“To every person in search of somewhere to belong who happened to pick up this book, I hope you found a place in here, even if just for a few pages. You are loved. I wrote this for you. Keep fighting, keep making history, keep looking after one another.” – Casey McQuiston
Red, White & Royal Blue
Casey McQuiston grew up in the swamps of Southern Louisiana, where she cultivated a love for biscuits and stories with big, beating hearts. She lives in the mountains of Northern Colorado, with a collection of jean jackets and her poodle mix, Pepper.
May 14, 2019
Famous First Words
“On the White House roof, tucked into a corner of the Promenade, there’s a bit of loose paneling right on the edge of the Solarium. If you tap it just right, you can peel it back enough to find a message etched underneath, with the tip of a key or maybe a stolen West Wing letter opener.”
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
My Thoughts & Takeaway
First and foremost, romance is not typically my genre choice. Yes, there are times when I’ve picked up some romance books but they typically have a paranormal or fantasy element which intrigues me more and, even then, it’s rare.
However, I heard so many great things about this book from such a wide range of individuals. I also knew it was LGBTQ+ friendly. So, I was feeling the FOMO and decided to check it out for myself.
Short verdict? No regrets.
Alternate Universe: If only we were really living in this AU, how much better off would we be? The answer is so much better. A female president that cares about human rights. What a concept.
Naturally not everything is perfect and this book gives us that desired AU while still tackling big and important topics such as coming out, not feeling comfortable being yourself due to your family, societal standing, and so on.
So many people are forced or force themselves in the closet, are afraid to come out to their parents and friends, and feel alone, confused, and lost.
This book is a romantic comedy for sure, but it’s definitely a whole lot more. And, while there are others that deserve it, McQuiston definitely brought a LGBTQ+ book mainstream in a big way and more than that, they represented bisexuality in a big way.
McQuiston tackled a lot of serious topics varying from grief and loss to depression and from homophobia to political issues.
“Thinking about history makes me wonder how I’ll fit into it one day, I guess. And you too. I kinda wish people still wrote like that. History, huh? Bet we could make some.”
“That’s the choice. I love him, with all that, because of all that. On purpose. I love him on purpose.”
“Sometimes you just jump and hope it’s not a cliff.”
“But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable.”
“Someone else’s choice doesn’t change who you are.”
“To every person in search of somewhere to belong who happened to pick up this book, I hope you found a place in here, even if just for a few pages. You are loved. I wrote this for you. Keep fighting, keep making history, keep looking after one another.”
“Straight people, he thinks, probably don’t spend this much time convincing themselves that they’re straight.”
“I’ve always thought of myself as a problem that deserved to stay hidden. Never quite trusted myself, or what I wanted. Before you, I was all right letting everything happen to me. I honestly have never thought I deserved to choose.”
“He wants to set himself on fire, but he can’t afford for anyone to see him burn.”
“A curious thing about grief is the way it takes your entire life, all those foundational years that made you who you are, and makes them so painful to look back upon because of the absence there, that suddenly they’re inaccessible. You must invent an entirely new system.”
“He’s not afraid of anything he feels. He’s not afraid of saying it. He’s only afraid of what happens when he does.”
“Bisexuality is truly a rich and complex tapestry,”
”Take everything you want and know you deserve to have it.”