblum.”

When I say I loved this book, I’m worried that you’re interpreting it as, “wow, Destiny enjoyed this book,” when what I mean is, “I had to stop looking through my highlights for quotes to use because I was getting derailed by rereading all of my favorite parts and I’m legitimately tempted to reread this book right now even though I just finished it less than 24 hours ago.”

“You have so much in you, it’s almost impossible to match it. But he’s your match, dumbass.”

There are so many freaking adorable characters that I want to cherish forever. I mean, SO MANY. And they’re all so flawlessly and casually diverse and precious and wonderful.
Alex: First Son, biracial (white/Latinx), bisexual, hilarious, vaguely full of himself in the best way
👑 Henry: Prince, gaaaaay, softest bean ever
📰 June: First Daughter, biracial (white/Latinx), #squadmom for life, honestly gave me total queer vibes so can we please get a sequel confirming this??
💻 Nora: Alex and June’s bestie, bisexual, geeky AF, computer hacker and data analyst extraordinaire, endlessly hilarious (“still waters, deep dicking”)
🎤 Bea: Henry’s sister, former cocaine addict, sweet and feisty as hell, also queer AF and I’ll not hear any arguments
💎 Pez: Henry’s best friend, massive philanthropist, fashionista, no regard for societal gender roles (despite these last two things I’m tempted to think Pez is the Token Straight™ in the Super Six)

It’s nothing like kissing anyone he’s ever kissed in his life. It feels as steady and huge as the ground under their feet, as encompassing as every part of him, as likely to knock the wind out of his lungs.

I could gush forever, honestly. And the humor in this story! I laughed out loud so many times. And the swooning! There’s a fair amount of sex (though the scenes are all tame and mostly vague if that’s something you’re worried about), and even when everyone is fully clothed, the tension is off the charts. They’re so sweet together and they wear their little hearts on their sleeves and I adored everything about the perfect OTP that is Alex and Henry. ♥ Also, their text and email conversations? KILL ME WITH CUTENESS, CASEY MCQUISTON, JUST DO IT.

Whatever, fine. Henry is annoyingly attractive. That’s always been a thing, objectively. It’s fine.

I think the last thing I want to say is just how optimistic and downright hopeful this book is. Without spoiling anything, there’s a scene towards the end that is just pure queer affirmation and support and love and it had me bawling the happiest tears at the thought. The world is a really ugly place sometimes (especially in US politics lately) and I cherished every moment of this escape and this view into what we’re hopefully moving towards.

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

5stars

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Just a 26-year-old children's librarian trying to juggle motherhood, grad school, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

28 thoughts on “Red, White & Royal Blue (AKA my fave of 2019 so far) — Casey McQuiston

  1. I was impatient and hyped to read this book before, now, well now I wish I had a copy right now to read it haha. IT sounds incredible, I can’t wait! 🙂 Wonderful review, I’m so happy you loved this so much 🙂

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  2. I haven’t read the full thing because I’m planning on reading next month and I don’t want to know anything but I’m so happy you enjoyed this. I’m even more excited then before!

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  3. oof I literally just reviewed this over on my blog too but i think i had a totally different reading experience… idk i think i’ll read again as i was going through a pretty tumultuous period when I first read it which may have put me in a bit of a sour mood 😐

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    1. Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that!! 😦 I feel like it is definitely getting mixed reviews as I know you’re not the first person to tell me they weren’t a huge fan of it, so if it’s any consolation, you’re not alone! If you do try it again, I hope you enjoy it more next time. 🙂

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  4. Ahhh this is such a great review! sadly, my Netgalley request was declined, so I have to wait till publication – but this book just SOUNDS PERFECT. And everyone has been obsessed with it lately. I am so glad you loved it so much, you made me even more excited to read it!

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