Okay. Where to start?I really really wanted to love Red, White & Royal Blue more than I did. And while I did enjoy a lot of things about it, there were other parts that I didn’t love so much. I’ll start with what I didn’t like as much and then share what I really enjoyed.
Things I struggled with:
I didn’t love all the politics. I didn’t realize when I picked this one up that we would follow so much of Alex’s mom’s campaign trail, but we did. It felt like it overwhelmed a lot of the story and it wasn’t all that interesting to me to read. I don’t love politics much in real life (though I do try to stay up to date) but I didn’t really love being so involved in these fictional politics. I felt we could have skipped a lot of the political stuff and focused even more on the romance.At the beginning of the book, it feels like it’s going to be a really fun hate to love romance between the first son and the prince. And that is what it is at first, at least for about 10-20% of the book. They basically hate each other and then their making out (which was fine) but I did wish that the hate to love tension had lasted a little bit longer.It also felt like the main characters were a lot younger than they actually were. It read like a YA novel where the protagonist is 16 instead of in his early twenties.The last thing that I struggled with throughout the book was the POV. This was written in 3rd person present tense and while it works some of the time, there were parts that really felt clunky while I was reading it and I didn’t love that.
What I did enjoy:
The dialogue/banter. It was hilarious and so much fun to read. This kept me going through some of the political parts that I didn’t really care for. But I loved the snarky conversations and it was just done really well.I also liked how Alex goes through his own coming out during the book. He has this huge realization that he’s Bi and he has to figure out what that means for him and his relationship. I thought this book had great queer rep.The relationship between Henry and Alex was also fun to read about, at least most of the time. I loved how sweet Henry was and how much he knew what/who he wanted and how he was willing to give up everything in order to have that love. I did feel like a lot of the relationship was “oh look here you are, let’s have sex.” Which I realize happens a lot in books, but I wanted more emotional connection too. Thankfully, you do get more emotional connection as the book goes on which I really appreciated.This book wasn’t my favorite, but it did have some good parts. I will say I liked the first 30% best, as the last half of the book did get more political. But all in all, it was a fun read and while I wished there hadn’t been as much politics, it was still fun.
About Red, White & Royal Blue
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?