In the middle of such a messy, horrifying political time, Casey McQuiston’s Red, White, & Royal Blue gives readers a glimpse into a better America: the novel supposes that, instead of Trump winning after Obama, a liberal woman named Ellen Claremont wins the 2016 election. The book follows her son, the First Son of the United States, Alexander Gabriel Claremont-Diaz. Half-Mexican and a true Texan, Alex quickly becomes the nation’s rugged heartthrob. While his mother is in office, Alex and the other two members of “The Whitehouse Trio” –– Alex’s sister, June, and granddaughter of the Vice President, Nora –– are forced to attend The Royal Wedding. The only problem, though, is that Alex can’t stand Prince Henry, the youngest member of the royal family.

After getting into a fight with Henry and promptly destroying the seventy-five-thousand-dollar wedding cake, Alex and Henry are forced to fake a friendship to convince the press that #Cakegate was not actually a fight between enemies, but instead, friends just goofing off. This fake friendship sparks a real friendship then, suddenly, a series of clandestine hookups.

Red, White, & Royal Blue is the perfect story for any political junkie, romance enthusiast, or LGBTQ+ relationship fan. It explores sexuality, politics, scandals, family, and love. It is the most epic enemies-to friends-to lovers story of the modern era tied up in funny group chats, heartfelt love letters, and Twitter conversations. The story is a page-turner and transitions easily from hilarious to heartbreaking in a matter of sentences.

The characters are all well-developed, even the minor ones, and the plot is engaging and realistic. McQuiston’s idealized America is the perfect breath of fresh air for our current political climate and shows readers a romance to rival every other forbidden love story to date. Plus, McQuiston is very active on Twitter and often posts random things about her characters like, most recently, each of their thoughts about Baby Yoda.

If you’re a fan of Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On or Becky Albertalli’s Simon v. the Homosapien’s Agenda, Red, White, & Royal Blue should be the next book to join the collection on your shelf.

Cover Photo: Paragraphs and Pages