3 Stars Book Reviews

Book Review: Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Hi everyone!! I finally finished a book for the first time in December actually, about a week ago? Maybe less, maybe more, I basically never know what day it is anymore. So, it’s time for me to do a book review!! I usually don’t do individual reviews, since it’s hard for me to write a lot of content on one book (which is why I like wrap-ups and mini-review compilations more), but I thought I’d just talk about this one! Since, why not!

Anyways, I have SUCH mixed feelings about this one! Yeah, yeah, I just put it on a list of hate-to-love romances I enjoyed, but I hadn’t read enough of it at that point (which I should have known about). I did like a lot of the romance though, so there’s that. Nearly everyone I know hyped up this book so much. I swear, so many of my mutuals rated this book five stars. It was the Goodreads Choice Awards WINNER of 2019 and the average rating is a 4.23! But, I felt a little disappointed by it? I (very sadly) ended up giving it a 3/5. Which isn’t horrible! I liked parts of it! But, it was not the five star read I was so excited for to get me out of my slump.

That was the longest intro ever, so let’s finally get started on my book review of Red, White, and Royal Blue!

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Okay, let’s start off with the plot. It was definitely the weakest part of the story for me, so if you’d like to hear me talk about something more positive, I promise I will when we get to the characters!

I felt like there was no plot? It was very strange. I was reading some other reviews of people who absolutely loved it, but I’m the total opposite. I thought that it started okay and ended okay, but the entire middle is a huge blur. There was so much pointless romance that didn’t serve enough of an emotional purpose. I thought that the entire middle part of the book focused so much on the relationship between Alex & Henry that the rest of the book got lost. I didn’t think much of anything happened, and it definitely wasn’t enough to support the novel.

The plot was also horribly predictable, and I knew exactly what was going to happen. Yeah, I’m happy everyone got their happy endings, but like ahhhhhh!! It wasn’t interesting for that exact reason. Like when Alex and Henry had their first “big fight” I was 100% sure they were going to come back together. And they did. Plus there are some random side plots (that I thought weren’t well-enough developed) that got resolved relatively easy. If you assumed that the most ideal thing would happen to each of the characters, that’s what ended up happening. I do have that problem with a lot of contemporaries though, so it might just be a me thing.

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For the most part, I enjoyed both Alex and Henry as characters, and I thought that their romance was really adorable. The only thing I disliked about it was how insta-lovey it was! Basically the second time they made eye contact, they fell in love. I essentially never like this trope though, so I can see why others didn’t have a problem with it. I initially thought it would be more of a hate-to-love thing going in, so it didn’t really meet my expectations in that. I needed them to dislike each other for more than a few chapters, giving them more tension that would slowly developed into a romance. I saw this really good Twitter post by @galacticidiots the other day saying “Enemies to ‘I’m only saving your life because it benefits me’ to ‘we actually work pretty well together but don’t read too much into it’ to ‘I’ll kill anyone who lays a finger on you’ to ‘I would literally die for you’ to Lovers” and I needed more of exactly that for it to be even better.

But anyways, despite that, they grew on me. I liked them more and more as the story progressed. They were so cute together, and some of their lines definitely made me smile. I liked their emails between each other, and while they were cheesy, I didn’t care. It was really feel-good if that makes sense. I thought that they were really complementary with each other, with Alex’s more headstrong personality and Henry’s more quiet, thoughtful one.

While I liked both Alex and Henry, I wish I liked the side characters more. I felt like there wasn’t enough to them. They were just there. I didn’t really see much of a purpose in them, and I wish that they were developed in a more complex, thorough way. Though, I do get that they are much more secondary to the two main characters at hand.

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Anyways, that’s it! I find it difficult to write too much & I start getting really repetitive, so I didn’t want to make the review too long. Hope you enjoyed, and I’d love to hear your own thoughts on it (feel free to tell me I’m wrong too)! Otherwise, I hope you all have an amazing Tuesday & a great Christmas to those who celebrate.

Happy reading!

-Allison

13 thoughts on “Book Review: Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston”

  1. I actually like your longer reviews! I appreciate you going into detail about what did and didn’t work for you with this book. From this review it sounds like we have very similar problems with romance, and I TOTALLY AGREE that in order to have enemies-to-lovers you actually have to start off with enemies instead of the characters being like “I mildly dislike you for this superficial reason.” I really struggle with romances that don’t have a lot of plot/conflict, so I don’t think I will be picking up this book.

  2. ahh allison!! i always love seeing your post pop up in my reader, because your reviews are always so informative!! i like your longer reviews because they go so much in detail – though your shorter reviews are also always a delight to read!! i don’t like insta-love that much as well, and i totally agree with @galacticidiots twitter post because that is what i NEED in my books!! i’m sorry this one wasn’t for you because this book was so hyped up and everyone i know seemed to have enjoyed it! i hope you find something better to get you out of your slump! i loved this review ❤❤

  3. I really like when you do these longer types of reviews! Personally, I adored Red, White and Royal Blue – it is just the kind of book I reach for when I need something nice and fluffy to cheer me up, and I liked all the politics! But I guess I also see where you’re coming from 😉 It certainly is kind of predictable… But that didn’t bother me at all in this case! 😁😍

  4. Lovely review, it’s definitely not too long!! I personally love this book with all of my heart but I do agree that the plot isn’t exactly the strongest! Still, I’m obsessed because of the characters and I do think the idea is intriguing haha.

    1. Thank you! And I’m so glad you enjoyed this one anyways!! I thought that the characters were cute for the most part, and I liked them too!

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