Alex and Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz (2017)
Genres: Romantic, historical, romance, young adult
Reading Time: 24/05/17 – 28/05/17
Angelica, Eliza and Peggy, the Schuyler sisters! And this book is all about them, primarily though this is about Eliza. Melissa De La Cruz has expressed her obvious inspiration from Hamilton to write this book and I love the take she has on the romance between Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler. As a Hamilton fangirl I was very excited to read anything more about the story, even if most of it was fictionalised, safe to say after I finished it I was straight onto google to research.
I loved the subtle additions of Hamilton lyrics into this book, it made the songs get stuck in my head yet again. I treated this book as a background story to what we know about Alex and Eliza from the musical. In the show they appear to fall in love over the course of one song, but this book and history says it was in the making for potentially two years. The way the romance grew made my heart swell and I exclaimed a few ‘awws’ as I was reading.
It was cool to read more of the other characters too, especially Peggy who seems like the most minor character in the musical. The writing described the three sisters as strong women, but there was always something different about Eliza, which is what Alex liked about her. I like how the sisters each have a role in the romance, Angelica is the protective older sister who channels her mother’s opinions and maturity at times. Peggy is the younger sister that has her eyes set on big things, but in Eliza’s romance Peggy is a friend to Alex and a messenger between the two to initiate their courtship.
*Spoilers up ahead!*
I believe the storyline between Eliza and Henry Livingston is a fictionalised one, but I could be wrong there. I think this was definitely needed to add some excitement between Alex and Eliza, otherwise their romance would have been too easy. We saw real proof of Hamilton’s love for Eliza and how much he cared for her, I can’t have been the only one swooning right? When Alex turns up right at the last minute to stop the wedding and brings her parents and proposes to him herself! I mean I knew it was going to happen, but I that didn’t mean I wasn’t glued to the page. I am very glad Eliza did not have to marry that prat Livingston, she was too strong and independent for him.
Overall this book had a strong sense of female empowerment, from the sisters themselves to their aunt who is a badass role model! All of the women here were making their own futures and were clearing dawning on a new beginning for women in America. I love how stuck in to life Eliza gets, she is not afraid and that shows throughout her life. She is not materialistic and I think this is something that we can all look up to and what makes her and Alex so well suited. In terms of history, I find it really interesting that Eliza lived so much longer than her two sisters, was perhaps her happiness and independence to thank for this? Generally this book had me wanting to ask questions, and a book that makes you think is always a good one!
If you are a Hamilton fan, a history fan, or just a fan of romance, then I recommend you read this book!