Red, White and Royal Blue received so many excellent reviews from Cannonballers and just in general, that I decided I had to read it. Unfortunately, for me this book was a solid “meh,” bordering on “no thanks.”
First, what I did like. I loved that the characters spanned the spectrum of race, color, gender and sexual orientation. I mean, a democratic female president with half Mexican kids, yes please! I also loved the intimacy of the texts between some of the characters (without giving away any spoilers). Some of them were quite clever and funny. But that is about as far my adoration of this book goes.
What I hated far outweighs the positives, at least for me. Perhaps I am too much of a realist, although I do love fiction. Perhaps I am too much of a purist. Perhaps I know too much about the British culture and traditions, including within the Royal Family (in general terms, not specific to the current members). But for starters, Henry cannot be both a “spare” second son and the Prince of Wales. That simply drove me batty whenever it came up. Also there were the awful British stereotypes. It was insulting. I have spent a long time in the UK, and have British friends and family from all walks of life. These were just painful to read. Finally, many of the characters seemed forced, like the author was trying to get in every “type” of person she could think of to make the book more diverse (and this despite my liking the diversity). It was just too much at times.
Overall, I found the book to be contrived, with forced characters and dialogue. Even the story line was just beyond. Am I sorry I read it? No, not at all. But I will not be going back to it again.