Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m grateful for great books and great love stories. Today I revisited one of the best—Casey McQuiston’s Red White and Royal Blue. Red, White & Royal Blue is the story of first and lasting love between two impossibly handsome, intelligent and privileged young men from different countries and cultural backgrounds. Alex is Mexican-American and America's "first son," the child of the United States' first female president. Henry is a British prince, second in line to the throne.
It's an understatement to say that I'm not usually a fan of royal romance, but I love this book. I loved it so much that when I got to the end I immediately began rereading it. This book made me swoon and laugh and cry. I loved the humor, the originality, the depth of feeling and the originality in format. Texts and emails play an essential part in bridging the distance between these two men as they evolve from rivals to friends and then friends with benefits and ultimately lovers.
What makes the correspondence special is that Casey Mcquiston incorporates queer history and quotes from real love letters and poems into the correspondence between Alex and Henry. It's a key part of how the two protagonists get to know each other and come to terms with their sexuality and begin to gain confidence in how they fit into the world. And at one point this correspondence becomes a part of how they heal and find hope and give each other strength in the face of near ruin. From Alex to Henry:
p.s. wilfred owen to siegfried sassoon—1917: And you have fixed my Life—however short. You did not light me: I was always a mad comet; but you have fixed me. I spun round you a satellite for a month, but shall swing out soon, a dark star in the orbit where you will blaze.
This is just one part of why this book is so special. It's also incredibly well-written. I read this novel on a Kindle and ended up with more than 100 highlighted passages and notes. It's that well-written and that memorable.
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