A boy, a girl, and the rest is history.
Alex and Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz focuses on the love story between Alexander Hamilton, a young colonel, and Elizabeth Schuyler, a daughter from one of America’s wealthiest families. After Elizabeth’s father loses Saratoga, the family is on the brink of financial ruin. As a result, Elizabeth’s mother is determined to marry off her three daughters to wealthy, respectable men in order to preserve the family wealth and name. Much to to her parent’s dismay, Elizabeth starts to fall for Alexander without a fortune or name.
With Hamilton’s recent popularity, it is not surprise that the trend seeped into young adult literature. Even though I’ve never seen the musical, I am not sure that this book’s target audience would connect well with the story in this book. I know many Hamilton fans really appreciate the musical’s originality, and even though Alex and Eliza is not related the musical, I think this book’s target audience will be disappointed with its unoriginal, slow-moving plot.
I think one of my biggest complaints with Alex and Eliza is that it did not feel like historical fiction or even close to being historically accurate. Even though it is expected that the author would take some creative liberties with this story, it seems a little far-fetched. A lot of the dialogue and character opinions seem way too modern for the historical context of this book. There were many moments in the book that I didn’t full believe the story which made it difficult to feel invested in the story.
Another issue that I had with this story was the romance. If you’re looking for a lot of history integrated in this story, you will most likely be disappointed. This book solely focuses on the romance between Alex and Eliza. I would not have a problem with this if their romance was not so boring and lackluster. This book advertises their romance as “the romance that shaped a nation,” but it delivers a romance that does not even stand out among other young adult books. Alex and Eliza had a few cute moments, but the development of their relationship seemed typical YA.
Since this book primarily focuses on Alex and Eliza’s relationship and I didn’t really care for that aspect of the book, I found myself bored throughout most of the novel. I really struggled through parts of this book because similar situations and conversations were rehashed throughout the entire novel. My Kindle told me that this book would take about four and a half hours for me to read, but it felt like a lot longer.
Alex and Eliza is a cute story, but I think it would better suit readers bridging the gap between middle grade and young adult fiction. While Alex and Eliza was a cute and clean story, it definitely was a struggle to read through the generic story line. I give Alex and Eliza two out of five stars.