Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

Alex , the son of first female President of America , for some reason has a beef with Prince Henry which becomes an issue for both countries when their altercation reaches newspapers. So , begins a fake friendship which gradually grows into something that could change not just them personally but also has long lasting effect on their families and  politics of both countries. 


RW&RB is a enemies ( sort of ) to lovers story.  Both Alex & Henry are picture perfect men on surface level. Alex though is no fan of Henry and there is no chance where he lets his irritation show. At one event , their conversation though takes an ugly turn and ends up being reported in newspapers as an altercation. As damage control, Alex is ordered to spend a weekend with Henry to show the world an alternate reality. Once the misconceptions are cleared , there begins a friendship of Instagram pictures, comments , texts & emails that are so damn fun to read. Gradually , we come to know the story of Henry's family , Alex dreams , Alex's parents growth in their own area, the siblings and friends and some of the staff that accompanies them on all their (mis)adventures and journey to each other's life and heart.  

And then I was a careless fool, and I fell in love with you anyway. When you rang me at truly shocking hours of the night, I loved you. When you kissed me in disgusting public toilets and pouted in hotel bars and made me happy in ways in which it had never even occurred to me that a mangled-up, locked-up person like me could be happy, I loved you.And then, inexplicably, you had the absolute audacity to love me back. Can you believe it?Sometimes, even now, I still can't.”


In parallel, we also read about presidential election drama, the tricks and games people play in order to win. and then there is blessing of friendship that our main cast enjoys. Whether it is the phase where Alex & Henry are getting to now each other , or how "the gang" comes together - Alex , Henry , Nora , Pez & June together are superb. Their  love for each other and loyalty in face of any challenge is worth being envious. They have their own personalities and ideologies and each is a force to reckon - kind of setting the stage for future leaders and change makers  we need.

“On the map of you, my fingers could always find the green hills, Wales. Cool waters and a shore of white chalk. The ancient part of you carved out of stone in a prayerful circle, sacrosanct. Your spine's a ridge I'd die climbing.
If I could spread it out on my desk, I'd find the corner of your mouth where it pinches with my fingers, and I'd smooth it away and you'd be marked with the names of saints like all the old maps. I get the nomenclature now- saints' names belong to miracles”

But what actually shines most in the whole book is the letters that Alex & Henry write to each other once they accept each other's love. Those letters are so damn cute and intense and heart warming at the same time. The author's research and appreciation of literary quotes and written correspondence makes this part of the book such a joy to read. I lost count of the highlights I made on this book by the time I finished it. 



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