Audiobook Mini Review – Red, White & Royal Blue

Author: Casey McQuiston

Narrator: Ramón de Ocampo

Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Length: 12 hours & 15 minutes

Listen Date(s): May 24, 2021 – June 5, 2021


Goodreads Synopsis

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

My Mini Review

This was an incredibly cute MM romcom that also featured a lot of interesting politics. The main characters are incredibly personable and watching their relationship develop from enemies to lovers was an absolute delight. I actually wish a little bit more time had been spent with them as enemies, though, because that tension at the beginning was so good and hooked me into continued listening. I laughed so much throughout this book, and the pop culture references (especially the Star Wars ones) were great. The journey of one of the main characters as he explored his sexual identity was compelling to read, and I related so much to many aspects of his story. Although, some of his thoughts felt somewhat steeped in bi erasure even though I doubt the author intended them to convey those particular sentiments. The love letters sent via email between the main characters were a highlight of this book for me because they were endearing and often hilarious. They also integrated lines from letters between other hidden queer lovers from throughout history, which was a nice tidbit that I came to look forward to with each email. The politics in the book definitely seemed more aspirational than realistic, but I enjoyed the sense of escapism that aspect of the story provided. However, individuals who don’t know much about American politics or do not subscribe to more liberal leanings may not enjoy the political aspects of the book. The narrator was fantastic and really brought the story to life by embodying the different voices and mannerisms of the characters. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this audiobook and recommend it for anyone looking for a hilarious romcom that also provides a fantasy version of US politics that is more liberal-leaning than the current real world political landscape. Therefore, I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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