Obsessed Hamilfans, be warned: this novelization of the romance between Elizabeth Schuyler, second daughter of a prominent colonial family, and Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s handsome aide-de-camp, may confuse or confound those who have committed to heart the Broadway musical’s cast recording. The story is told mostly from Eliza’s perspective, but since little is known about the courtship of this early American power couple, de la Cruz (Something in Between) has altered the historical record and added wholesale fabrications. Henry Livingston, a real-life figure, is portrayed as Schuyler’s first fiancée, a would-be rapist thwarted in the nick of time by the lovesick Hamilton. Hamilton is given credit for uncovering Benedict Arnold’s treason (while killing three musket-brandishing bandits on the road to Albany). Anachronistic phrases, including a few allusions to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics, strike discordant notes. In an afterword, de la Cruz writes that she was inspired to learn more about the Hamiltons’ love story after seeing the musical, but readers who know the story well may not appreciate her “fictional embellishment.” Ages 12–up. Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Apr.)
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 those of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.
Still, Eliza 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.
Praise for Alex & Eliza: A Love Story:
A New York Times Bestseller!
A Seventeen Magazine Best YA Book of 2017
“This charming historical romance is a must-read for any fan of Hamilton who felt drawn in, first and foremost, by the sweeping love story.”—Booklist
“de la Cruz has struck while the iron is hot and shone a light on the extraordinary wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, Eliza Schuyler. . . . Fans of the musical will be excited to see this novel.”—School Library Journal
“Broadway fans and lovers of Melissa de la Cruz’s romance and page-turning intrigue will unite over her new book.”—Justine
“De la Cruz expertly expounds on the articulate, impressive Alex and intelligent, passionate Eliza, bringing them to life in a skillful, genuine way.”—RT Book Reviews
“Part fact and part fiction, Alex and Eliza: A Love Story will definitely get you (or your teen) excited about history.”—PopSugar
“Do you listen to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical soundtrack on repeat? Then, the next logical step is to read this YA love tale.”—PopCrush
“Hamilton fans will love this fictionalized, and delightfully charming, novel.”—BuzzFeed
“The picture perfect historical romance combined with Melissa de la Cruz's sharp, heartfelt writing makes this the perfect spring read.”—TeenReads.com
“Hamilton fans obsessed with Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler's Revolution-era romance need this deep dive into the romance that changed American history.”—Seventeen.com
Gr 7 Up—With the popularity of the musical Hamilton still going strong, de la Cruz has struck while the iron is hot and shone a light on the extraordinary wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, Eliza Schuyler. The writings about Eliza are sparse, but the author puts that limited knowledge to good use and imbues her fictional version with a strong-willed and charming personality that will instantly have readers cheering for her. Though the research involved here is evident, the historical accuracy still ends up being a bit shaky. By focusing only on the initial courtship between Eliza and Alexander, de la Cruz turns Hamilton into something of a dashing white knight but never acknowledges the interest that existed between him and Eliza's sister Angelica—in fact, Angelica acts quite coldly toward him. This depiction is only enforced during an imagined arranged engagement between Eliza and another real-life figure named Henry Livingston that results in him drunkenly trying to take advantage of her the night before the wedding. This relationship never existed, and adding an attempted assault just so that Alexander can swoop in and save the day feels not only clichéd but irresponsible. The seeds of potential are peppered throughout the story, but they unfortunately become too overshadowed by unnecessary characterizations. VERDICT Fans of the musical will be excited to see this novel, even though it plays fast and loose with the facts. Purchase only where Hamilton frenzy is still strong.—Kate DiGirolomo, Library Journal
The unlikely romance between America's first treasury secretary and a young woman from a socially connected family receives fictionalized treatment that speculates on unknown details, ending on their wedding night. Alexander Hamilton is a young aide to Gen. George Washington when he has his first, unsuccessful encounter with Elizabeth Schuyler at her family home in Albany, New York, setting up romantic tension for subsequent meetings at the home of Eliza's aunt and uncle in Morristown, New Jersey. The bright, ambitious, but penniless Hamilton is drawn to practical Eliza, falling deeply in love, at one point becoming so addled he forgets a military password. In de la Cruz's version of events, Eliza's parents want to marry her off to a wealthy son of one of their connections, forcing Alexander to prove his character superior to that of his rival. This is a mixture of what is known about this period in Hamilton's life and what might make a good story. The language is as modern as the musical that probably inspired it but not nearly as lively. Other personalities made familiar by the musical, such as John Laurens and the Marquis de Lafayette, make passing appearances. Amid the romantic fervor readers get glimpses of the civic-minded woman the historical Eliza became and the insecurities about his origins that plagued the real Alexander Hamilton. A pleasant diversion for younger teen readers who cannot get enough of all things Hamilton. (Historical fiction. 12-16)
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Excerpted from "Alex and Eliza: A Love Story"
Copyright © 2017 Melissa de la Cruz.
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