Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

This is undoubtedly one of the most hyped books of 2019. At first I was a little reluctant to pick this up, but I ended up being too curious about wheter it was any good so I decided to read it. I have to say that for me it was not at all what the hype promised, but a reading that left me a little puzzled at the extreme positive reactions this book got.

How gorgeous are the illustrations for the Brazilian edition of the book?

Here we follow the story of Alex, the First Son of The United States and Henry the Prince of England as they fall in love with each other. For starters I thought it would be a much more haters to lovers thing given the first chapter or so, but things were very quick and they were together already. I wouldn’t say it was ‘insta-love’ but it was almost nearly there. My greatest problem with this book was probably Casey’s writing. I really disliked it. Also something bizarre happens in this book, you have a sentence where the characters are somewhere and doing something specific, and then the very next sentence everything changes, sometimes even weeks passed! It was just the worst thing to read something like this. Not it all my years as a reader I have come across something like this, it was so disconcerting to read, it made me fell so lost and I had to go back thinking that I lost something but no, that was just the book itself. Also despite it being Alex’s point of view I just found the writing odd, cause we did and didn’t get much depth on him at the same time. I also felt like the book would’ve won a lot by having Henry’s pov’s too, because he felt a little like a secondary character rather than a protagonist.

Other major problem was the pacing. This book is so much bigger than in has to be (for the amout of actual plot it has) and there is so much dragging in the development, it felt like it was going in circles and by the time I reached the 50% mark I considered to stop reading but decided to finish and see it through the end. But there was many repetitive stuff it just felt like I was reading the same part over and over again, the book should’ve been shorter.

I did like the two boy’s relationship, but as I said the book was very boring at some points, so there were moments that I just got quite fed up with the two of them. Also for me it felt like their relationship, despite being sold as a super soulmate thing, didn’t quite read like that in the pages. It was much more a physical thing than any other, so I felt like there was a lack in depth and development in the emotional and intellectual aspect of their relationship. I get that it’s hard work to do that, but I felt like the author thought that by just showing how close they were physically and sexually would be enough to transparence how close they were in other aspects, but that’s not how it works. I also don’t mind explicit scenes, but there was just so many of them in sequence (just changing their location or the date) that there is a whole chunk of the book that feel like one big sex scene. Maybe she could’ve separated the scenes a little better.

I know this is a personal preference but I am extremely annoyed by long chapters, in this book we have only fifteen chapters which is too few for a book of over 400 pages, and some chapters were 45min or one hour long on my kindle, that bothered me a little. I felt like if the chapters were shorter and there was more of them the reading would’ve flowed more.

My ultimate evaluation of this book is that — it is not a bad book, on the contrary I did like this book. But it just isn’t great. It is most definitely not a five star reading, the best book of 2019 and such. It is certainly overhyped. There are some very amazing and emotional scenes at the very end of the book that even brough tears to my eyes, but having a couple of great scenes does not make for one great book. I felt a bit like people just loved this and give it such big ratings because it has LGBT representation, but that also does not make for a great book. I wish people would go a little deeper when rating books, because this one certainly had it’s share of problems. But I am glad I read it and now have my own opinion to account for.

For the portuguese version of this review click here.

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