Red White and Royal Blue is a contemporary young adult novel. It follows Alex Claremont-Diaz (the love of America and the son of the first female president) and his nemesis/fake friend/lover Henry (a British prince who also happens to be gay). Alex and Henry’s burgeoning relationship undergoes trials and tribulations throughout the entire book – from Alex’s perception of Henry as an annoyingly perfect douchebag to Henry’s reticence to show his feelings. And if it couldn’t get more complicated, if anyone finds out about them it could derail Alex’s mother’s reelection bid and upend the political situation in the UK. So, they endure a secret relationship as long as they can. But someone seems determined to unveil their secret, and they know it’s not a matter of if but of when.
This book has become my new comfort book. It’s the classic romance novel - trope-y, sickeningly sweet, and with a storybook ending - but with an amazing twist and representation that not a lot of other romances offer. It sidesteps a lot of the harmful role models that some books provide in favor of a healthy relationship between equals. It also offers a wonderful form of escapism in the alternate reality it conjures. I would recommend it to older teens looking for a cozy romance to escape in, as well as those looking for some classic enemies-to-lovers or royal romances. I give this book four stars.