Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Publishing Date: 5/14/19
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.
Review: Red, White & Royal Blue is Casey McQuiston’s debut novel. This romcom follows the First Son of the United States, Alex, falling in love with the Prince of Wales, Henry, in an enemies-turned-lovers whirlwind. I was initially super excited to read this book for various reasons:
- The author is going to have a book event at a local bookstore near me in June.
- Her book is turning into a movie.
- There were great reviews on GoodReads.
After I finished the book, I had mixed feelings about it. First, let me start off with the positives:
- The premise of the book intrigued me and I can totally tell why this was being picked up for a movie.
- The diverse set of characters was definitely refreshing.
- The strong overall message and representation in this book is wonderful to see and I’m glad to see that this is becoming more mainstreamed and discussed about.
Now with all the points I mentioned above, you would think that I would give this book a 4 or 5 star review, however, there were so many little things that made this book not so great which outweighed the pros and made it a 2 star review instead. There were a couple of times where I really wanted to DNF the book, but I decided to go through to finish it hoping it would get better and to also provide a fair and unbiased full review. Here is the list of issues I had with the book:
- Political Ideas: Now I understand that because we are talking about the First Family that there will be some political ideas shared in here, but the author basically shoves all her political ideas into this book and calls it “romance.” I typically avoid books that are over political and thought this would only have light politics, but there are so many political digs thrown to the reader that it’s poorly executed no matter what political party you affiliate with.
- Characters: All the characters, especially the main characters, are so unlikable and so rude. The characters are a bit immature – more to come on that later.
- Dialogue: The things the characters say are either too much slang, profanity or just downright corny.
- Plot:The plot is a bit all over the place and it seems like some of the things in here were just out of place.
- Writing style: The story reads like “fan fiction” that you would find on the internet, but not in an actual novel. Also I was a bit surprised on how this read more of a YA than an adult romcom instead. I assumed since the characters were in their early 20s, it would be a bit more mature, but the writing ended up being a bit more cheesy instead.
Overall, the book just wasn’t for me. With that said, I wouldn’t say to disregard this book completely, but it wouldn’t the best book you’ve read in romance though.