BookTok’s “Red, White and Royal Blue”: is it a whimsical take on LGBTQ romance or a total miss?


“Red, White & Royal Blue” has become immensely popular, but is it worth all of the hype?

Cass Douglas, Copy Editor and Historical Highlights Editor

In the past few months, “Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston has hit the ground running on the popular social media app, TikTok. 

The novel follows Alex Claremont-Diaz, First Son of the United States (FSOTUS), and Henry, Prince of Wales. Alex is the mixed-race son of the first female president, already painting a target on his back for the press. His Royal Highness (HRH) Henry is the heartthrob of England, the most eligible bachelor. The two have despised each other since their first meeting at the Rio Olympics. 

The story opens with the enemies at the wedding of HRH Henry’s brother, Prince Philip. The two get into an altercation with the $75,000, eight tier cake, toppling it over. 

From then on, FSOTUS and HRH are forced to partake in damage control, undergoing a series of fake meet ups to sell a narrative of long-time close friends. Along the way, they fall in love, obviously. However, they face their fair share of obstacles along the way.

I picked the book off of the Barnes and Noble shelf in mid-June, and being quite honest, I was initially appalled. The writing style felt immature. It felt as if I was reading a middle schooler’s fanfic. Furthermore, the plot progressed rather quickly. I ended up shoving the book back onto my shelf 20 pages in. It sat, collecting dust, until the beginning of September.

Finally, I forced myself to struggle through the first 100 pages or so, and, surprisingly, it got better. Well, the writing style didn’t, but Alex’s easily-relatable personality and Henry’s struggle made the book worthwhile. Moreover, the conflict of a gay couple figuring out life while in coveted political positions gives readers something to root for.

All in all, “Red, White and Royal Blue” is not the best novel I’ve read, but it was something to look forward to in the midst of beginning a new school year.