Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz
First line: Forget Paris.
Summary: As the Revolution is coming to a close Alexander Hamilton and his new bride, Eliza Schuyler, are learning that being married is not always easy. Alex is setting up his law offices and Eliza is establishing their home. The long hours at the office defending Loyalist clients puts a strain on the young couple. Will they be able to continue their love story or will it crumble?
Highlights: I enjoyed the story of their early marriage. De la Cruz does a good job of portraying how hard it would be to try to find a balance in this new country. I particularly liked the struggle of a young patriot having to defend the wife of a Loyalist. He must have faced lots of ridicule from other members of his party.
Lowlights: This is young adult and it feels like it. The love and feelings are very immature. However, it does as good job of bringing the history to a young audience.
FYI: Book 2 in the Alex & Eliza series.
The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs
First line: The boy frowned, pressed a folded handkerchief to his nose, and scanned the crowd for the third time.
Summary: Alexander Hamilton, a Revolutionary War hero and the first Secretary of the Treasury, was born in the Caribbean and moved to the American Colonies to attend college. He was not wealthy but he was brave and smart. Eliza Schuyler, a debutante and daughter of a famous general, is helping the war effort by assisting with the wounded at Valley Forge. When these two young people meet a love story begins. But the story still has its ups and downs even after the war is over.
Highlights: I knew basically nothing about Alexander Hamilton other than what I learned in my history classes, which wasn’t much. I had recently read a book about him but it stopped shortly after his marriage to Eliza. When I found out about the affair he had with Maria Reynolds I was completely shocked. I loved the author’s writing style and the flow of the story. I was completely engrossed in this story and I learned a lot. The pacing is really well done. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read more about the man who has become a pop culture phenomenon.
Lowlights: The political intrigue and problems with fellow founding fathers was a little confusing to me. It may all fall on my lack of detailed knowledge of the founding of the United States and all the problems that went along with it. I never realized that there was so much opposition to the changes and that they believed that Hamilton was interested in being King even though he fought so hard to end the rule of England over the colonies. Some of the pieces with the animosity with the fellow politicians was a little too much but it was building up to what led to the duel with Aaron Burr.
FYI: Great history lesson. Get the information that you missed in high school history.
Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
First Line: Like a latter-day Greek temple, the Schuyler family mansion sat atop a softly rounded hill outside Albany.
Summary: Eliza Schuyler is the daughter of a wealthy general. Alexander Hamilton is the right hand man of General George Washington. When the two meet at Eliza’s home, the first encounter is not the one of fairy tales. However, when they meet up again several months later their friendship grows and a romance for the ages is born in the midst of the American Revolution.
Highlights: This is a very quick read and great for a first book about Alexander Hamilton. With the popularity of the musical, Hamilton, this book is appearing at just the right time. I know very little about the man who had a key role in the establishment of our country. I am a huge fan of Melissa de la Cruz. I think she does a good job of bringing this story to readers in a YA version.
Lowlights: The book is almost more juvenile than YA usually are. I expected a little more surrounding the war. I do plan to read the next one as well.
FYI: Perfect introduction into the story of Alexander Hamilton.