Alex & Eliza: A Love Story

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Alex & Eliza:  A Love Story Book Poster Image
Fun imagined tale of Alexander Hamilton's sweet romance.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Some insight into life during the American Revolution. Many historical people and events, but lots involve speculation and some have been changed from what's been recorded for the sake of telling this particular story.

Positive Messages

Once you know where your happiness lies, stay true to it and never give up on it. Intelligence and character are what sustain a relationship; looks can fade. Brief negative body-image message when Eliza's mother is unhappy with her looks while she's pregnant and thinks she's lost all her beauty. Violence shown in a positive light once when Alex feels better after punching a man he's mad at.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Alex is a good role model as a self-made man, showing how far you can get in life when you're willing to work hard. He's also very gallant and always considerate of others. He's loyal to General Washington and to the Revolutionary cause. Eliza is a good role model for intelligence, practicality, and a willingness to do whatever is needed to help others, especially wounded soldiers. Her parents are stern but loving, and her two sisters are also smart, loving, and supportive.

Violence

A few punches, including one repeated pummeling to the face of a bad guy that implies the beating was justified. A gunshot, mention of blood, pain briefly mentioned from a flesh wound, stabbing an enemy soldier, and an accidental stabbing of a horse with a bayonet. An enemy soldier is shot, a shower of blood is mentioned, and he falls from his saddle. A man paws at and rips his fiancée's clothing in an attempted rape (although the word "rape" is never used); she successfully fights him off until help arrives. Horrible conditions aboard slave ships mentioned and that the ships had to dump the dead bodies before they could enter port.

Sex

Some sexual innuendo about breast size when a man grabs a woman's shawl. A few kisses and mention of unbuttoning a gown on a wedding night. Scantily clad women dance for tips and kisses.

Language

"Damn," "God damn," "hell," and some brief sexual innuendo.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Sherry, wine, hard cider, beer, and whiskey mentioned at meals and parties. Several mentions of adults having had too much to drink. Bad guys displaying drunk behavior are mean and violent. Occasional mention of smoking cigars. Alex smokes a cigar once, soldiers smoking are mentioned, and one mention of the smell of tobacco smoke.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byFantasyFan001 June 14, 2018

Excellent Book; Highly Reccommended

I read this book a little over a year ago after my sister read it. I absolutely enjoyed it! There was some great chemistry between the main characters and most... Continue reading
Adult Written byLiana L. June 2, 2018

Amazing

My neice thought it was amazing take on Hamilton
Teen, 15 years old Written bynaticue May 16, 2018

Alex and ELiza

Alex & Eliza, written by Melissa De La Cruz is a historical fiction/romance novel. The novel is about two young adults, Alexander and Elizabeth, living... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byHailey_J September 14, 2018

Disappointing. Not surprised

I have 3 problems wrong with this book. 1) The author’s only source is the musical: Hamilton. I’ve used more sources for my middle school papers. 2) The Reynold... Continue reading

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?

Book details

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