Review: Alex and Eliza: A Love Story - Melissa De La Cruz

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Title: Alex and Eliza: A Love Story

Author: Melissa De La Cruz

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: April 11, 2017

Pages: 368

My Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

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“And you, Colonel Hamilton, are mine, and I am yours always.”

Hello my darlings! I’m back with another book review and I am so so so excited for this one.

Recently, I have become completely obsessed with the musical, Hamilton. I’ve been in love with it for a few years now but for whatever reason, my obsession has completely skyrocketed in the last few months or so. Sadly, I’ve not yet gotten the chance to see it… My boyfriend tried to get tickets for the two of us in NYC last year, but they came out to like almost $2,000 so that was NOT happening. Since it won’t be coming to Toronto until the 2019/2020 season, I’m left having to find other ways to fuel my addiction like listening to the soundtrack a million times, watching documentaries, or, in this case, reading Hamilton-inspired lit.

Melissa De La Cruz was actually one of my fav authors when I was a preteen, back when Girl Stays In The Picture came out. When my reading tastes changed, I moved on from her writing but I was excited to read her books after all these years and see what I’d been missing.

Alex & Eliza starts off on the midwinter night of the Schuyler ball in 1777, where Elizabeth Schuyler first meets Washington’s aide-de-camp, Alexander Hamilton. When she overhears a conversation between Hamilton and her father, General Schuyler, she is immediately put off and has no interest in speaking with him. But when she goes to stay with her aunt and uncle in Morristown, she reencounters the young colonel and the two begin to see each other in a different light.

I loved this book!! As you may know, I’m a huge fan of YA novels, especially romantic YA novels. This is so up my alley, it’s crazy. The love between Alex and Eliza was palpable, and I think it really was the perfect kick-off for the long history of the Hamiltons. I thought that this novel really read like a modern day Jane Austen novel. Not even just because it was set in the 18th century, but because it has a romantic storyline with a strong heroine lead and ends in a wedding. I loved the Austen-esque elements of this novel and I’m not sure if the author meant to include them but I think it was perfect regardless!!

I also thought it was pretty interesting how the novel was told from both Alex and Eliza’s perspectives, especially since there was a fair chunk of the novel where Alex was off doing war stuff. It was pretty cool because then you got to see both sides of the story and it also gave the opportunity to meet other key figures in their history like Washington, Lafayette, and Laurens. I can usually take or leave dual narratives, however when they’re done well and not too confusing or excessive - like in Alex & Eliza - I’m actually quite keen on them!

There were obviously a ton of differences between Alex & Eliza and the musical Hamilton, which I think genuinely comes down to picking and choosing which details to include and which to omit in either piece. For Hamilton, a lot of details were excluded or altered to work with the storyline, which was certainly also the case with Alex & Eliza. I did find that with Alex & Eliza, everything was a lot more fluffy, which makes sense as it’s a YA novel. So if you’re looking for some hard-hitting, authentic Revolutionary War retelling, maybe don’t look to Alex & Eliza for that.

I am extremely interested to see how this series progresses throughout the next couple books. I’ve already started Love & War, which is the next novel, but the third and final book isn’t coming out until 2019, so I still have a bit of a wait until that one!

Have you read Alex & Eliza? What did you think?

Goodreads Challenge: 30 out of 50

Felicia x