Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 11th 2017
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Witches of East End and The Descendants comes the love story of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler.
1777. Albany, New York.
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.
In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.
Let me start this review with a confession — my family and I are HUGE Hamilton, the Musical fans.
We may know every word of every song on the soundtrack. We may use quotes from it in casual conversation. We may even holler out things at each other when least expected (like when my son was running a regional cross country race — it’s rather convenient that his name is Alexander). I know, I know, once a fangirl, always a fangirl, right? Right. In a word, we are OBSESSED.
So imagine my level of fangirly delight when I saw that Melissa de la Cruz (!!! – she merits at least three exclamation points because she is the author of soooooo many books we’ve enjoyed over the years) was going to write a YA version of the Alex and Eliza’s love story. Did I mention that I was OBSESSED with Hamilton? Oh yeah, I did, in the paragraph above. Forgive me.
When I cracked open the book, I relished every single word. I don’t have to convince you of Melissa’s writing, but man, her research and the way she smoothly crafted a story around it? That I didn’t expect. As a fan of historical novels (okay, not the boring kind, but the romantic kind), I do like a certain amount of actual history thrown in. Melissa balances that nicely with the romantic plot line. It doesn’t distract from it, but it does enrich it. And I took away details that made me want to set some time to read the Ron Chernow biography of Hamilton (yes, the one that the play is based on…level of OBSESSION: EXTREME).
Melissa gives us all the moments we want like how they met. Oh, the moment Eliza sweeps past him with a curt, “Colonel Hamilton” (page 16). The Winter’s Ball unfolds with words describing the setting, the scene, the dancing and the exchanges between Eliza and Alex that sound so authentic. When the Schuyler sisters gang up on Hamilton with all of their education and clever arguments, you genuinely feel sorry for him. They are a formidable trio and they are very protective of their family. But, it’s the banter between Eliza and Alex that just bounces off the page:
“Colonel Hamilton, if you please,” she said, adjusting herself beneath his grip. “I am not an apple on the tree to be tested for ripeness. If you could perhaps squeeze a little less tightly. I have worn corsets that took less liberty.” (page 55)
But don’t worry, after a series of literal missteps, he catches her:
“Did you drive the sharp wooden heel of your shoe into the top of my foot, threatening to break my arch?” he asked in the lightest possible tone. I didn’t notice.”
Eliza couldn’t help it. She smiled. And when he unexpectedly threw in an unscripted bound instead of the expected coupé, she let out the tiniest of whoops, and would have fallen if his strong arm hadn’t pressed firmly into the small of her back. (page 57)
Are you sighing with me? Melissa gives us these moments, but also paints a realistic version of their courtship because years passed after this ball and their next encounter. I won’t spoil it for you, but the plot has a few twists and Melissa brings in many historical accuracies (such as small pox inoculations, which were very controversial in Hamilton’s time), but she leaves the romantic timeline in tact. And if you’re like me, you will enjoy the history (I may have looked up a few facts just to read up on it a little more), but you will relish every moment of the romance.
Thank you, Melissa, for writing the story so many of us wanted. Romance in the late 1700s was not written about extensively and our imaginations have to fill in the blanks. How lucky are we to be alive right now (you didn’t think I could write this without one Hamilton quote, did you?) to have an author the caliber of Melissa indulge us with her research and writing skills? Pretty darn lucky.
The publisher of Alex & Eliza has one heck of a pre-order going on right now. Click on the image below to be taken to their pre-order page:
Also, hey, look at this giveaway!!!! Don’t forget to enter. It’s an easy form to fill out:
G I V E A W A Y
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Alex & Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 27, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 24, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 26, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Melissa and Penguin Teen have put together a four-week long tour that is packed with not just reviews, but so much Alex and Eliza goodness. Just take a look (and be sure to visit each stop for more chances to enter the giveaway):
March 27 – Ex Libris – Top 10 Moments from A&E
March 28 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Eliza’s Legacy
March 29 – The Paige-Turner – Review + Favorite Quotes
March 30 – YA Bibliophile – A&E’s Love Letters
March 31 – Bookiemoji – Review
April 3 – The Book Nut – Playlist
April 4 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
April 5 – Page Turners Blog – Review
April 6 – Fiktshun – Top 10 Reasons to Adore A&E
April 7 – A Page with a View – Review
April 8 – Twirling Pages – Review
April 11 – Mundie Moms – Review
April 12 – Fiction Fare – Review
April 13 – What Sarah Read – Review + Mood Board
April 14 – YA Wednesdays – A&E Fashion History
April 17 – The Fandom – Modernizing Hamilton Characters
April 18 – Hollywood the Write Way – Review
April 19 – Cracking the Cover – How A&E Have Shaped Our Lives
April 20 – Oh the Book Feels – Review + Pinterest Board
April 21 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Publishers Weekly internationally bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels. Her Blue Bloods series has sold over three million copies, and the Witches of East End series became an hour-long television drama on the Lifetime network.