Title: Alex & Eliza
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Year of Publication: 2017
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 355
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.
Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.”
Review: Alex & Eliza is the first book in a trilogy that tells the story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler. This book focuses on the beginning of their relationship, and spans from when they first met to their wedding day. My friend and I read this book back in February for our book club, because we’re both mildly obsessed with Hamilton and because we both want to read more Historical Fiction this year. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this book, and I was left a bit disappointed after reading it.
The main reason why I didn’t love this book is that I thought it was slow. The majority of the book takes place between February 1780 and April 1780, and this period felt a lot longer than two months. This is the first historical romance book that I’ve read, so I don’t know if this pace is normal, but for me, the book seemed to drag on.
One thing that I enjoyed about this book was learning more about the Schuyler sisters. I’ve listened to the Hamilton soundtrack countless times, so I’m familiar with Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy, but I really don’t know much about them. I enjoyed reading about their efforts to support the troops, the struggles their family was going through, and their sisterly bond. I especially enjoyed reading about Elizabeth Schuyler because she’s amazing, and I would love to learn more about her life.
I also enjoyed reading about Alexander Hamilton and his struggles to rise above his post. Alexander Hamilton is another historical figure that I’m familiar with because of the musical, but I really don’t know much about it. I found some of his inner monologues to be humorous, and I liked reading about him being love-sick over Elizabeth Schuyler.
As I mentioned before, my knowledge of Alexander Hamilton comes from listening to the soundtrack for the musical, which is a dramatization (with creative liberties) of Hamilton’s life. Reading this book made me wonder about historical accuracy because I noticed differences between the Musical and this book. I don’t think I’m ever going to read Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton, but, I would like to do some reading about Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, to learn more about their lives and that time period.
Overall, I enjoyed Alex & Eliza, but I found it to be too slow for my liking. I am planning on reading the rest of the trilogy because I want more Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler in my life, but I might wait a bit before picking up the next book.
Rating: 3.5 Stars!