‘Red, White and Royal Blue’ by Casey McQuiston

This over-hyped book jumped to the top of bestseller lists, but if it is a publisher’s dream, then it is also a reader’s nightmare. I feel duped and skeptical about the high ratings on Goodreads and Amazon and feel disappointed by poor trashy writing being passed off as something current and smart. Oh yes, and of course, there is a movie in the works.

To me this book was a sad lost opportunity. The premise is brilliant, I loved the idea of the son of a woman Democratic US President falling in love with a handsome prince of England, especially because they start out as rivals. There are a lot of funny one-liners, some poignant moments around how hard it is to come out, and how hard it is to be a member of a famous family, but although it starts well, the book goes on to be full of stereotypes, trashy juvenile behaviour, confusing politics, and gratuitous explicit sex. Warning to parents–some publishers market this as a YA novel, so beware. And just to be clear, I would warn my kids off of it because it is poorly written, not because it has adult content.

I commend a gay relationship in a mainstream novel and I’m not against a spicy rom-com, but this one is not handled well. A better example in media of a beautiful relationship is David and Patrick on CBC’s TV series Schitt’s Creek. Now there is a sensitive handling of a romance that is honest, authentic and endearing!

2 responses to “‘Red, White and Royal Blue’ by Casey McQuiston

  1. Nancy Wickham

    And this review is why I follow you. Thank you- I’ve been eyeing this title because it’s making a lot of lists but I just finished a book and thought ‘I want those hours back’. Too many good choices out there to fall for the hype and end up regretting the time committed.

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