1777. Albany, New York.
As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.
Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.
Eliza is a girl who wants to fight for her country. She doesn’t believe in wearing fancy gowns as the soldiers wear rags to the battlefield, and everything for her is about the “war effort.” Her mother just wishes that she would settle down and marry a rich man to bring their family money, but she and her sisters wish to marry for more than just money. Eliza has some radical views about the current government, and many a man would not like her simply because she is too outspoken.
Alex has no name, and so people assume that he has no money. It doesn’t matter how hard he works for the military or how high in the ranks he is, he is still considered to be lower than the rest of high society because he wasn’t born into his money and was an orphan. He falls for Eliza, but he is worried that his duty will cause Eliza to hate him.
Even though this book’s plot was engaging, it took me forever to finally finish reading it. I don’t know what it was, but the middle of the book just dragged on and on for me. I lost focus but didn’t lose interest in the characters. I wanted to know what would happen to them in the end, even if the actual story plot seemed dry.
It was interesting to think that in this book Alex loved Eliza so much, even though history shows that he cheated on her. I can’t blame the fictional character for the faults of the real-life person he is based on, but I never thought of the two having a whirlwind teen romance before. Definitely fun to read!
This is also one of my favorite books by Cruz. I have tried and failed to get through several of her books, including her Descendants series that I have seen the movies on. This has been the first one that caught my eye and kept me entertained long enough to actually finish it!
The plot moved quickly despite the small slow down in the middle, and there was one non-confusing time skip. There was quite a bit of character development after the time skip, as the girls aged 3 years and were nearing the 1700’s “Old Maid” stage where they would be unmarriageable. This affected many of their decisions, as they felt as if they had to decide between being involved in the war effort and getting married with children.
Since this book is still considered “YA,” a lot of the gore of the war or the more “sexual” situations had been dumbed down to fit the age barrier. I didn’t dislike this as it did not really take away from the story, but if a person truly enjoyed adult historical fiction, they might not enjoy this type of a story as much.
I would recommend this story to anyone looking for a YA historical fiction novel.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars