In One Word

In One Word, Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz is…

  • Published in 2017 by G. P. Putnam & Sons Books for Young Readers
  • Format: Physical book
  • Reading time: 4 sweet days

Traditional

  • Time to renew my love of Hamilton and fulfil a reading challenge at the same time. And congratulations, book, you are my 100th book of the year!
  • Rather feel like the author is trying a bit too hard to make Eliza seem like a likeable modern woman. She hates expensive dresses and is too intellectual for her husband-hunting mother’s taste. Every trick in the book is pulled out to make Eliza the classic romantic heroine.
  • A bit jarring to read characters that seem so different from the musical but that’s my silly fault. Broadway musicals aren’t the best source of historical fact.
  • Definitely could have done the world building better. There are far too many info dumps all around and the book falls into the classic trap of showing off how much historical research the author has done.
  • It’s definitely not mushy love at first sight. Alex and Eliza are really having a go at one another in their first meeting. I suppose Eliza’s behaviour is somewhat justified but still.
  • Typical inconvenient romantic feelings, misunderstandings and unexpected chance encounters! This is just going through the usual motions of a romance novel now.
  • I have the strong suspicion that the author is having a sly dig at anti-vaxxers. Putting such silly opinions in the 1700s show just where those views belong. If George Washington got his whole army get vaccinated, there’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t have their kids vaccinated.
  • Oh, looks like the author has realised the stakes aren’t high enough and financial trouble and arranged marriages is as good a narrative device as any.
  • Now, the author is really going above and beyond to make the alternative suitor utterly awful. It neatly allows a scene of danger to take place where Alex has the chance to act the hero but it feels a little forced. It would have been more original if the guy had been a somewhat decent bloke whom Eliza just didn’t feel anything for.
  • Admittedly, I found the last few chapters when Alex was racing against time rather gripping. Yes, even though I knew what was going to happen.
  • Left a little underwhelmed by the happy ending. I think I definitely prefer the musical’s version of events.

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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