Hamilton Takeover: The Hamilton Book Tag

Since it is Hamilton Takeover week here on the blog I had to do this tag.  It was orignially created by Maureen Keavy for her Youtube channel.   You can go and watch her original here. I first saw it here on the Cuddlebiggery blog. If you aren't familiar with Hamilton the promts are all song titles and lyrics.  

The Dragonriders of Pern  by Anne McCaffrey cover

The Room Where It Happens: Book world you would put yourself in.

The Dragonriders of Pern
by Anne McCaffrey

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: Dragonriders of Pern #1-3
Published: January 1st 1968
Rating: childhood

“There’s nothing wrong in doubting. It sometimes leads to greater faith.” 

There must be a part of me that has remained twelve years old because I still want to go to Pern.  Problematic as it is.  Ah, to have a soft skinned dragon with whom I have a telepathic link love me. Who I already named. When I was twelve. Is that too much to ask?

The Raven Boys  by Maggie Stiefvater cover

The Schuyler Sisters: Underrated Female Character

The Raven Boys
by Maggie Stiefvater 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: The Raven Cycle #1
Published: September 18th 2012
Rating: Oh, my God I love this series.

“She wasn't interested in telling other people's futures. She was interested in going out and finding her own.”

I don't know if this is everyone or just me.  Blue is my least favorite of all the characters.  And she shouldn't be.  She is strong, practical, and hard working. I need to stop holding a grudge because she is hanging out with the Raven Boys and I am not.

And I Darken  by Kiersten White cover

My Shot: A character that goes after what they want and doesn't let anything stop them

And I Darken
by Kiersten White

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: The Conqueror's Saga #1
Published: July 7th 2016
Rating: Full review of And I Darken

“On our wedding night," she said, "I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your own blood, which will be unfortunate, but I will be both husband and wife and therefore not a widow to be pitied.”

Lada is not here for your weakness.  She will run you over in pursuit of her goals.  Literally.  She won't even feel bad about it.  Person in the way? 100% expendable. Countries need to be realigned to get her what she wants? She will make it happen.  Force of nature. 

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent cover

Stay Alive: A character you wish was still alive


Burial Rites
by Hannah Kent

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: September 10th 2013
Rating: Literary fiction involves a lot of snot and stinkyness tbh

“To know what a person has done, and to know who a person is, are very different things.” 

After all that?! Really? What was the point of this book even? I was both depressed and enraged and just exhausted by the end of this novel.  I am still a mad about it.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes  cover

Burn: The most heartbreaking end to a relationship you’ve ever read [warn for spoilers!]

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
by Stephanie Oakes 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: June 9th 2015
Rating: Cults and creepy fairy tales plus Orange is the New Black

“Jude taught me what love was: to be willing to hold on to another person's pain. That's it.” 

Fate has it in for Minnow. On so many levels this was never meant to be.  I wanted it for her because of everything else that she had to deal with but alas, it was not to be.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman cover

You'll Be Back: Sassiest villain

The Princess Bride
by William Goldman


Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: 1973
Rating: Twu Wuv

“Fool!" cried the hunchback. "You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia,' but only slightly less well known is this: 'Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” 

Everyone in this novel is deadpan smartass. It is part of it's awesomeness.

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson cover

The Reynolds Pamphlet - A book with a twist that you didn’t see coming


by Tiffany D. Jackson


Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: January 24th 2017
Rating: Full review of Allegedly

"I can name several people who wish I was never born."

My brain still hurts. The definition of haunting. I am not okay

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys cover

Non-stop: A series you marathoned 

Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: kind of a spin off...
Published: February 2nd 2016
Rating: Full review of Salt to the Sea

“Mother was comfort. Mother was home. A girl who lost her mother was suddenly a tiny boat on an angry ocean. Some boats eventually floated ashore. And some boats, like me, seemed to float farther and farther from land” 

I am going with the last book that I read in one sitting. Salt to the Sea was so good. 

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff cover

Satisfied: Favorite book with multiple POVs

by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Series:Illuminae #1
Published: October 20th 2015
Rating: Full review of Illuminae

“I am frequently underestimated. I think it's because I'm short.”

So many POV's so much awesomeness. Diaries, video commentary, emails, IM logs, all coalless into a singular narrative. It seems as if you would be confused but it is quite easy to follow. I highly recommend the audiobook if you are into them.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas cover

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story: A book/series you feel like will be remembered throughout history

The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: February 28th 2017
Rating: All the Starrs

“At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”

At first I thought that The Hate U Give  is a little too zeitgeist-y for longevity.  Too many references to specific things that in ten years no one will know about let alone in a hundred years.  But then I thought about books like The Outsiders and The Great Gatsby.  Books that we still read but that are perfect encapsulations of their times.  I think that The Hate U Give is going to be like that.  It is a book whose themes and symbolism are strong enough that it will be able to both transcend and highlight it's setting. Calling it now.


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir cover

Helpless: A relationship you were pulling for from the very start 

An Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1
Release date: April 28th 2015
Rating: Full review of An Ember in the Ashes

“Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after.” 

Laia and Elias are going to end up together.  I don't care what anyone else says. I will rewrite the third book in my head if I have to.

Shadow's Edge  by Brent Weeks cover

Ten Duel Commandments: Favorite fight scene

Shadow's Edge
by Brent Weeks 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: Night Angel #2
Published: November 1st 2008
Rating: Why do I like the weird cannibal subplot so much? Representation actually worse?

“Truth doesn't depend on your belief in it.” 

Of the three books in this series the second book has the best fight scenes. The creepy monster thing that has mouths all over it? Assassin vs Assassin? Crazy prisoner canibal? Legs getting ripped off with bare hands?  There might be a whole lot of problematic her but the fight scenes are awesome.



Say No To This: Guilty pleasure read


On the Edge
by Ilona Andrews 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: The Edge #1
Published: September 29th 2009
Rating: hysterical

“She handed him a glass of water and two Aleve gelcaps. “They’re anti-inflammatories. They will dull the pain a little bit and keep down swelling and redness. Swallow the pills, don’t chew.”
“Well, I thought I’d stick them into my nose and impersonate a walrus, but if you insist, I’ll swallow them.” 

Really, anything by Ilona Andrews. Half naked guy on the cover or not, I am trash for them.

Night World  by L.J. Smith cover

What Comes Next: A series you wish had more books 

Night World
by L.J. Smith 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: Night World
Published: April 7th 2009
Rating: Full review of the Night World Series

“That's how I want to go. Taking my own way out and totally pissing everybody off at the end.” 

I have talked about this before but I am still waiting for the last book of this series. And have been since 1998.  Seriously. Maybe I should just write it myself so I can stop fixating on it! I will be honest, this is also a guilty pleasure.  There are really no redeeming qualities.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling cover

Right Hand Man - Favorite BrOTP 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
by J.K. Rowling

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: Harry Potter #7
Published: July 21st 2007
Rating: Simply the best

“Death's got an Invisibility Cloak?" Harry interrupted again.
"So he can sneak up on people," said Ron. "Sometimes he gets bored of running at them, flapping his arms and shrieking...” 

Harry and Ron. 'Nuff said.

Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery cover

What’d I Miss: A book or series you were late to reading 

Anne of Green Gables series
by L.M. Montgomery 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: Anne of Green Gables
Published: 1908
Rating: Everyone else is doing it

“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven't you?” 

I actually still have to read this.  Whaaaaat?

Tonight is Hamilton!

Signature www.onemorestamp.com

Hamilton Takeover: Book Review: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow cover

Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow
Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Series: no
Published: April 26th 2004
Rating: history has it's eyes on you

Much like everyone else on the planet I read this book because of the musical Hamilton.  Raise a glass if you have spent the last two years or so obsessed with it? Yeah, me too. Dense historical biographies aren't usually my thing. Which is weird; because when I do read them, I generally like them.

I false started this book a couple of times over the last few years.  I would start it, get interested, then get distracted.  It is a 750-page book that is incredibly detailed.  You have to make a commitment to reading it. I finally restarted it as an audiobook about three weeks ago, and that seems to have done the trick. I have about an hour in the bus to work each day. For a book that is this intensely detailed and exhaustive it is fast paced, entertaining, and engrossing.

First of all, the book in incredibly well researched. Ron Chernow was not phoning it in by any means. The book chronicles Hamilton's entire life. Which incidentally, were dramatic from birth to death and almost every moment in between. The sheer amount of primary source material that he must have waded through is mind boggling.  He shares theories, rumors, anecdotes, and either backs them up or disproves them with research. There is a surprising amount of gossip about Hamilton. A lot had to be cleared up. 

Most importantly, Alexander Hamilton himself comes across as a real human.  He was pessimistic about human nature, insanely driven, and never really knew when to let things go. He was a genius in many ways who also made terrible decisions. Reading this book made me recognize what a remarkable talent he was while at the same time being glad that I wasn't married to him. Even being friends with him was probably exhausting. Hamilton, in this book, is likable, and I was invested in his story, but I did want to sit down with him more than once and have an intervention. He had people who were against him, but he was his own worst enemy. It would be interesting to read a book about Adams or Jefferson to see how he looks from that perspective.

At a time when Jefferson and Madison celebrated legislative power as the purest expression of the popular will, Hamilton argued for a dynamic executive branch and an independent judiciary, along with a professional military, a central bank, and an advanced financial system. Today, we are indisputably the heirs to Hamilton’s America, and to repudiate his legacy is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.

We have such a strange rosy view of the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers.  We forget that they were human.  Washington was a bore, Adams was unstable, Jefferson was was manipulative, and Hamilton was egotistical. They had contradictions. Slaveholders espoused the rhetoric of freedom. Immigrants went on anti-immigrant tirades. Credit was sometimes taken when it wasn't due. And yet, they masterminded the world first successful colonial revolution, peaceful transfer of power, and created a system that while it isn't perfect by any means certainly strives for it.

I am going to tell you what you really want to know: While reading the book can you match up songs with the chapters? Yes, yes you can.  For extra fun, add in the John Adam rap from the mixtape. If you are a fan of the musical, the American Revolution, finance, or in the story of a fascinating character this book is well worth the investment in time to read.

From Goodreads:

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”

Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.

Hamilton Takeover: Book Review: Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz cover

Alex & Eliza
by Melissa de la Cruz
Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: April 11th 2017
Rating: Could have been better

I meant does it hurt when you hide every last shred of your individuality and self worth behind acres of silk and cups of powder and smiles that never, no matter how hard you try, reach your eyes?

I wouldn't say that this book disappointed me.  I didn't have high hopes for it.  But Melissa de la Cruz is a legit author, so there was potential.  But much like Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book, Alex & Eliza has proven that writing about well-known and (at least to me) beloved characters and storylines are sadly not as automatic a home run as you might think. 

I would hazard a guess that if one has chosen this book, you are familiar with and enjoy the musical, Hamilton. Just to be clear this is not a book about that version of Alexander and Eliza Hamilton. This isn't a rip off of the musical.  It does feel as if it is an attempt to cash in on the musical's popularity. On the plus side, it is full of Hamilton references. If you are hugely into the musical, it was fun to come across them while reading.  

It is also not a novelization that adheres to the real character of the Hamiltons. Maybe it is the fact that I finally finished reading the Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton this week that has made me overly critical.  However, there was a lot about colonial life, and especially colonial life as a woman that was not explained at all or the reality just did not exist. Sometimes, in historical fiction this is acceptable but when the main characters were real people I expect a certain amount of historical detail and accuracy. It isn't as if there is a lack of research material.

I think that the book would have been more effective to have the YA romance be about two separate but Hamilton family adjacent characters.  A YA romance-y Johnny Tremaine type thing. It would have satisfied my need for all things Hamilton but also avoided me picking it apart because it did not adhere to my vision.  Seriously, change a few names, and it would have been ready to go. Why do people not run these things by me so I can give my input? 

One of my main gripes about this book (aside from my suspicions of it being a cash cow job) is that Melissa de la Cruz are the female relationships in this book.  So many things are ripped off from the play that it saddens me that the sister relationship was not fully developed in this book. But there are many irritating YA tropes to be found:
1: pretty but doesn't know it
2. not like "other girls."
3. she is SOOO smart
4. but modest
5. and selfless
6. but feisty! "Let's be mean and sassy for no reason."
7. nonconformist but also a daddies girl
8. hate to love- but like for no real reason?
9. big misunderstanding

So, you might like this if you are a huge fan of either the musical or the Treasury Secretary himself as well as romance you might enjoy this book. If you are looking for a dense historical novel about the American Revolution or the Hamiltons, it would be best to avoid this. I found it disappointing and in the end utterly tedious. 

From Goodreads:

blurbTheir romance shaped a nation. The rest was history.

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.