Melanie's Reviews > Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
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it was amazing
bookshelves: new-adult, lgbtqiap, romance, contemporary, arc, read-in-2019, buddy-reads, favorites
Read 2 times. Last read March 16, 2019.

[Edit 4/7/19] Hi, Casey's mom. The book world loves your child & their debut.


ARC provided by St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review.

“Is it possible you willfully forgot about the biggest international event of the year because you don’t want to see your arch nemesis?”

I honestly do not think that any book has made me happier than Red, White & Royal Blue, ever. I laughed, I swooned, I cried, but, most importantly, I finished the last page and felt such a powerful amount of hope that transcends any amount of words that I could possibly string together for this review. This is easily the best debut novel I’ve ever read, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if it ends up being my favorite book of the entire year.

First off, in this story, the characters are living in a world where the President of the United States is a democratic woman who was elected after Obama, and her 2020 reelection is quickly approaching. And I just need to take a minute to… *cries forever*! But this book really focuses on two young men, who happen to be very much in the media’s spotlight 24/7, because of the families they were born into. Oh, and one of them happens to be the First Son of the President, and up until this point he thought he was straight, that is until he finally is forced to spend time with his arch nemesis. And I’ll be damned, but this book made me simultaneously believe in love and believe in America.

Alexander Gabriel Claremont-Diaz - The First Son, who is quickly realizing that he is bisexual, but slowly coming out to those he feels safe with. Alex is also biracial (Mexican and white) and (thanks to my beautiful friend Alienor) confirmed to have ADHD!

“Straight people, he thinks, probably don’t spend this much time convincing themselves they’re straight.”

Henry George Edward James Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor - A Prince of England, who is closeted gay to many in his family (and to all media), because he constantly feels the weight of the expectations placed on him by his family and his country.

“O, fathers of my bloodline! O, ye kings of olde! Take this crown from me, bury me in my ancestral soil. If only you had known the mighty work of thine loins would be undone by a gay heir who likes it when American boys with chin dimples are mean to him.”

Alex has followed Henry and his fame long before his mother became president. But at the start of this novel, both men officially meet, but quickly get into a very messy predicament at a royal wedding they were both attending, which ends up being a PR nightmare for both countries, but especially for Alex’s mom, who is up for reelection. So, they are both kind of forced to fake a friendship to appease the press to save face. But a fake friendship quickly turns to a romance, that leaves both men questioning what they are willing to risk, while the press is always watching.

“First, you’ve been, like, Draco Malfoy–level obsessed with Henry for years—do not interrupt me—and since the royal wedding, you’ve gotten his phone number and used it not to set up any appearances but instead to long-distance flirt with him all day every day.”

I also wanted to make sure that I stated in my review that the author is queer (I believe they ID as bisexual, like Alex!) And even though Alex and Henry are obviously queer in their m/m relationship, this book also has such a beautiful and full cast of diverse side characters! I’m completely willing to give my life for June, Nora, Pez, and Bea, right this very second.

Like, I absolutely loved the side characters in this book. Also, you all know that I am always here for strong sibling relationships, and this book has that in spades! Alex’s family in general was everything to me; both of his parents being so supportive and always putting him (and his pace) first really meant a lot to me and makes me so soft just thinking about it. Seriously, this book is found family and blood family goals.

The banter and one-liners were perfection. This author completely understands what it is like to speak and text in your twenties, and they have mastered the craft to perfection. I was either cackling like a banshee or clutching my pearls with heart eyes during all of Alex and Henry’s exchanges. Also, since there is an ocean in-between these two, they correspond a lot of the time through emails, all of which added five years to my life.

Speaking of those emails, the romance in this is just truly a tier above the rest! The dynamic that Henry and Alex are forced into, and then the new dynamics they are forced to overcome, makes for something that you can’t help but root for with everything in your soul. Also, they are truly polar opposites with their personalities, but seeing them together truly feels like you are witnessing soulmates interact. I hate to say this but, your OTP could never.

And obviously because of the setup of this novel, this book does not shy away from US politics, and you should for sure know that going in. But the most tears I shed in this book was when Alex talked about what he felt like to be a biracial kid, and how America truly is a melting pot of immigrants and how that is something beautiful, and should be celebrated, not shamed and something that people consider to be a crime.

This is a book about two men, both in their early- twenties, discovering what they want for their lives and for their countries. Both for themselves and together. In a world that is cruelly unaccepting to anyone who isn’t white and straight, or who are just deemed different. They find friendship, they find love, and they find their voices. And to this Filipino American, pansexual, whose grandparents are both immigrants, who a lot of times really struggles to find their own voice, it meant the world to me. I’ll carry this book with me forever and always.

Overall, this book was just everything I’ve ever wanted. Put your library holds and preorders in now, because I know that so many readers are not only going to fall in love with this tale, but it is going to be one of their favorites for the rest of their lives. I promise you, it is truly that good, and this truly feels like a once in a lifetime book. Casey McQuiston has created something that is going to mean so much to so many readers, and this book is going to bring so much joy to our much-needed world. I’m just forever thankful that I was able to escape into it for a little while, while doing everything I can to make my country's 2020 and on just as hopeful.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Content and Trigger Warnings for homophobia (always in a negative light), talk of racism in media, anxiety depiction, talk of cancer (pancreatic) in the past, talk of past loss of a loved one, talk of past drug use, talk of attempted sexual assault (very briefly) in the past from a very minor side character, and (in my opinion) outing. Also, this is a New Adult novel, so there are many sexual scenes throughout this book, even though they are fade to black for the most part!

❤ I also gush about this in my February Wrap Up on BookTube!

Buddy Read with Kerri from Kerri The Book Belle! ❤

❤ I also read this for Contemporary-a-thon!
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Reading Progress

November 27, 2018 – Shelved
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: new-adult
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqiap
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: romance
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
January 14, 2019 – Shelved as: arc
January 14, 2019 – Shelved as: read-in-2019
February 13, 2019 – Started Reading
February 13, 2019 – Shelved as: buddy-reads
February 16, 2019 – Shelved as: favorites
February 16, 2019 – Finished Reading
March 16, 2019 – Started Reading
March 16, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 62 (62 new)


Alannah On one hand, I can’t wait for this to be out (this ticks all the boxes for me), and on the other, it’s after my birthday in April and I don’t wanna be a year older. Also I really hope this is good!


message 2: by Shana (new) - added it

Shana This is one my most anticipated this year!


message 3: by rachael ♡ (new) - added it

rachael ♡ This sounds so cute aaghhh


Melanie Alannah wrote: "On one hand, I can’t wait for this to be out (this ticks all the boxes for me), and on the other, it’s after my birthday in April and I don’t wanna be a year older. Also I really hope this is good!"

Hahahah! This is the REALEST struggle, Alannah! I hope you love this one though, and i hope you have the happiest of birthdays! 💗xx


Melanie Shana wrote: "This is one my most anticipated this year!"

I hope we both love it, Shana! 💗xx


Melanie rachael ♡ wrote: "This sounds so cute aaghhh"

Right? My heart! 💗xx


Diana Bautista I'm so jealous!!! Hope you'll love it!


message 8: by Kaitlyn (new) - added it

Kaitlyn I am so excited for this one! Counting down the days until May!


Amélie Boucher This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year!!


Melanie Diana wrote: "I'm so jealous!!! Hope you'll love it!"

It was everything, Diana! You are going to love it so much, sweetheart! 💖xx


Melanie Kaitlyn wrote: "I am so excited for this one! Counting down the days until May!"

I can't wait to gush with you over this one, Kaitlyn! 💖xx


Melanie Amélie wrote: "This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year!!"

Yessss, Amélie love! You are going to love it! And I can't wait to talk to you about it! 💖xx


julianna ➹ I have a drc and I'm so FREAKING excited to read


message 14: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie Oh my God! I'm so happy you loved this! This is one of my most anticipated 2019 releases. I've been craving some fluffy male/male romance and I think this one will do the trick. I can't wait for it to come out. I'll be pre-ordering it as soon as I can!


Lance God, I need this book NOW.


Melanie julianna ➹ wrote: "I have a drc and I'm so FREAKING excited to read"

Oh my word, you are going to love this one, Ju! It's almost as funny as you! 💕xx


Melanie Melanie wrote: "Oh my God! I'm so happy you loved this! This is one of my most anticipated 2019 releases. I've been craving some fluffy male/male romance and I think this one will do the trick. I can't wait for it..."

You are going to LOVE it, Melanie! It's a perfect mix of fluffy, but also some really seriously themes too! I promise, review soon! 💕xx


Melanie Lance wrote: "God, I need this book NOW."

Lance... this is going to be your fave! Ahhh! I can't wait to gush with you over this one! 💕xx


message 19: by W505 (new)

W505 hello


Tucker So glad to hear that you loved it! I just got my copy in the mail today!


Melanie W505 wrote: "hello"

Hello! 💕xx


Melanie Tucker wrote: "So glad to hear that you loved it! I just got my copy in the mail today!"

Yesss! Happy reading, Tucker! 💕xx


message 23: by Bethany (new)

Bethany I anzh In Sn Ok shIshszakwspakq kwqo kelp a poo so
Almw.W


Brooke — brooklynnnnereads I’m so excited for this one! Glad to hear you loved it! :)


Melanie Brooke — brooklynnnnereads wrote: "I’m so excited for this one! Glad to hear you loved it! :)"

I practically reread it yesterday night, trying to write my review! Ahhhh! It's soooo good! You're going to love it, Brooke! 💗xx


message 26: by Navessa (new) - added it

Navessa *cries forever in chorus*

This review is awesome, Melanie. I need this book in my life.


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Ahhhhh MELANIE!! I love this review SO MUCH. It makes me so happy that this book could mean the world to so many of us 😭 I need to reread it like, every day?? Love you 💖

Also Navessa DO READ IT YOU NEED ITTTT


message 28: by Navessa (new) - added it

Navessa We were denied the ARC.

*loud sobbing*


Ellie (faerieontheshelf) oh my goodness this finally convinced me! I've been seeing so many positive reviews but yours finally tipped the scale and I preordered it <3 this looks SO CUTE and I can't wait to be filled with the feels


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Navessa wrote: "We were denied the ARC.

*loud sobbing*"


Whyyyyyyyy 😭😭😭😭😭😭


message 31: by Natalie (new) - added it

Natalie I’m a tad desperate to read this after all the rave reviews!


Isabel✨ its a need not a want


Melanie Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ wrote: "Ahhhhh MELANIE!! I love this review SO MUCH. It makes me so happy that this book could mean the world to so many of us 😭 I need to reread it like, every day?? Love you 💖

Also Navessa DO READ IT YO..."


I love you so much, Alienor! I may or may not have gushed about you in my Feb Wrap Up for this book too because... ahh... my heart is just so filled with love for you and this book! I hope life is treating you kindly, love! 💗xx


Melanie Navessa wrote: "We were denied the ARC.

*loud sobbing*"


Oh my word! You should write to them, because... this is the biggest Cory book I've ever read in my entire life. It's going to be your all-time fave, and this is a national tragedy.

Also, I hope life is treating you kindly, love. I miss you, but I'm sending you love always! 💗xx


Melanie Ellie (faerieontheshelf) wrote: "oh my goodness this finally convinced me! I've been seeing so many positive reviews but yours finally tipped the scale and I preordered it <3 this looks SO CUTE and I can't wait to be filled with t..."

Ellie, I promise you, this is SUCH a you book. You are going to cackle and get a little soft and I wish you were in Vegas so that I could experience you experiencing it! Hahahaha! 💗xx


Melanie Natalie wrote: "I’m a tad desperate to read this after all the rave reviews!"

You are going to love it, Natalie! But I hope you're currently having the happiest of reading, love! 💗xx


Melanie Isabel✨ wrote: "its a need not a want"

Only facts here, beautiful! I hope you're currently having happy reading, love! 💗xx


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ Melanie wrote: "Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ wrote: "Ahhhhh MELANIE!! I love this review SO MUCH. It makes me so happy that this book could mean the world to so many of us 😭 I need to reread it like, every day?? Lov..."

I 😭😭😭 I just watched it and omg I don't deserve you 😭😭 Thank you so much love 💖💖💖💖 (yeah I literally broke into tears and also laughed lmao so now I don't know what to say 😂😂😭)


message 39: by Navessa (new) - added it

Navessa Melanie wrote: "Oh my word! You should write to them, because... this is the biggest Cory book I've ever read in my entire life. It's going to be your all-..."

You are the sweetest. Miss you too! Hopefully will less, since I'm trying to be more active on here again. I am so excited for this freaking book that I think I may just wait until release because that will make it all the better. Delayed satisfaction and all that. (view spoiler)


Sahitya I have been waiting for your review Mel and it’s beautiful 😍 I adore this book, have already read it thrice and just wanna read again and again ... Definitely one of my top all time favorites 😊😊😊


message 41: by Kat (new) - added it

Kat Valentine Excellent review Melanie!😉💖


Melanie Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ wrote: "Melanie wrote: "Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ wrote: "Ahhhhh MELANIE!! I love this review SO MUCH. It makes me so happy that this book could mean the world to so many of us 😭 I need to reread it like,..."

Hehehe! I truly love you MORE than words! Seriously... I'm working on that teleporter! 💛xx


Melanie Navessa wrote: "Melanie wrote: "Oh my word! You should write to them, because... this is the biggest Cory book I've ever read in my entire life. It's going to be your all-..."

You are the sweetest. Miss you too! ..."


This is honestly such a mood with making yourself wait for *that* anticipated release! But seriously... I can't wait to watch you fall in love with this one. 💛xx


Melanie Sahitya wrote: "I have been waiting for your review Mel and it’s beautiful 😍 I adore this book, have already read it thrice and just wanna read again and again ... Definitely one of my top all time favorites 😊😊😊"

Awh, Sahitya! My heart! I love your review SO much for this one, too! You are such a blessing! 💛xx


Melanie Kat wrote: "Excellent review Melanie!😉💖"

Thank you so much, Kat love! 💛xx


message 46: by Leigh (new) - added it

Leigh What a wonderful review! You've made me really excited to read it myself now 😊


Surajit I am very excited to read this . This is gonna be my best book


Surajit nice ! awesomeeeeeeeww!


message 49: by Lau (new) - added it

Lau Great review, Melanie!! I’m so glad to hear this book is so important and meaningful to so many of us, especially in the times we live in. It sounds like a ray of rainbow sunshine and I can’t wait to pick it up :D ♥︎♥︎


AMY(pronounced Ah-MEI)♥Queen Of The Fat Cats♥ AMYzing review, Melanie-chan!
xoxoxoxo


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