A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Melissa de la Cruz's Alex & Eliza: A Love Story is a historical romance that speculates about the courtship of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler. The author mentions that she was inspired by the popular Broadway show Hamilton, but fans of that show or its cast recording should know that many events and characters in this book are different from how they're portrayed in the show. And this can be a good chance to encourage kids to find out more on their own. As a romance, it's fine for tweens and up. But "Hamilfans" with strong attachments to the Broadway characters and story may be disappointed. There are a few kisses, one attempted rape (the word "rape" is never used), a few punches, and an encounter with three enemy soldiers, all of whom are killed either by rifle or bayonet. Alcohol is mentioned during scenes of meals or parties, there's a mention that an aunt had too much to drink, and a bad guy becomes violent while he's very drunk.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
ALEX & ELIZA: A LOVE STORY speculates about the early courtship between Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler. He's a dashing young aide to General Washington without a family, and she's a daughter of New York's oldest and wealthiest families. They meet at a ball, and he's immediately smitten. She's intrigued, but she has other handsome young men to think about, too. When Alex unwillingly has to prosecute Eliza's father, it looks like any friendship, let alone romance, between them is doomed. But Alex won't give up so easily, not even when he learns that Eliza is engaged to another man.
Is it any good?
Best-selling author Melissa de la Cruz's sweet historical romance brings the American Revolution, historical events and characters, and even the charms and intimacies of the everyday to life. Alex & Eliza: A Love Story works well as a romance that fans of the genre, and especially of historical settings, will enjoy. But fans of the Broadway show or cast recording should be aware that if they're really attached to the characters and events portrayed in the show, there are many differences here.
Alex and Eliza take turns narrating events, which builds suspense and keeps perspectives fresh. Both are likable, relatable characters whom romance fans will enjoy rooting for. The dialogue seems a little forced in the beginning but eventually smooths out and feels more natural. There are some anachronisms, and Cruz has taken many liberties with characters and events. But tweens and up open to a different take on one of our first power couples will find a lot to enjoy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Alex & Eliza portrays the two main characters. Do they seem realistic? How can you find out how historically accurate they are?
Did you like the two main characters? What do you admire about them? What are some of their flaws, if any?
Why is Alexander Hamilton so popular? What about his story is so fascinating?
- Author: Melissa de la Cruz
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, History
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
- Publication date: April 11, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 22, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love history and romance
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.