During winter break, I was at home (in the middle of a panoramic) with nothing to do. I was an avid reader before college filled up my schedule and made it hard to find personal reading time, so when Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue started popping up all over my For You Page on TikTok, I was excited to give the book a go. It is a romance novel about the son of the President of the United States and a British prince who hate each other, yet fate and their roles in politics keep pushing them together. Little did I know, this book would pull me out of my reading slump and leave me on the edge of my seat after every chapter. I barely wanted to put it down and ended up finishing the book in just under 48 hours. If you’re looking for a new read, here are some reasons that Red, White & Royal Blue is the perfect book for you.
- The Romance
Not to state the obvious, but the biggest draw of this book is definitely the pure, unadulterated joy of Henry and Alex’s love story. You get to watch them go from enemies to friends to lovers, and reading about every development of their relationship along the way is engaging and entertaining. I also enjoyed that the book gives you time to see them in a relationship—it doesn’t just spend the whole time trying to get them together and then end as soon as they do.
- The Characters
Alex and Henry are both interesting and dynamic characters, but what really rounds out this book is that all the supporting characters are also wonderful. Along the way you’ll meet family members, close friends, and political allies, all with their own storylines that weave together to complete the story of Alex and Henry. My personal favorite characters that get explored further in the novel are Henry’s family members, so look out for their stories if you give this book a read.
This book also provides representation for groups of people who don’t see themselves in literature as often as they should. Alex is Latinx and bisexual, Henry is gay, and more of the side characters also come from underrepresented groups. Casey McQuiston, the author, is nonbinary and bisexual themselves, so it makes sense that their work would reflect a desire for more queer narratives in mainstream contemporary fiction.
- Geographical Escapism
While this point may be true of almost any book you read nowadays, the traveling in this book definitely served as a form of escapism from the pandemic lockdown for me. (People going to events? Being outside without a mask on? Wild.) Obviously Alex lives in the United States and Henry lives in the U.K., so the setting changes between those two countries, and within them the characters visit plenty of interesting locations that made me yearn for the day when we can travel safely again.
Not only is the romance in this book swoon-worthy, but it also has plenty of humorous moments too. All of the characters have good banter between each other, which leads to some really entertaining dialogue exchanges. The combination of humor and romance leads to a really joyful reading experience overall, and honestly I think now is the perfect time to bury yourself in fluffy, happy books.