Blanche’s Book Club: ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’.

Look at that, it’s a Blanche’s Book Club review day and it’s also Blanche’s birthday! Kitty Blanche turns 7 today, and she’s already enjoyed a delicious breakfast of canned food, was serenaded with festive songs and is now laying in front of an open window. Happy Birthday, Blanche!

The book I’m sharing today was a lot of firsts for me: it was my first book I booked using the Libby app and it was the first book I read as part of a podcast-based book club! Let me explain.

I am sure most of you have probably heard of or even use the Libby app already — I’d heard of it, but never looked into it — it’s an app that allows you to use your local library card to borrow digital books!

It’s pretty handy and I’ve already bored a second book on it 🙂

As for the podcast-based book club, it’s called The Readheads Bookclub, and it’s a group of four women, all with different literary interests. They read one book a month, get together to recap it and share ALL of their thoughts on it, and then they announce the book for the following month. They rotate who gets to choose the book, so it will vary genres.

The first book they recalled was “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarity, which I read a few years ago so I listened to the recap and they announced the next book would be “Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston.

This book was already on my wishlist, so I was excited to get started. Here’s the scoop:

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House.

There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined.

Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

This book was so good! Obviously, it’s not an in-depth political read, but I liked the timeliness of it — I read it for an hour while I waited in line to vote on Super Tuesday. I also enjoyed imagining this happening in real life — it’s a romance I’d definitely be following online.

He’s not sure if he should take anything else off. He’s unsure of the dress code for inviting your sworn-enemy-turned-fake-best-friend to your room to have sex with you, especially when that room is in the White House, and especially when that person is a guy, and especially when that guy is a prince of England.

The main character, Alex, is from Austin, and I’d have to imagine the author is, too (or she at least spent some extended time here) because there were several scenes set in Austin and it was cool to read about those.

As they mentioned in The Readheads Bookclub recap, it was interesting to get an inside look at the White House and the Palace — and I totally agree. I could read about that for days.

An hour later, there are several cartons of Chinese food and a PowerPoint cued up. The first slide says: SEXUAL EXPERIMENTATION WITH FOREIGN MONARCHS: A GRAY AREA. Alex wonders if it’s too late to swan dive off the roof.

If you’re into YA and romance, I think this is a worthwhile read. I definitely hope to see more from Casey McQuiston. The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “No Way Down” by Graham Bowley.

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Need help with your blog? I can help with all of your digital marketing efforts – just let me know!

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