Red White and Royal Blue | By Casey McQuiston
Narrative and Plot
This story is mainly told from Alex’s perspective. He is observant, sharp, witty, honest and a bit condescending at times. The ease of the narrative is one of the things that settles you into the premise.
The plot however is your ordinary YA romance except for the sexuality aspect. Only in this case, the people involved are rich and powerful. Apart from that, nothing strikes in particular. If you read carefully and pick up the hints you can see where the plot is really going with this.
Characters and Conflicts
Alex and Henry are the anchors of this romantic story. One America’s first son and the other the prince of England. If you ever forget it at any point of the time, the book will remind you by repeating the same. Despite that, these characters are worked out in detail and that is probably the reason this book is loved so much. Alex has a remarkable character arc and so does Henry. But the book mostly focuses on Alex and his side of the world.
June and Nora provide ample support to the story, supporting and lifting up Alex and Henry. However, most of the story focuses on the main characters and for good reason too.
There is only one major conflict that the book presents and it is right there on the cover as well as the synopsis. While I understand, that this is a huge deal. Something like this in the real world could change the history of the world.
But, somewhere, my mind keeps wondering, are the stakes really that high? I am not trivialising the issues mentioned in the story. I completely understand the magnanimity of such a historic relationship.
Maybe, it is my third world sensibilities or maybe it is my unfamiliarity of the ways of the American political system. The stakes didn’t sit quite right, at least, by me.
Quoting Game of Thrones, “The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace.”
One cannot help but think that there is some heavy amount of nepotism involved here. And the idea of the rich and powerful aspiring to be ordinary. I mean if they were really so tired, they could have given it all up and lived like ordinary people, right?
Was there a beautiful love story here? Yes. Was there a beautiful message in Red, White and Royal Blue? Hell yes. It is a historical romance. But the story should have focused only on the main theme rather than mixing the political angle in it. I admit, there is a chance that I missed the whole American political aspect. The international readers might find that a bit too much. Other than that, it is good to go.