Red, White & Royal Blue // Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue is one of those books I’ve seen virtually Everyone reading this summer!  Given how much I love a good royal wedding and some White House drama, I was quick to jump on the bandwagon; the novel follows the First Son of the U.S., Alex, and the Prince of Wales, Henry, after a forced political friendship grows into something more.  The First Son/Prince match was really fun to read, and I had a blast flipping through the pages.


“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?”

-Casey McQuiston, Red, White & Royal Blue


From the back cover:

When his mother became President of the United States, 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 an 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 and state and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: Stage a truce between the two rivals.  What at first begins as a fake, Instragrammable 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 presidential campaign and upend two nations.  It raises 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?


Red, White & Royal Blue was an enjoyable read, but definitely a bit too long in my opinion, especially for a romance novel.  I found some scenes were really unnecessary to the story as a whole and caused the plot to drag a bit, and I think the novel would’ve benefited from a small edit to delete fifty pages or so!  Additionally, I think it would’ve been interesting to alternate the storytelling between Alex’s and Henry’s perspectives.  The novel is told entirely from Alex’s point-of-view, but alternating between main characters works really well in the romance genre and it would be a successful tactic here as well!  Though these minor details didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story, I know I would’ve appreciated the novel more with these changes.


“Someone else’s choice doesn’t change who you are.”

-Casey McQuiston, Red, White & Royal Blue


With Red, White & Royal Blue, I really loved the concept and I wanted to love the book itself more, but I think I’ve just read one too many romance novels in a row!

Further Reading: “How Red, White & Royal Blue Became the Unlikely Book of the Summer” by Jocelyn Silver, WSJ Magazine; “How Red, White & Royal Blue is Rewriting the Rules of Prince Charming” by Elena Nicolaou, Refinery29.

Find this book on Goodreads.

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