I Waited for It But It Wasn't Enough. // Thoughts on Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Alex and Eliza

Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 11th 2017
Source: Hardcover
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.
Hamilton. Talk to me about Hamilton and I could go on for hours. I'm going to admit, I jumped on the Hamilton train pretty late on, right before it got big. And like everyone who has fallen into the Hamilton hole, I fell hard. Like the obsession was very real.

I found out about this book between two of my classes in a NetGalley email and usually I delete NetGalley emails without opening them because I've been trying not to accumulate too many eARCs this year but just don't have the motivation to actually unsubscribe to the emails. (I don't mind getting them either) So I almost deleted the email but it was one of those double-take moments where I glanced at the title but then finally acknowledged and processed what I had just glanced at a few seconds later. "Alex and Eliza." So I opened the email and holy crap! Right before my eyes was a book about Hamilton and Eliza! The eARC was already on NetGalley and I think my first thought was "Why am I just finding out about this book now?" Hamilton is big, so the fact that this book wasn't really talked about kinda surprised me.
I finally read the book and honestly, now that I think about it, de la Cruz has some guts to write a book like this. Why? Because it's basically fan fiction of Alex and Eliza. We all know Lin Manuel's version of the story of Hamliza (that is probably the only version of their story that I know) and de la Cruz had to know that Hamilton fans would go into this story comparing her version to Lin's. I had no clue on whether it was actually historically accurate or fan fiction. (When did I found out? When I finished the book.) This book is basically fan fiction and I love fan fiction. I have nothing against it but I think because of the fact that I went into this book not knowing whether it was historically accurate or not, I was kind of disappointed by it. My expectations for this book were just too high, which is why I didn't enjoy this book as much.

Honestly some part of me had hopes that de la Cruz would include parts of Lin's story of Hamliza into her's but that hope went away pretty quickly if I was going to make it through the book with some sense of enjoyment. And honestly, it's okay she didn't because this was her made up version of the story. Despite that, I enjoyed de la Cruz's version of Hamliza though. I think it dragged on a little at one point but it was a pretty enjoyable read. Again, I don't know which events in this story actually happened but it was nice to read about the little twists the author put in Alex and Eliza's love story. Plus this book definitely put me back in my Hamilton feels.

I think another thing that I was pretty excited about this book was to read more about the characters. Hamilton, Laurens, the Schuyler sisters, ect ect. Again, as someone who knew the Lin Manuel Hamilton story so well, I imaged all the characters as the original Broadway Cast of Hamilton. Legit, de la Cruz did a great job describing the characters as they probably were historically but that didn't stop my mind from seeing Pippa and Lin through the entire of the book.
Also, I found Angelica and Alex to be really annoying characters at some point. For most of the book, they were tolerable and characters I liked but there were some moments where I just wanted them to shut up. And some of the stuff Angelica did to her sisters...damn. Also, I found some of this dialogue was soooo cheesy. Like it wasn't even cute cheesy, it was cringy cheesy. It was the type of dialogue that I hadn't read since Romeo and Juliet and although I've never talked about my thoughts about that book, Romeo and Juliet had some nasty ass cringy dialogue. Sure, it's cute how much the characters love each other and maybe that was how Alex wrote to Eliza back then (with cheesy words) but that stuff is just not for me.

You know what is funny though? Despite all the issues I had for this book, I enjoyed it. I ended up giving this a 4 star rating, which is a pretty high rating considering so much of this review is complaints. I don't know. I raced through this book and had such a fun time read about Hamilton and Eliza. I honestly think I see this book as fan fiction and I never have super high expectations for fan fiction. Sure, it's a published book by an author who has written multiple books but I enjoyed many aspects of this book. My brain says that it's not that good of a book and you should probably read this book if you're looking for fan fiction. But, my heart loved this book. If you're interested in this book, definitely don't go in with too high of hopes.