Member Reviews

Red, White, and Royal Blue is a queer love story that new adult readers have been needing. A story of royalty and political intrigue, Red, White and Royal Blue will make you smile and fill you with warm and gooey goodness. Alex and Prince Henry have a love story for the ages and this book will remain one of the most loved contemporary queer love stories.

I loved that this book features a bisexual main character. It also dives into complicated family relationships and the weight of familial expectations. This book explored coming out, falling in love for the first time, and finding complete joy in someone else.

This book is an exceptional recommendation for older teens, new adults, and longtime fans of the romance genre.

Was this review helpful?

So, this was good. It didn't speak to me in the same way I've seen it hitting for others, but I also feel like I may have read it at a less-than-ideal time. On my to be re-read list!

Was this review helpful?

Red, White, and Royal Blue was such a cute book! As someone that does not read or typically enjoy contemporary, I took a chance on this book as I was hearing so many good things about it from many other readers in the community. At first I was hesitant, but once I really got into reading, I didn't want to stop! The relationship was so adorable and I loved the banter between the two of them. The writing was cute and fluffy, as expected from a contemporary book, but I actually really enjoyed reading something cute and fluffy for once. All of the hype around this book is warranted and I would absolutely recommend this if you're looking for a contemporary to devour in a day or two!

Was this review helpful?

First son of the United States, Alex, has some fixing to do after he and Prince Henry of Wales cause an incident at a royal wedding. After a couple press appearances to try to convince the world that they’re friends, they actually become friends and fall in love.

I loved every word of Red, White, and Royal Blue. It was such a great feel good story. It’s a love story that’s equal parts sweet and sexy that you won’t be able to put down.

Was this review helpful?

I wanted something a little different. A step back from everything else I’d been reading. This wasn’t it. While everyone else is raving about this book, I’m scratching my head. Sure there is a romance element and it’s MM, but there are so many political references I thought I was reading a history book. It was confusing. It completely took me out of the story. And don’t get me started on the writing style.

Honestly everyone wants the fairytale. I wanted the fairytale for Alex and Henry. However, I don’t want to have to wade through someone’s political viewpoint and bashing of the other side, regardless of whether or not I agree with it, to get there. Because what was this? A romance or a political statement?

Was this review helpful?

This was a decent debut. I liked both MC's, but they both felt so stereotypical and cliched. The writing was a bit flat and could use some streamlining and tightening up. There were aspects of the story where it was hard to suspend reality and that got in my way. All in all, an okay read that's left me confused by all the hype it got.

Was this review helpful?

This was just not my thing. Way too YA for my tastes. Not enough there to keep my interest, and I skimmed the last half.

Was this review helpful?

Ugh, everyone loved this book and it just didn't do it for me. I did not relate or care about any of the characters and thought Alex was rather reckless... About 3/4 of the way through the book I decided that I'd finish and I will say that it didn't end up like I thought it would. It was a cute premise but just not my cup of tea.

Was this review helpful?

[The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

I can't put into words how much I loved this book! <3 The queer representation was amazing and the beautiful story made me cry multiple times. Alex and Henry are so, so cute! This might be my favourite 2019 book :)

Was this review helpful?

Amazing story. I couldn't put it down. Everyone kept talking about this book and although you do have to suspend reality for a bit it is still worth the read! I would absolutely recommend you read this book.

Was this review helpful?

I love, love, loved this book. (So much so that when I was halfway through and frustrated with formatting errors in the digital ARC copy, I purchased a finished copy with no hesitation.) As a Canadian who has absolutely no interest in the American political system and is, at best, frustrated with being continually inundated by the American election cycle it is astounding how thoroughly this book won me over.

The writing is funny and sexy and touching. I actually cried a little at the ending.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for an e-ARC of Red, White, and Royal Blue.

This book was truly everything. It's the perfect summer read, fall read....let's face it: it's just the perfect read for any day. This New Adult Romance is one of the funniest, wittiest, heartfelt romance books I've ever read. It will definitely be one I recommend to anyone for years to come.

Was this review helpful?

**** Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin for providing me with a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review ****

**** Trigger Warnings: Homophobia (challenged, of course), Anxiety/Panic Attack, & Public Outing of Character(s) ****

I would like to just start this review of by saying: THIS IS A NEW ADULT NOVEL. It’s not YA by any means and there are some sexually explicit scenes. I just wanted to clear that up for anyone thinking this might be Young Adult because books get mis-genred like that a lot (mis-genred can be a word, right?).

I, like a TON of other readers, really enjoyed this book. It was fun, fluffy, and just full of ALL the adorable-ness! With that being said it just wasn’t enough, personally, to give it a full five stars. It’s definitely a great read though so let’s get into that!


The whole premise of the book is amazing: the First Son of the United States falling in love with the Prince of Wales. I love it! I lived for it! I’m always a sucker for any kind of royal romances too! I really enjoyed their forbidden romance/enemies to lovers romance and their overall story of overcoming the obstacles of their status, to be together.

Also everything is so freaking adorable, they are adorable! Trust me when I saw you will be rooting for Alex and Henry the entire way. I also enjoyed a lot of the politics that came into play, it was a nice sub-plot to the romance and kept things interesting too. There’s also a TON of modern humor throughout the book and there were so many hilarious antics and jokes that I was laughing and smiling like an idiot throughout my entire read. I mean there’s a scene where they do Queen karaoke, who doesn’t want to read about that?

And the writing was fantastic, I loved how easily everything flowed and nothing ever felt forced. There were a few times that the time shifts or location changes were a little abrupt for me though. One minute I’d be reading about a conversation Alex was having with someone at one location and BOOM he’s in the White House talking with his sister. It disoriented me a bit because I’d have to re-read the last few sentences to make sure I was following along and a character didn’t just appear out of nowhere.

The main focus of the story is, of course, about the romance between Alex and Henry. However, there are some politics to keep things interesting, as I mentioned a bit earlier. This is where a few twists came into play and while some of them were a bit predictable, others kept things…lively, we’ll say. It’s still most definitely a character driven story though, which those are usually the best in my opinion!

The pacing was pretty moderate I would say as well, I definitely keeps your interest but for me this wasn’t quite “un-put-downable.” It’s also a standalone novel so everything is wrapped up nicely at the end and you’ll be gushing and throwing up rainbows like the rest of us!


Naturally the characters were my favorite part of “Red, White, and Royal Blue”, I thought they were all just so much fun and had so much personality! Precious cinnamon rolls, all of them! I loved how diverse the cast was and I loved that it was done so nonchalantly, they were who they were and it was fine and not a big deal. (of course to readers it is though because hello representation!)

Alex – Our First Son of the United States who is biracial (White and Mexican) and bisexual. He’s hilarious and is full of sarcastic comments, definitely an enjoyable main character.

Henry – The most adorable Prince of Wales who is gay and actually a bit quiet, shy, and in general soft. He can be pretty cheeky when he gets warmed up though, definitely the perfect contrast to Alex’s excitable and outgoing ways!

June – Alex’s sister, also biracial, and the First Daughter. She’s got her shit together! I loved how in charge she was and kept everyone on the right track all the time, she’s amazing!

Bea – Henry’s sister who made some rough choices after the passing of their father, everyone judges her for it in the public eye but she takes no one’s shit! I loved how feisty she was and honestly I think she was one of my favorite side characters, strong as hell that’s for certain.

Nora – I feel like Nora is definitely the “cool girl” but at the same time she’s a wonderfully geeky computer analyst and super genius. She’s bisexual and also best friends with Alex and June.

Pez – One of Henry’s best friends, a philanthropist in charge of their own endeavors and seems to be genderfluid or at least doesn’t conform to society’s gender roles. I’m not sure what Pez identifies as sexually but they pursue June with no abandon (it was adorable though). Honestly, one of my fave characters.

I also was in love with Alex and June’s parents, I mean Ellen is the first freaking female President so she was a badass. Also love how supportive they were too though.


And as you would expect the romance is the main focus of the book and it is was remarkable! Like everything else in the book it was also adorable and fun and just downright HAPPY! For a book that relies so heavily on the romance I was delightfully surprised that it was such a slow burn. I was also LIVING for the air of forbidden romance and the enemies to lovers trope. Alex and Henry started out as bitter rivals and had to fake a friendship, which was hilarious, and from there turned into lovers. I’m usually not a fan of that trope but it worked so well here and Casey McQuiston did an amazing job with it!


What I Loved:

Adorable! Everything overall!
Romance was overall one you could root for (and not unhealthy or abusive)
Enemies to lovers trope! Forbidden romance trope!
Even pacing, kept my attention
Great writing, very easy-going and, again, kept my attention
So freaking fun and hilarious!
The characters were also super fun and had a lot of personality
Diverse cast of characters: POC and LGTBQ+
I mean…..the book also has a Female President so, hell yeah

What I Didn’t Love:

I had some issues with how time and location jumps were handled, as stated in the review it was pretty abrupt and left me confused at times.


Overall it’s a fantastic book full of amazing and diverse characters and is just adorable and a ton of fun! It’s a blast to read! It just wasn’t quite a full five star read for me, it lacked that “un-put-downable”-ness in my case but it is most definitely a fantastic book and one that I recommend reading. I mean, I’m not a huge New Adult or Romance reader and I really enjoyed it!

Was this review helpful?

I love him on purpose.

Can we please discuss this line!!!! Someone? Anyone? Relationships are hard and sometimes love isn’t enough and gah. Life is hard too. It’s all so difficult and naps are amazing. And the longer I’m alive the more naps I want. And...where was I going with this? Oh, yes. Love is hard. But to choose someone to love on purpose is wonderful. To continue choosing this same person to love every day is amazing. I loved this fake bromance/enemies to lovers/romance so much.

It was completely fake and kind of imposible and so overly the top in your face queer AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. I laughed so hard I almost gave my mom a heart attack. She thought I was chocking and since I was listening to the audiobook didn’t realize she was screaming at me until it was too late. My sister was driving and was mad at me because I laughed so loudly. Bleh, it was funny. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so unexpected.

Alex Claremont-Diaz is the FSOTUS, biracial (white/Latinx), bisexual, hilarious, and a little conceited but in the best way.

”So this is happening now?” Alex says, glaring down at Nora’s napkin bird. “Has he decided to finally shut me up by wooing my sister?” “Aw, little buddy,” Nora says. She reaches over and pats his hand. “It’s cute how you think everything is about you.”

I still very much love Alex and his foul mouth.

Henry is British and so damn proper and honestly needs to be protected at all cost. He is the sweetest man like I said needs to be protected. The way Alex empowered him was beautiful to see. Seeing these two fall in Love was beautiful to see.

I won’t say more because I’ll spoil the shit out of this book. I loved the witty banter and awesome personalities. They were a little over the top at times and completely exaggerated. Or maybe that was the audiobook. Ellen, the mom and First female president, has the thickest Texan accent. Oscar, the dad and governor of some state. Texas? Had the biggest Mexican accent. They all seemed like some sort of caricature but I didn’t mind at all because the biggest thing this book has is the power to give you hope. Hope that there is a future where everyone in the LGTB+ will be seen. Hope that not all politicians are corrupt and evil. Hope that love will always win. It is suppose to be exaggerated and fake because we need it. Because it made laugh and happy cry. It made me so damn happy. Reading this made me forget about everything’s and just enjoy the story. It was a great story, everyone must read it.

I leave you with one of the many, many good quotes from Thai book.

“Thinking about history makes me wonder how I’ll fit into it one day, I guess. And you too. I kinda wish people still wrote like that. History, huh? Bet we could make some.”

Was this review helpful?

This was the first book club pick in my romance book club! I love the Royal family, so anything dealing with Royals I’m usually all over. This had a nice twist to it with including the First Family of the US.

While I enjoyed this one, I didn’t enjoy it as much as others did. I honestly can't really put my finger on exactly why, which I know isn’t very helpful. I think towards the end, it just got to be too long. A lot of the end felt repetitive to me and just wanted it to wrap up.

It is a fun read, and if you're looking for a romance book that has comedy with the background of politics (both national and international), then check this one out.

Was this review helpful?

This book deserves all of the hype it's gotten. It's sweet and endearing, and has amazing rep for the LGBTQ+ community. We need more romances like this one
1

Was this review helpful?

“Y’all are such assholes! He seems really nice!”
“That’s because you are a nerd,” Alex says. “You want to protect those of your own species. It’s a natural instinct.”

Okay, I won't lie. When I saw this book on NG I thought to myself, this is like someone saw the Royal Wedding and decided to write a fanfic about it but dial it up to 1000 and make it gay. So of course, I was totally down for it! But, I was reminded once again why I don't usually like Royal romances so much. Because they rely heavily on the actual British Royal Family but they always turn the members into super villains straight out of a soap opera and frankly it's distracting.

I mean, the evil Queen who wants a fake wedding for her gay grandson, the controlling brother and sister-in-law who care for nothing but their image, the mom who has a last moment epiphany because the plot needs it now.. it was all too much and it made me curious to see how it would have worked if the family was actually supportive for once. We need more supportive family members in literature is all I'm saying.

The actual story and the characters were hilarious and I loved the banter between them.. I mean... This book went there..

“I’d rather be waterboarded,” Henry says, smiling back. The camera snaps nearby. His eyes are big and soft and blue, and he desperately needs to be punched in one of them. “Your country could probably arrange that.”
Alex throws his head back and laughs handsomely, loud and false. “Go fuck yourself.”
“Hardly enough time.”

But still, between the dreadfulness of American politics and the caricatures of the Royal Family, I found myself getting more annoyed than enjoying those other characters. The Fist Family - seeing how America reacts to female/non-white candidate(s), let alone President(s) was too perfect and too good to even read it as fiction, I kept saying in my head, America would never accept this in a million years which made me sad and depressed and it made reality suck even more than it does.

And then there was stuff like this one..

“Well, my UN ambassador fucked up his one job and said something idiotic about Israel, and now I have to call Netanyahu and personally apologize. But the good thing is it’s two in the morning in Tel Aviv, so I can put it off until tomorrow and have dinner with you two instead.”

Not even going to touch than one. Not even.

Overall, I enjoyed the idea behind it but that's it.

Was this review helpful?

I have not been this drawn in by a book in a long time....I read it in one sitting. I love romance, and love a good romance, but this was a GREAT romance. The forbidden love, the snappy dialog, and the secondary characters kept me hooked from start to finish. I have recommended this book to more people than I have in a very long time. I cannot wait for more works from Ms. McQuiston!

Was this review helpful?

That this book took me so long to read probably clues you in to the fact that it has some major pacing issues, and is, in my opinion, far too long for what it is. Then again, I'm not a seasoned reader of romance, and in fact I don't tend to like romance very much (not that I dislike it either), so perhaps it's the perfect length for its intended audience. All I know is I struggled to get into it; for the first 20% I kept picking it up and putting it down because something else always seemed more appealing. Once I finally got past the 25% hurdle, I was attached enough to overlook the pacing issues, and from there it was an unputdownable read.

My feelings about this book are...mixed. I can certainly be critical: the book's pacing, as I have mentioned, is unbalanced; the tonal shifts regarding both main characters' ties to their privilege (and vague criticism of imperialism) are jarring and seem to be shoe-horned in to demonstrate their Wokeness™; certain lines and scenes are cringey in their desperate attempt to be #relatable.

On the other hand, I did really enjoy this book, once I properly got into it! I enjoyed its wish-fulfillment plot, its writing (there are some seriously quotable quotes here, and some beautiful romantic writing in general), the portrayal of love, and the sweetness of the relationship between the two main leads. I liked the allusions to queer history, the discussions of queer love, the spectrum of gender and sexuality and race and ethnicity on display, the tongue-in-cheek references to the real world. I loved the hopeful vision it presents for the future - so many queer stories are so relentlessly grimdark that it's kind of nice and uplifting to read something so unabashedly positive even in the face of adversity.

I do wonder if this book is a bit too high-concept for my liking, and if I would have liked it more if it didn't feature the children of the British Empire and the United States. But then it probably wouldn't have worked as well. The characters' fame and social positioning is the point, after all. But addressing that in any properly meaningful way would have taken away from the main focus of the book, which is a romance, and it's probably not fair to criticize a high-concept romance novel for being a high-concept romance novel. I do think it was an interesting concept to play around with, even if I wish some of the issues brought up (imperialism, racism, etc) had been given a bit more depth.

But, yeah, I totally get the hype, even if this isn't necessarily the best thing I've ever read, and I definitely had a fun and happy time reading it and look forward to this author's next book (which is f/f!!!)!

Was this review helpful?

What do you get when you mix hate-to-love, humour, politics, and passion? Red, White & Royal Blue. It’s a good recipe, and if you at all enjoy romcoms, this will be your cup of tea.

People have been raving about this book, and for good reason. Most romcoms are, shall we say, the opposite of diverse. The romance genre is getting better, and this book is one of the reasons why. It’s an m/m romance, with characters that have different sexual orientations within the LGBTQ+ community. That alone is a big draw for audiences.

As I was discussing this book witha friend, we appreciated how the lgbtq+ romance was handled, specifically how one character realizes their sexual orientation. I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t say more. Suffice to say, it was well done.

The romance itself? Oh boy, it’s good. It’s dramatic, yet sweet. I liked getting to know the characters, and getting to see how they grew close and changed due to their relationship. I ship Alex and Henry so hard, and they’re the driving force behind the book. The book is definitely very character-driven, but with such compelling characters it’s a joy to read.

This book is also sexy af, and hilarious. Like, laugh out loud funny. Bold. To see characters so comfortable in their own skin, and comfortable around each other is amazing. Their confidence is captivating.

Sometimes, there were cliches or little inconsistencies or some drama that I felt wasn’t quite there. But overall I have very little complaints about the writing itself.

Red, White & Royal Blue is a unique romcom, and I’m so glad I got the chance to review it for you. Honestly, even if you’re new to the romance genre, consider giving this one a go.

Was this review helpful?