Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston & Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash

Monday, June 10, 2019


by Casey McQuinston
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, NA
Publisher: St.Martin's Griffin 
Publication Date: May 14th 2019
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷

Red, White & Royal Blue is probably one of the most hyped books of 2019. I haven't stopped hearing a million rave things about this book since even before it released and rightfully so. I knew I had to listen to everyone because it sounded like they were on to something. Red, White & Royal Blue was certainly the book I was hoping it would be. It was precious, swoony, and delightful in every way. I loved the characters in this book something fierce. Alex is the son of the first female president of the US. He was a complete riot with his smart-ass, sassy lines. He completely won me over with all the charm he laid on everyone around him. The only person who seems to be immune to his charm is Henry, a member of the royalty in England. This irks Alex to no end which leads him to actively disliking Henry. Circumstances lead to them being forced to get close to each other for the sake of a fake friendship in front of the media and all of us romance fans know exactly what that means. :) Henry was the quieter one among the two, but he was definitely as lovely as Alex. He was adorable, funny, and very kind. I loved getting to know him as much as I liked getting to know Alex. The slow-burn friendship that forms between them that eventually turns into more was just my favorite. I completely ate it up and Casey McQuinston was very much heavy-handed with the swoons which you know I was a complete sucker for. The side characters in Red, White & Royal Blue were also phenomenal. They added even more dimension to this already incredible book. I was especially happy to see a fellow stats nerd in Nora, Alex's best friend! Seriously, there is no one remotely unlikable in this cast and they all brought so much joy to me as I was reading this book. Besides the swoony romance and the amazing cast, I also enjoyed all the political aspects of the story. It was done very tastefully. I'm sure you've already heard it from a million other people now, but if you haven't picked up Red, White & Royal Blue, then you mustn't wait anymore. You deserve this swoony goodness in your life too!

by Sarvenaz Tash
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Simon Teen
Publication Date: June 4th 2019
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷

I've been a fan of Sarvenaz Tash since her debut novel, Three Day Summer. Virtually Yours sounded so unique, I was very eager to read it. Mariam is a freshman at NYU still dealing with the heartbreak of breaking up with her high-school boyfriend, Caleb. She's finding it hard to move on from the relationship, so when the opportunity arises to give virtual dating a try, she takes a leap. This all sounds like a great idea until one of her three top matches turns out to be Caleb. She decides to use a fake name and an avatar to date Caleb in the hopes of getting back with him together. Mariam was a relatable young woman. She is obviously feeling very down from her breakup, but she remained hopeful and optimistic. Even though she was practically catfishing Caleb, she wasn't doing it out of mean intentions. She was just a girl hopelessly in love with him. I'm not usually one for the catfishing trope so it was hard for me to swallow Mariam's actions, but we do see her repent her actions. I also liked that she was the one that revealed the whole truth to Caleb. I will say that I didn't particularly care for Caleb. I wasn't exactly sure what Mariam saw in him. I don't think his character was as developed as Mariam was. He was a decent guy, I just wasn't into him as I would have liked. What I did really like about Virtually Yours were the different relationships Mariam had. I adored her bond with her elder sister, in particular. Her sister was much more pragmatic than her, but she still encouraged Mariam to be optimistic with limits of course. Mariam also had a great friend in her roommate, Hedy, and we see their friendship grow a lot stronger as Mariam hangs out with her more often. Mariam makes a new friend in Jeremy, who also happens to be her top match in the virtual dating app. Jeremy was a sweet kid, but like Caleb, I felt like we didn't particularly get to know him and I would have liked to. In summary, Virtually Yours was an interesting read with a great cast. I would recommend it!

Have you read either of these books? What are some YA books you've loved this year?
Let me know in the comments below!

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