Review: Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

4:04 PM

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz | Rating: ★★★★☆

Melissa de la Cruz has been one of the most consistent names on my shelves. From my early days of reading every Gossip Girl style series I could find, she has pretty much owned my heart in a way that other authors couldn't. The one thing that de la Cruz did in terms of standing out amongst the genre was make familiar tropes (rich kids doing what they want, stylish scandals, etc) smarter with ditching the fluffy aspects of it. I will always love her work. I always feel good after picking up a new release or an old favourite by her.

Most of my high school years were dominated by her delicious vampire series Blue Bloods and the frothy goodness that was The Au Pairs series. My adult years followed close by with The Beauchamp Family series and more recently (and, apparently, canned) The New Blue Bloods Coven series.

When I heard that she was releasing a young adult historical fiction novel that was inspired by Lin-Manuel Miranda's brilliant play Hamilton (one of my favourite musicals since Rent and Hair) and the real life love story of Elizabeth Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton, I pretty much spun around like a child in excitement. Alex and Eliza wasn't at all what I expected and this is perhaps the best thing about the novel itself.

Readers with little recollection of this particular chapter in history will enjoy this light read. Readers who are unfamiliar with the musical which inspired it will enjoy this read, too.

The thing about Alex and Eliza is that it provides a perfect glimmer of romance, and what it is like to be young and in love, with the rich backdrop of history. You can't help but to be intrigued by its otherwise dreary tone because de la Cruz spins it all in a way that's both simplistic and highly intelligent. By all context, it's a tale that could fit in any timeline--girl meets boy, boy meets girl, it eventually leads to sparks and they begin to find a way to one another.

Because it doesn't touch base on the more complicated aspects of their love story, it is one of those delightful fluff-reads that you can pick up at any part of the day and at any age and still just enjoy it for what it's worth. Pure entertainment. Pure heart. Pure, too. Melissa de la Cruz crafts a story that is full of life from start to finish. This isn't Hamilton and it may not be consistently historically accurate, but it's still a sweet novel that is perfect for the summertime.

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