RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE
See those sails in the wind? That's me shipping the hell out of Alex and Henry.
I've had a streak of good luck with books this week and I can't believe it took me so long to read Red, White, and Royal Blue. I knew it was high hype and part of me was afraid I'd be let down but I'm here to tell you that this book is better than anyone has claimed it to be. Casey McQuiston, please provide me with another book ASAP. kthanks.
Alex Claremont-Diaz is FSOTUS– First Son of the United States. His mother is the first female president, his older sister is a writing genius, his best friend is a human computer, and Alex has a fire lit under his ass (all the time but) to be a politician that cares and makes a difference to the people of the country. His image is golden, until he sort of starts a fight with Henry, the Prince of England, at Prince Phillip's wedding. To save his image and much to Alex's deep irritation, he has to be fake friends with his nemesis and make the world believe that he and Henry are best friends. Except that being friends with Henry isn't so hard after all, and more than that, Alex sort of, kind of, maybe loves Henry. But this type of secret can't get out–not when Alex's mother's campaign for reelection is on the line and not when the royal family has no idea that Henry is gay and has no interest in fulfilling the heteronormative duties of the crown.
This book is a lot of things: it's a story of identity and how murky finding out who you are can be, especially when society tells you to fit yourself into a neat box. It's a story about appearances and how people are often so much more than what they appear, and how wrong you can be about someone from a first impression. It's about grief and how you change when you lose someone you love. It's about disappointment when your heroes turn out to be a little less grand than you thought they were. It's about the complications of family and how difficult standing up to them can be, if not more difficult than standing up to strangers. It's about love, true love, and loving someone even when it's hard, even when it's messy, even when the entire world is against you. And most of all, it's about believing in the future and having hope that people, that an entire country, can change it's views.
I loved so many things about this book. I loved the characters and how distinct they were. I loved how much I laughed. I loved the pop culture references and the snide remarks about politics. I loved that it gave me hope for the future for a woman president. I wanted to be friends with these characters (and I'm disappointed that I can't be). And I loved how Henry and Alex fell in love, not over night, not instantly, but over time and through getting to know each other.
Look, if you need a book that will make you laugh and give you THE FEELS then I guarantee you'll get more than you asked for with Red, White & Royal Blue.