Thursday 23 March 2023

Red, White & Royal Blue

Finished March 21
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This romance is focused on two young men, and is told from the point of view of one of them. Alex Claremont-Diaz is the son of the US president, Ellen Claremont, a woman who was married to Alex's dad (he's also a politician) and is a Democrat. Ellen is coming up on the end of her first term and will be running for reelection. This is one line of the plot. Alex has an older sister June who also lives at the White House and is trying to get into journalism, with her background becoming a barrier for her. Another young woman who is close to the two siblings is Nora. Nora is the granddaughter of the vice-president and a statistics whiz. 
The family attends the wedding of the eldest grandson of the British Queen (here the Queen is named Mary and has a daughter Catherine, who is the mother of the prince getting married, Philip, as well as two other children, Beatrice, and Henry). Here, an interaction between Alex and Henry causes a small disaster, and plans are put in place by both sides to do PR management to make things better. This involves getting Alex and Henry to spend time together showing that they are good friends. 
As the two young men get to know each other, they discover that they are both intelligent young men who want to make a difference in the world, and their positions lead them to some specific ways of doing that. 
They also find that they are drawn to each other in ways beyond friendship. Given that it is an election year, and their positions mean that any relationship will have international repercussions, there are many difficulties, decisions about what secrets to keep and from who, and things that most people in relationships don't have to consider.
This was a very enjoyable read. I liked all the young people at the centre of the story, including the ones we see a bit less of than the three Americans and the prince, such as Beatrice and Henry's best friend Pez. The older generation is less well-developed here, but seem like they have some depth to them as well. I liked the positivity of the larger story as well as the more personal ones, and the way that the intelligence of the characters comes out through both banter and the plot lines. 

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