Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

January 5, 2018
By Teenage_Reads ELITE, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Teenage_Reads ELITE, Halifax, Nova Scotia
293 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"So many books, so little time"

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Their romance shaped a nation. The rest was history.
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.

The Schuyler’s Ball was meant to be an uplifting event during the harsh times of 1777. But Eliza Schuyler knew better. This ball was merely an act to find potential suitors for the eldest three Schuyler daughters, herself along with Angelica and Peggy were ready to be married off. Disgusted with her mother, Eliza goes against orders by dressing in the dress she wore all day, no wig, and a simple brush of makeup. After all, how could her mother expect her to wear a twelve-layer ball gown, when the men on the front line could barely afford a jacket? Besides, no one that will show up tonight would match with Eliza. Angelica, the oldest, was the wit, thus the man she chose may not match her in beauty, but treated her as an equal, falling in love with her mind as well as her face. Peggy (full name is Margarita), the youngest, was the truly beautiful one of the three. Her dazing looks and innocent, sweet personality, would make any man what to hold her tight and never let go. Eliza (full name Elizabeth), the middle, was also beautiful, and charming, but what struck her out between her sister was her independents, and her belief of the American Revolution was so strong, that her mate would have to match it. They truly were the Schuyler sisters and nothing was going to come in between their bond.

Alexander Hamilton was born on Saint Croix, to his mother and abstain father James Hamilton. Working for a shipping company, Alex kept track of live cargo vs. the dead cargo (as they were shipped slaves to America). When a hurricane hit and destroyed Alex’s small town, he wrote a letter to his father, describing what happen. He asked the town’s pastor to read the letter to check for spelling mistakes, but he deemed it so well that he published it in the town newspaper. Feeling like Alex had a chance for a greater good, the people saved money and sent Alec to live with the Livingston’s in America to get an education. Enrolling into King’s College to pursue a career in law, Alex then dropped out to fight for the war, as he knew it was his chance to do something with his life. Only the army had other ideas for him, sending Alex to write letters he became General George Washington’s right-hand-man, thus his invitation to the Schuler’s ball to deliver some very bad news. From his housemate Kitty Livingston was the first time he herds mention of Eliza, as Kitty described her as: “She cares about fresh ideas. Independence. Democracy. Abolition, they day. I think she’d even marry a man with no name and no fortune, if he scared about the same ideas as she did” (32). As that was the type of man Alex was (no name or fortune), he knew he had to talk to Eliza. Unfortunately showing up at the ball only to disgrace her father, did not make great first impressions, as Eliza destroyed him in front of a  group with her wit. Still he held on to the note she supposedly wrote saying that she would meet him in the barn at midnight (a highly un-lady-like thing to do), for two whole years when their path crossed again. This time, though Alex will not let her go, determine to show Eliza that her first assumptions about him was wrong, Alex falls head over heels for the one girl on the planet that could make him lost for words.

As a member of the Hamilton Broadway Is the Best Thing to Grace Our Planet Community, Melissa de la Cruz did us proud. The story takes place the night of the Schuler ball, skipped two years to where they meet again, and goes all the way to when they got married and the day afterwards. Unlike in Lin-Manuel Miranda version, where Eliza falls for Alex at the ball in a cleverly written song called Helpless, Eliza actually hates Alex when she first meets him. After the letter incident which Alex and Eliza clear up two days later, it was actually in Morristown, New Jersey, where they fell in love. de la Cruz also included a lot more Peggy than Miranda did, including this very sweet line to make you realize of her sister’s, she is the nicest: “You can do worst that to marry a kind man. I think kindness, out of all the virtues, is the best quality to have” (184). This whole book takes place between Miranda’s song A Winter’s Ball and Helpless, just cutting off after Satisfied and The Story of Tonight (Reprise), as this story is just about Alex and Eliza, and not going into the other affairs like if Angelica was in love with him too, and Maria Reynolds. de la Cruz got the romantic with sweet lines from Alex to Eliza “I would risk it a thousand times more, to win you hear” (332), and from Eliza to Alex “I know you and I love you, and I shall always love you, come what may. I shall be yours, always” (340), and many more you will have to read for yourself. Needless to the hype about the Hamilton story, you do not need to have any previous knowledge about the story before reading this book, but if you do then you might enjoy it a bit more. The story about a classic love, the American revolutions, a daughter with a name, a nameless man, and one undying love shared between two people.

The author's comments:

A story of two lover during a war

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