A forbidden romance between a closeted gay prince of England and the biracial First Son of the first female president of the USA is a GREAT formula. But this book, which reads like YA on the sexier end of the spectrum and reaches for the heights of language of the best literature, goes well beyond the formula.
The narrator, Alex, is a hyperfocused twenty-something who actually enjoys the opportunities his mother's presidency affords him to make connections and start his own political career. He's also too impulsive by half, especially when it comes to his nemesis, the criminally bland Prince Henry. Their own animosity creates a situation that requires them to pretend to be friends and ends opening the door for a relationship that is a lot more intense (and impossible) than the manufactured one.
That's just the plot, though, "Red, White & Royal Blue" then delves into political and queer history, comments on race through likeable, imperfect characters doing their best to survive in a world that's a little more hopeful than our own (this being a sort of alternate history where an extra cool Hilary Clinton analogue got elected in 2016) and 2020 is the year of hope and coming together.
If you're bummed about the current political climate around the world and the utter hopelessness that seems to permeate everything, snap this one up, it's a first book but the kind that has been polished Casey McQuiston has got the raw talent and the genuine emotions behind her words have been polished to poetic heights that will make you pet the pages. Very much looking forward to whatever she does next!
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