Book Review: “Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston

red white and royal blueAmerica’s first female president is gearing up for what looks to be a tough re-election campaign, and for her family it’s all hands on deck. June, her aspiring reporter daughter, is less than enamored of the idea, but her son Alex has long envisioned a life in politics and relishes the opportunity to get involved. While the first family is attending a royal wedding in London, Alex has a rather embarassing, and very photographed, run-in with his rival, Prince Henry. In an attempt to save face, it is decided that the 2 will have to pretend to be best friends, which means spending some time together, and discovering that maybe they might like each other more than they originally thought. A lot more. The romance that develops between these 2 feels very organic and believable, and readers will find it nearly impossible not to root for them. Of course, being as high profile as they are, many obstacles get thrown in their way, not the least of which is the Crown’s resistance to the idea of an openly gay prince. It was a smart move on the author’s part to use celebrity to force them to keep their relationship a secret, as it reflects the experience of living a life in the closet that many LGBTQ people have had to deal with, and helps those who haven’t to better understand the sadness, pressure, and loneliness that goes along with it. While the book does a great job of handling such a serious topic, it’s hard not to overstate just how fun and sweet it is. The dialogue is often clever and sharp, the characters are a joy to spend time with, and the twin questions that loom over Alex and Henry’s romance and President Claremont’s re-election keep the pages flying by. After many laughs and more than a few tears, you’ll feel as if you really came to know these people, and you will wish you could spend just a little bit longer with all of them. ★★★★★ – Sean Farrell

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★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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