Review: Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Publishing Date: 5/14/19
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 2/5

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.

Review: The Unhoneymooners

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Publication Date: 5/14/19
Publisher: Gallery Books
Rating: 5/5

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC from Gallery Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

Review: I was so excited to hear that Christina & Lauren were coming out with a new romcom, The Unhoneymooners. This delightful contemporary romance follows Olive and Ethan. Olive, the maid of honor, and Ethan, the best man and Olive’s nemesis, end up going her sister and his brother’s honeymoon after the rest of the wedding party gets food poisoning. Now they’re stuck together for 10 nights in beautiful Hawaii. Will it be fun in paradise or hell on the island? I’m always a sucker for a great enemies-turned-lovers and this did not disappoint! I loved how refreshing both the main characters were. They both strong and mature for the most part. They may be a bit stubborn, but I loved their character development and how they were aware of other people around them. I also loved Olive and Ethan’s chemistry as well. The writing style kept me intrigued. While I was reading, I could imagine this romcom being played out as a movie. There were some parts of the story where I literally laughed out loud. As I was getting to the end of the story, I was getting a bit sentimental and didn’t want it to end. I highly recommend reading this novel whether it’s your first Christina Lauren novel or your sixth!

Christina Lauren Novels

This past year I discovered Christina Lauren and they have now become one of my favorite authors. They are a best friend duo who write contemporary romance novels. I’ve finally caught up with all of their stand alone novels and made a quick infographic if you’re trying to decide which one of their books would fit your romantic tastes 🙂

I can’t wait for their new novel to come out in October 2019!

Review: When Polly Met Olly

When Polly Met Olly by Zoe May

Publication Date: 1/7/19
Publisher: HQ Digital
Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book from HQ Digital in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: When Polly Met Olly is the second book I’ve read from Zoe May. This lighthearted romance read follows how New York matchmakers, Polly and Olly, working for competing firms meet and fall for each other. Overall, it was a decent read. I loved the concept of the story. However, I found myself a bit surprised with the amount of British terms used for someone who was supposedly living in New York for several years and the dialogue from other characters used British term as well. Aside from that, I do like Zoe’s writing style as it kept it me interested throughout the story. I wasn’t a big fan of the chemistry between the two main characters. It seemed a bit too far fetched, but the story came together and had a cute ending. Overall, I’d recommend reading Zoe’s other book, Perfect Match, over this one, but I am looking forward to more of her future work.

Review: I Owe You One

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

Publication Date: 2/5/19
Publisher: The Dial Press (Random House)
Rating: 2/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from The Dial Press (Random House) in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: Sophie Kinsella has been one of my favorite authors since high school and I was so excited to receive an ARC of her latest novel, I Owe You One. This chick lit follows Fixie Farr who has a knack of fixing things. She always picks up the slack from her siblings at their family owned store. One day Fixie meets a handsome stranger at a coffee shop who asks her to watch his laptop. Once she saves it from a disaster, they ended up exchanging IOUs. Overall, I wasn’t impressed with this upcoming novel. There were some cute moments, however, the romance felt pretty weak. The plot was pretty weak as well which didn’t hold up for the entire book The characters go through the typical transformation in a Sophie Kinsella book, but I found all the characters to be a bit extreme and annoying. Fixie was too much of a doormat that after a while it was getting unbearable to read about her. Her siblings seemed too much of pretentious pricks and used Fixie’s lack of a backbone to their advantage. There were also some excess characters which served no purpose in the book. The only reason I even finished the novel was so I could give a fair review. I would recommend skipping this one as there are better books by Sophie Kinsella.

Review: 99 Percent Mine

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

Publication Date: 1/29/19
Publisher: William Morrow
Rating: 2/5

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from William Morrow (Harper Collins) in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

Review: Sally Thorne’s newest romcom, 99 Percent Mine, follows childhood friends, Darcy and Tom, who haven’t seen each other in a while. Darcy inherits her late grandmother’s house along with her twin brother, Jamie, and they hire Tom to do the renovations to sell. Problem is that Jamie has claimed Tom 100% his as his BFF, but Darcy has a huge crush on Tom who is engaged to a different girl. As I was reading,I found myself comparing this book to The Hating Game. It’s absolutely nothing like Sally’s last book which a bit disappointing to me. Darcy isn’t the typical female main character which is awesome and refreshing, but I didn’t like how pathetic she came off as throughout the book. Darcy was always pining after Tom which was so cringeworthy and her heart condition didn’t really help with the story. In terms of the writing style, I did like the romantic parts of the novel which were fun to read and loved the epilogues. But I noticed that some of the writing seemed to be a bit choppy and didn’t flow as well as Sally’s previous book which I found to be surprising. Also I usually don’t critique book covers, but I felt that the happy, cheery, yellow cover was completely off point. It doesn’t really reflect the storyline or Darcy and Tom’s romance at all. My recommendation is that if you loved The Hating Game and decide to pick up 99 Percent Mine, go in knowing that it will be completely different style from The Hating Game.