Mini Reviews: RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE and THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on May 14, 2019
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...
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?
Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue is honestly the romance book I didn’t know I needed in my life until I started reading it. I was looking for a light, fluffy, and fun read when I requested this one and it was exactly what I was hoping for. When I started reading, I realized Red, White & Royal Blue pretty much has all my favorite things all rolled into one story. There’s a generous helping of enemies to friends to lovers, fake relationships, and sassy but supportive friends and family, with a side of politics and royals thrown in for good measure. It was truly the perfect recipe for a book that I devoured in just over a day.
I absolutely loved the premise of having Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the United States, fall in love with Prince Henry of Wales. It just immediately opened the door for so many entertaining possibilities, from the romance itself, to the media frenzy it was sure to generate, and to the potential political fallout it could create on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The premise was made even better by the fact that both Alex and Henry were just the two most precious young men on the planet. Alex is hilarious, while Henry is soft, but put them together and their banter is full of wit and snark, and just flat out adorable. I felt like I was either smiling or laughing out loud every time the two of them would text or call each other. The sexual tension between them is also off the charts, even when they’re trying to hate on each other.
There’s also a more serious side to the story as Alex is still figuring out his sexual identity to a degree and as he and Henry worry about what they’re coming out as gay would mean for their families from a political standpoint. A subplot of the story has Alex’s mother as the first female President of the United States (Can I live in this alternate reality please?!) and she’s up for reelection this year, while Henry is next in line to take the throne and rule his country. I liked having these very relevant social and political issues meshed in with the light, fluffy fun.
Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Alex’s sister, June, and his best friend, Nora. These smart, savvy, hilarious ladies at times really stole the show with all the ways they helped try to facilitate the relationship between Alex and Henry. They were everything I’d want in a sibling and best friend, and if the author wanted to write more books featuring them, I’d totally read them. (Hint, hint.)
If you’re looking for a fun and flirty read with a side of political drama, be sure to check out Red, White & Royal Blue. 4.5 STARS
There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
Also by this author: When Dimple Met Rishi, From Twinkle, with Love
Series: Dimple & Rishi #2
Published by Simon Pulse on May 14, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Romance
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
The irresistible companion novel to the New York Times bestseller When Dimple Met Rishi, which follows Rishi’s brother, Ashish, and a confident fat athlete named Sweetie as they both discover what love means to them.
Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After being dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they could find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up.
The Patels insist that Ashish date an Indian-American girl—under contract. Per subclause 1(a), he’ll be taking his date on “fun” excursions like visiting the Hindu temple and his eccentric Gita Auntie. Kill him now. How is this ever going to work?
Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death.
Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of.
Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other?
There’s Something About Sweetie is the third book I’ve read from Sandhya Menon, and as with its predecessors, When Dimple Met Rishi and From Twinkle, With Love, it left me with a big grin on my face.
I’m a huge fan of the way Menon draws her female characters and Sweetie Nair is no exception. Sweetie is strong, bold, and full of life, and she’s also a talented singer and athlete who’s ready to take on the world. There’s one obstacle, however, standing in her way…her mother. Sweetie is overweight, and while her weight doesn’t bother her or her friends, it bothers Sweetie’s mother. Her mother’s obsession with her weight becomes so emotionally draining for Sweetie, she decides it’s time to implement the Sassy Sweetie Project, where Sweetie is determined to live life to the fullest and do whatever makes her happy. Sweetie really does love and respect her mother and doesn’t want to hurt her, but ultimately, it’s her life and she has to fight for it. I really admired her determination to stick up for herself.
Menon does an equally wonderful job with the love interest for Sweetie in this book. Those familiar with When Dimple Met Rishi will recognize Ashish Patel as Rishi’s younger brother. Ashish is a kind-hearted, soft boy who is in an especially vulnerable spot when the story opens. His long-time girlfriend has cheated on and dumped him, and he’s so down on himself that he can barely function. In fact, he’s so off his game and desperate, that he resorts to recruiting his parents’ help in finding him someone to date, and it’s his parents who bring Sweetie into his life. I love the journey that Sweetie and Ashish begin together. They each have something to prove and I loved how supportive they were to each other and I spent many pages hoping Sweetie would be able to get her mother to back off so she and Ashish could have a chance at a happy ending.
There’s Something About Sweetie is a wonderful read for anyone who enjoys charming romance novels filled with lovable characters, supportive friend groups, and sometimes awkward family dynamics. This is also a wonderfully diverse read in that both main characters are Indian American and several of their dates actually focus on learning more about their culture and embracing it. I’d also recommend There’s Something About Sweetie to anyone looking for a book that has a strong focus on self-love and body positivity. 4.5 STARS
Red, White and Royal Blue sounds really creative and interesting to read, and I love the title too! Hugs…RO
RO recently posted…SUNDAY USELESS STUFF
It’s a really fun and unique read. I adored it.
I’ve heard nothing but good things about Red, White and Royal Blue and I cannot wait to pick up my copy! It sounds like such a fluffy feel-good book that also manages to be serious! AHHH! I hope I love it as much as everyone else.
I’m so glad you liked Sweetie too! That book totally stole my heart with how heartwarming it was. I need more of Sandhya Menon’s words! She’s a star!
Nick recently posted…The Most Precious Book Ever: There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
I look forward to hearing what you think about Red, White and Royal Blue. And I completely agree about Sandhya Menon! I just love everything she writes.
I don’t usually read contemporary, but if I was in the mood I’d definitely pick up Red, White and Royal Blue😁
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…PARIAH by W. Michael Gear – Review
It’s such a fun read. I definitely recommend that one if you ever find yourself in the mood for a contemporary that will put a smile on your face.
I loved Red White and Royal Blue too! Sweetie is on my TBR for sure. Great reviews!
Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog recently posted…What I’ve Been Reading ~ April 2019 ARCs
Can’t wait to hear what you think of Sweetie!
I’ve been seeing a lot of great reviews for Red, White & Royal Blue!
Alison Flores recently posted…Corrupt Savior ~ Release Blitz
Same here. It’s a really fun read so I’m glad to hear so many people are enjoying it.
I am *ridiculously* excited for RW&RB! Everyone about it just screams that it’s a “me book.” I pre-ordered a physical copy so I only have another day to wait before it’s in my hands. I love that you mention the inclusion or siblings and great friends/side characters.
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…The Sunday Post #154
I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!
I haven’t read When Dimple Met Rishi yet, but I want to! These books look so cute!
Ash @ JennRenee Read
Ash recently posted…It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?
They are really cute. I had so much fun reading them both.
Yep. Both of these were winners for me too. The romances in both books were fantastic, and both were fun too. I want Menon to keep writing books in the WDMR world and I am hoping McQuiston might consider giving Pez, June, Nora, and Bea their own HEAs.
Sam@wlabb recently posted…Blog Tour: Happy Messy Scary Love – Leah Konen
Yes to everything you said!
I like how Red, White & Royal Blue mixes lightness with some pretty deep political and social issues!
Angela recently posted…Quotables #13
Yes, I really loved how the author struck a nice balance between the two.
Red White and Royal Blue is on my TBR.. good to hear you liked it so much
Hena Tayeb recently posted…Two Days in Budapest
I hope you enjoy it when you read it. 🙂
That’s awesome that Red, White, and Royal Blue had so many things you love in books! The other one sounds great too. It does seem like the author does a great job of writing realistic and strong female characters 🙂
Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: Dawn Slayer (City of Crows Book 7) by Clara Coulson
She really does. I have loved the female characters in all three of her books that I’ve read.
I ordered There’s Something About Sweetie for my nieces 🙂
Yay, I hope she loves it!
Both of these books sound so CUTE and good, and I can’t wait to grab copies of them as soon as I can. I honestly can’t tell which I’m more excited to read, but I think Red, White, and Royal Blue will be particularly interesting because of the alternate reality the characters live in––not sure if it will be a relief to read about or frustrating because I want to live in there too! Lovely reviews!
Jessica @ Strung out on Books recently posted…What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Red, White and Royal Blue was a super cute read. I wanted to live in their reality too, lol.