I just finished reading a FANTASTIC book! Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. Not my usual fare. It’s got a youthful tone which usually isn’t my jam. Not YA (young adult). More NA (new adult) because the main characters are millennials in their twenties. But since I’m…er…older than that, it feels young to me. And here’s the other reason I thought I’d hate it. It’s written in present tense which I don’t personally like, but it certainly didn’t hurt Hunger Games, right? But a friend I really respect said I had to read it. And it was so fantastic that all those things I thought I’d hate, I didn’t even notice.
“What’s it about?” you ask. Well, the eldest son of a US president—so the First Son of the US, aka FSOTUS—falls in with the heir to the British throne, aka a royal. There’s a whole bunch of life as a political figure in there which surprised me because it was written so well. The bits were integrated into the main character’s life and were fascinating, and yet still just part of his life and the main story. It was done seamlessly. The tone was light and funny, but it had really serious notes that gave the story depth. Our hero is a millennial just trying to figure things out as he falls in love with the one guy who (a) is a guy and (b) is a royal who cannot be seen as gay. So these two guys are trying to figure out something very complicated and personal while being watched and judged from every side. Sounds angsty, but it was absolutely fun.
Then there are all these British-US disconnects which I found interesting, too. The life of a royal is different from being the son of a sitting president. It just is. And yet there are similarities. But the main problem is that neither of them can come out as gay or bisexual without international repercussions. And are they really falling in love? Or is it something else?
In short, the book is funny and fascinating. I loved it!