Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars
One thing that I love to see is that there is so much more LGBTQ representation in literature nowadays. Identifying myself as a part of the queer community, it really is uplifting and feels like I’m not only acknowledged, I feel like I’m more understood and accepted amongst in this world when there are authors that write these stories, there are publishers that release these stories, and there are fellow readers who also enjoy these stories.
Representation truly matters. People who are different and who don’t fit into the typical social criteria need to feel like they are seen and that they matter, because they do! They need to feel like that when they read stories with characters that are just like them. It normalizes the exposure of LGBTQ+, and thus, helps create a society that realizes that there is no social agenda, only a want and need for unity and respect for our differences.
Yes, books are powerful tools if they can be tools to help us achieve that!
This is a debut novel, so some could say that the writer’s style reads similar to a royal romance fan fiction, but it’s still a great love story that is receiving a surprising amount of publicity as being the big queer romance story of the summer! One of the main aspects of the story is politics, which was expected when the two main characters is the bisexual fictional half-latino son of the president and the (fictional) gay prince of Wales.
I am by no means a big fan of politics, in fact I only skimmed the parts of the story where there’s a substantial amount of information about how it all works, I can still say I immensely enjoyed this title despite all that. Compared to the love story, it’s truly such a small aspect of this book, so don’t let that be the reason to deter you from picking it up!
What It’s About:
It’s a sweet, hilarious, and thoughtful love story between the son of the President of the United States and the second born Prince of Wales.
Alex Claremont-Diaz, along with his older sister and best friend, are the “White House Trio,” the marketing strategy designed by his mom, President Ellen Claremont (Yes, a WOMAN president). They are America’s version of royalty, and are treated as such with the paparazzi that follows them around, and the rumors written in Us Weekly and People. They get invited to the Royal Wedding overseas, to which Alex is less than enthused about because it means he’ll have to see Prince Henry, his long time rival. It turns out worse than expected, and a confrontation leads to an international scandal.
With re-elections on the horizon, President Claremont issues a fake friendship as a PR stunt in order to do damage control, but Alex unintentionally starts a bigger news story; he falls for the royal prince. They begin a hot and heavy secret relationship, and everything Alex thinks he knows gets blown out of the water and he questions everything: Is it all worth it? How can you do the things you still want to do with everything stacked against you? and What can you do to be remembered in history?
What I liked:
- The Romance! I am a hopeless romantic at heart, and while I’m not the biggest fan of “fluff,” this story had equal fluff with steam and humor to this a definite worthwhile story. Alex and Henry had a great relationship and were incredibly easy to like and support as they fight for their love despite all that threatened to tear them apart.
- The Theme About The Importance of Family! It was a major theme of the story and was shown in many different ways: Alex and his relationship with his best friend along with his sister, Prince Henry and his sister, Alex’s relationship with his estranged father, Henry and his older brother and mother, his friendship with his BFF Pez (picture a flaming male version of Awkwafina in Crazy Rich Asians) even both of their relationships with their heads of security. One of my favorite scenes was one where President Claremont organizes a family dinner one night, and turns off the “power suit” and just switches personas and becomes just their mom again; it was a warm and really touching scene.
- There is a Woman President! A female President who’s a badass in the office, and a badass mom who loves her family on top of it, and still makes time for them. I totally picture her being portrayed by Connie Briton if they ever make this into a movie!
- The LGBTQ Representation! Like I said earlier, it’s so relieving to see a novel with two gay male characters get so much attention and so much mainstream hype. Back in the earlier 2000’s, it felt like these kinds of books, or any books where LGBTQ was a main aspect of the story, it was pushed aside or kind of taboo, so they didn’t get as much hype, and there was no big excitement over the release of titles like that. Now it’s 2019, and this book is on the New York Times Best Sellers list! I hope to keep seeing this as more and more titles come out in the future.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Politics…I’m not a big fan of Politics; while it worked for this story, if they could’ve had parents in different occupations, that would’ve been fine too. This has nothing really against the story or how it was written or even against the author, it’s more just a small personal quirk for me. Luckily, the author didn’t become too technical in matters of terms or explanations behind anything that happens concerning Politics.
It’s a sweet and sexy romance that’s perfect for the warmer months of summer, and I enjoyed this story so much, it was such a joy to read. Alex is a strong willed, smart mouthed protagonist that I would just adore having as an actual friend. The author crafted such a heartwarming story in the aftermath of the 2016 elections and what it’s done to our country ever since.
I won’t ever really talk about Politics or what my opinions are with anyone, not even most of my family, but it was interesting to read an almost alternate-universe kind of story where a woman actually won and became a great President. Even if it stars two men as the two romantic interests, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, well written romance, fiction about politics and stories that showcase the importance of family.
Thanks for Reading!
— Nick Goodsell