True confession? I’m a #Hamilfan–a certified, Lin-Manuel-loving, Eliza-Worshipping Hamilfan. I go on long drives and sing every part of the historical rap musical. I reply to my friends and family with King George’s famous line “Awesome! Wow!” Leave it to Hamilton to turn the white girl who can’t rap into someone who can now appreciate Dre. Ergo, when I heard Melissa de la Cruz wrote a YA version of Alexander and Eliza Hamilton’s love story, I was thrilled. Maybe thrilled isn’t the best word: ecstatic. Geeking out. And, because I have a local independent bookseller who I adore (thanks Amy!), I got a copy stat.
“Gushing” is an understatement. I read it in three days flat. All my favorite characters were together again: sassy Angelia, sweet Eliza, and Peggy. Not to mention Hamilton, Washington, and that whole crew. But my enjoyment of the book went beyond my love of all things Hamilton. Melissa de la Cruz, of course, is a fantastic writer. Her interplay between the characters, though fiction, feels real. It was tempting to fall into the world, to ignore the “fiction” part of the historical fiction genre and believe that this is exactly how the two Hamiltons fell in love.
Part Jane Austen, part Miranda, and part something entirely new, Alex and Eliza is everything I wanted it to be and more. De la Cruz writes a story so plot-driven and so genuine, it was hard to separate the musical and the book in my mind. Alex and Eliza became the prequel I’d wanted, the dirty details of a wonderful love story.