Bingo Review 2 (Rainbow Flag):
On the one hand, Red, White & Royal Blue is a cute, light romantic story about how the First Son of the USA and a Prince of England start out as nemeses, are forced by political circumstances to fake friendship, become friends for real, fall in love, get outed as a couple, and the face their new reality together. I don’t view this as spoilers since this is the kind of mostly feel good light read that you know will have a generally happy ending. After all, the main couple always ends up together after some struggles, right? On the other hand, there is some serious suggestions about the nature of politics, both national (US) and international (UK), as well as the public treatment of public figures (or anyone really) who come out as LGBTQ.
Alex Clairmont-Diaz is the biracial son of the first female President of the US, and his mom is about to begin her campaign for a second term in 2020. He has supportive friends and family is about to graduate college, and hopefully embark upon a political career of his own. Henry is the younger prince of the Royal Family, and while his image is that of Prince Charming, he might actually be more complicated than that, especially since he has a less than supportive family in terms of his personal wishes. When the two get into an argument and accidentally knock over the wedding cake at the wedding of Henry’s older brother (I think). So it begins. Besides Alex and Henry, there’s a great supporting cast including Henry’s equerry Shaan, the President’s deputy Chief of Staff/ Alex’s minder Zahra, Alex’s sister June and their best-friend (and granddaughter of the VP) Nora, the congressman Alex wants to be one day Rafael Luna, some Secret Service agents, Cash and Amy, and the President herself. Everyone has personality and complexity and together, it’s a lot of fun to follow the story.
I did struggle a little bit with this one just because I don’t like present tense narration, and I never managed to forget it here. The best bits overall to read were the email and text exchanges, and the news headlines that are scattered throughout the story. For example, Chapter 14 opens with a tweet from Jezebel, “WATCH: DC Dykes on Bikes chase protesters from Westboro Baptist Church down Pennsylvania Avenue, and yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds.” I can just imagine something like this, and it does make me smile a little.