Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

In general, I find that buying more copies of one book is well stupid. I find it such a big capitalistic thing. Don’t get me wrong I love books, I have so many books and it’s all paper and that isn’t great for the environment. Yet, it’s my hobby, it is what I love to do but to buy 4 or 5 copies of the same book while you can only read one at a time. I understand if you need a copy for class and you want to write in that but overall I think it is so unnecessary. Yet, I did what I never thought I would do. I have two copies of this book. I cannot explain fully why I came to that decision. This book had such an effect on me and the collector’s edition is simply so incredibly pretty that I couldn’t leave it. Let’s get into the story.

The book in short
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.
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. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
I got this information here.

My thoughts
Do you remember the first time you saw a romantic comedy? Or the first time you read one of those romance novels your mum used to read on holiday? Or those stories that you borrow from a friend. The feeling that starts in your stomach when the main characters meet, the smile that cannot seem to leave your face when they fall in love. That feeling, this book gave it ten folds. No matter the stakes, you want these people to get together.

When we meet the main character Alex we come to understand that he is a bit of a horrible human he is so full of himself, that he thinks he is amazing. Yet, I do like him. I do not have a problem with a book not being in our reality it feels so interesting to read about reality so incredibly close to ours. Yet, it never happened, it gives massive ‘could have been’ feelings and it’s a bit sad. I do want to add that the Prince is fourth in line, he is never going to be a King. He is not even the spare, the sister is. If Henry’s brother and sister each have one child he wouldn’t even be getting paid as a royal.

The book is so funny and incredibly witty. I find the way Alex thinks about his sexuality and the ideas he has about his own sexuality so interesting to read. It was wonderful to really get into his mind and go through his thought process. The book is simply happy, I found a kindred spirit in Alex and some reason and identified so much with him. He is as oblivious going through life as I am. I have never read that before in this manner. He is obviously very smart but also very oblivious as a person who has been laughed at by her friends for well… not noticing obvious things. It makes me feel seen, I suppose. He never comes across as stupid and I can follow his train of thought so well. It’s a wonderful experience.

I do hate the cover though, Alex is half Mexican and he is described as being a bit darker-skinned and looking Mexican. The boy on this cover is my skin colour. He is a darker shade of white, yet I would still classify that as white whereas the Henry character looks pasty white. He is not described in such a manner in the book. I love the Portuguese cover it looks so much closer to what I imagine him to look like. The beautiful artwork in the collector’s edition is so pretty and much closer than they are described in the book. I do feel it’s an adult book, there are erotic elements within the book. This is not to say younger people should never read it but I found this book in the YA section in 3 countries and I find that a bit off. The Hunger Games and Twilight are in that same section and I think people reading those books for the first time are not quite ready to read a book like this. And many others like it I find the YA section to be quite appalling, I strongly feel it is far too mature for 12-year-olds. It surprised me so much that I loved the book as much as I did. It is so witty, and just simply so good. There was something about the story that I thought I would love, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy it. When I finished I wanted to re-read it right away and I told myself I wasn’t allowed to. I lasted for a week and I did do not much reading between those reads. I simply couldn’t, this story had a grip on me. It’s such a simple romance story with elements of going of age, realizing who you are, and challenges that relate in this book to the world stage but can so easily be translated to the stage of the local high school. So it isn’t far-fetched even if it’s the prince and the son of the president.  This book touched something in my heart. 

Let’s chat love for a second. I have fortunately grown up in a country where gay marriage was allowed. I was very very young when our laws went into effect. Thus, in my world, it hasn’t been something I have thought much about except being surprised that other countries were well.. behind. It is a fight I have never fought in. It’s a struggle I never faced. My friends and I talk about sexuality and stuff like that but we rarely disagree on such topics. Thus I was reading and it suddenly hit me. How can anyone think this is wrong? The idea to me is so strange, I have been raised with the idea that it doesn’t matter and that love is love. The values I took from my parents is that it is not our place to have an opinion on what someone else does, or who someone else loves. The love between people is something we never even have to go in-depth with, there is no discussion or talk to be had. It just is. I grew up with gay marriage being legal and gay relationships on TV and it never made a difference. It is such a struggle in my mind that people out there think it isn’t right. For me, this book is so pure and lovely. And I just enjoy the story for what it is and there is no difference if Alex was Alexandra or Henry was Henrietta. My brain just doesn’t compute that some people see that differently and then it suddenly hit me ‘huh’. People out there exist and don’t share this view as in not at all and I have known this but it might have not been understood to my core until now. I think that books like this, books that make it easy to feel love. To see it blossom for it to just be between these two people. I think it will change hearts, especially for the younger generation, the people that are our future.

To conclude this book feels the way it feels to be in love. I also really do like the emails in this book normally I dislike that but in this book, I do enjoy it in this one as it makes sense for them as they are international so they cannot just call or stop by. Also, it’s the stupidest thing you can do really. I mean honestly, everyone will find out. But that is the beauty of it as well, it’s daring and it’s teenagers being idiots. The writer did such a wonderful job with this book, I have since bought the other books that have been published by them. I cannot wait to read them all.

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