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This read like an average story you'd see on AO3 or fanfiction.net. From the unnecessary sexual violence to the anachronisms in the attempted historical accuracy, to the clunky attempts at "old fashioned" speech. But the thing that made me want to throw my kindle in rage was when the writer decided to have Eliza claiming that the Schyler family valued black equality... Her family owned LOTS of slaves. And Alexander Hamilton bought some of them on her family's behalf! Also, the amount of work de la Cruz does to pretend this isn't true is actively deceitful. Her aunt has a "Brown skinned servant girl" in 1780? Are you kidding? I'm annoyed I paid money for this book, and that I wasted three hours of my life reading it. There is nothing of value of originality to this work, and it only exists because the author and her publishers knew they'd make a fortune off the back of the Hamilton musical. Utter rubbish.
Somehow this book wasn't easy for me to read. Long sentences and an advanced English might give you a struggle if English is not your first language. Normally I love to read English books and have no problem to understand written English perfectly, but not this one, maybe this book it is simply not to my taste. I find many situation in the book which has no coverage in their real story. This is not much of a “real love story of Hamilton and Eliza” I was expecting.
I wouldn't say that this book disappointed me. I didn't have high hopes for it. But Melissa de la Cruz is a legit author, so there was potential. But much like Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, Alex & Eliza has proven that writing about well-known and (at least to me) beloved characters and storylines are sadly not as automatic a home run as you might think.
I would hazard a guess that if one has chosen this book, you are familiar with and enjoy the musical, Hamilton. Just to be clear this is not a book about that version of Alexander and Eliza Hamilton. This isn't a rip off of the musical. It does feel as if it is an attempt to cash in on the musical's popularity. On the plus side, it is full of Hamilton references. If you are hugely into the musical, it was fun to come across them while reading.
It is also not a novelization that adheres to the real character of the Hamiltons. Maybe it is the fact that I finally finished reading the Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton this week that has made me overly critical. However, there was a lot about colonial life, and especially colonial life as a woman that was not explained at all or the reality just did not exist. Sometimes, in historical fiction this is acceptable but when the main characters were real people I expect a certain amount of historical detail and accuracy. It isn't as if there is a lack of research material.
I think that the book would have been more effective to have the YA romance be about two separate but Hamilton family adjacent characters. A YA romance-y Johnny Tremaine type thing. It would have satisfied my need for all things Hamilton but also avoided me picking it apart because it did not adhere to my vision. Seriously, change a few names, and it would have been ready to go. Why do people not run these things by me so I can give my input?
One of my main gripes about this book (aside from my suspicions of it being a cash cow job) is that Melissa de la Cruz are the female relationships in this book. So many things are ripped off from the play that it saddens me that the sister relationship was not fully developed in this book. But there are many irritating YA tropes to be found: 1: pretty but doesn't know it 2. not like "other girls." 3. she is SOOO smart 4. but modest 5. and selfless 6. but feisty! "Let's be mean and sassy for no reason." 7. nonconformist but also a daddies girl 8. hate to love- but like for no real reason? 9. big misunderstanding
So, you might like this if you are a huge fan of either the musical or the Treasury Secretary himself as well as romance you might enjoy this book. If you are looking for a dense historical novel about the American Revolution or the Hamiltons, it would be best to avoid this. I found it disappointing and in the end utterly tedious.