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Alex & Eliza: 11/25/17

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz is the latest in a number of books riding the coat-tails of the Hamilton musical. This one looks at the romance between Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth "Eliza" Schuyler.

The book opens with Eliza rebelling against what she's told to wear to a ball her family is attending. At the ball, Alexander arrives to deliver a message from General Washington. He is an unwelcome guest for a variety of reasons but he falls for the sassy Eliza.

Except for the change in location and the more casual / modern word choice (despite the era), the opening is like a CliffNotes version of Pride and Prejudice but with historical figures. While Jenny Presnell describes Eliza's meeting of Alex as "love at first sight" for her, the relationship and marriage wasn't a romantic happily ever after. This book, though, uses the tropes of a romance to offer that HEA ending.

Sure, it's YA romance written for fans of the musical. Sure it's got lots of nods to said musical — including lines of dialog that skitter on the edge of straight out quoting lyrics. But it's not enough and frankly it was a disappointing read.

That said, my middle grade aged daughter thoroughly enjoyed the series. It does hit the mark for the target audience — young fans of Hamilton.

A second book been announced: Love & War being released April 17, 2018.

Three stars

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