Hey all, Dani here.
Happy Independence Day to the USA. I hope you are all enjoying your time with your families, out barbecuing and such, and I hope that your fireworks tonight are spectacular.
I figured today would be a good day for me to just gush about my love and obsession for the Broadway musical Hamilton. So this post will be in three parts: a review of the soundtrack, a review of the Hamiltome, and then I’ll wrap up with the Hamilton Book Tag. Whew! That’s a lot to get through, so we had better get started.
Hamilton – Soundtrack review
I CAN’T STOP LISTENING TO THIS SOUNDTRACK! Seriously, I have been listening to it almost non-stop since I purchased it just over a month ago. The lyrics, the music, the beats and rhythms, everything is just amazing. Every time I listen to a song I learn more of the lyrics and I’m getting close to having the whole soundtrack memorized.
Some of my favorite tracks include: “My Shot”, “Right Hand Man”, “Satisfied”, “Guns and Ships”, “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)”, “Non-Stop”, both Cabinet Battles, “Burn”, and “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story”.
It’s just a beautifully put together concept and the performances are fabulous. I so wish that I could see it with the original cast but a couple have left already and some more are leaving soon, like Lin-Manuel Miranda. I guess I’ll just have to keep hoping that they’ll eventually release the show the recorded recently.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still keep trying to get tickets to see Hamilton, because I really want to see it live and in person, but I’ve grown attached to the performances of the original cast.
Hamilton: The Revolution, a review of the Hamiltome
This book is just stunning to look at. I love the feel of the cover and the pages. It is put together perfectly. And it’s basically like three books in one. You get behind the scenes information about how it all came together and about the research, the writing, the casting, and the rehearsing, which is all just really interesting. Then you get the actual libretto of the musical, all the lyrics for the songs as well as Lin-Manuel’s commentary throughout. The book also includes the lyrics for a song that was not recorded for the soundtrack, because it was decided to make that a special bonus for those who see the musical or who read the Hamiltome. And finally, the book is filled with behind-the-scenes photos, which just make the whole thing stunning to look at.
I loved all the little bonus details that helped to bring the show to life. For example, in the song “What’d I Miss” there is a moment where James Madison is asking Thomas Jefferson where’s he been and Jefferson goes “uh…France?” and from reading the Hamiltome I learned that that line was actually completely improvised by Daveed Diggs, who plays Jefferson and Lin-Manuel Miranda decided to keep it in because it was clever, funny, and fit in with the musical.
The Hamiltome also tells of some of the twisting of historical facts and events that Lin-Manuel Miranda did for the musical because it needed to fit a certain timeline or tone, or to make a point. As an example, the second song of the first act is “Aaron Burr, Sir” but according to history Burr and Hamilton probably never interacted that early in the timeline. Still, the song and the scene introduced us to the characters of Burr and Hamilton and showed how different their personalities were, as well as setting up the conflict between them that would continue through the musical.
Also, in “Satisfied” Angelica Schuyler comments about how her father has no sons so she has to be the one to climb the social ladder. In reality Phillip Schuyler did have sons, and many more children than just the three in the musical. Also. historically speaking Angelica was already married before Alexander Hamilton came into the picture, but building up that potential romantic tension made it worth the few tweaks.
So, no, Hamilton is not completely historically accurate, but it is still a fascinating concept and so well put together. I absolutely loved reading this book, and am not at all ashamed to say that I teared up a few times at some of the behind-the-scenes tales.
Seriously, if you are a fan of Hamilton and haven’t yet picked up a copy of this yet, go out and get it as soon as you can. It is so worth the cost. Plus, as I said before, the book itself is just gorgeous to look at.
Hamilton Book Tag
I believe this tag was originally started by Maureen Keavy over on BookTube (aka YouTube), so I definitely can’t take the credit for coming up with this. Still, I thought it would be fun.
1. The Room Where It Happens (a book world you’d put yourself into)
For this I think I’m going to go with the Ree Reyes series by Michael R Underwood (Geekomancy, Celebromancy, Attack the Geek, and Hexomancy), but I’d only want to be a part of the world if I could legitimately be a part of it, as a geekomancer or possibly if there is a version that specializes in books…would those be bibliomancers? It’s just a fun and geeky pop-culture filled adventure of awesome, so I highly recommend this series.
2. The Schuyler Sisters (book with an underrated female character)
I think for this one I’m going to pick a book with a female protagonist that I think more people should read, and that is Borderline by Mishell Baker. For goodness sake, Millie is a double amputee and struggles with mental health issues. She feels very real and while having certain foibles and such, she still manages to be kickass and more competent than some might think possible of her. It’s wonderful and I’m really looking forward to the second book.
3. My Shot (a character that goes after what they want and doesn’t let anyone stop them)
Man, this wasn’t the easiest category for me, but I think I’m going to pick Adelaide from The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead. She wants to escape an arranged marriage so she finds a way to do it, and then when she discovers a friend in need, she finds a way to help with that as well. And even when things start to go wrong and it seems like everything is hopeless, Adelaide still finds a way to persevere and succeed.
4. Burn (most heartbreaking end to a relationship)
I’m not picking a romantic relationship for this one. Instead I’m going to select Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. It is a fantastic tale of friendship and as the story unfolds I couldn’t help but cry at all the events. Just go read it. I should probably reread this book soon.
5. You’ll Be Back (sassiest villain)
With this tag I am trying to pick books or series that I’ve read in the past couple years, so this sometimes makes selections difficult. But, you know what, I’m halfway going to cheat on this one. I read Hamilton: the Revolution recently AKA the Hamiltome, and I’m sorry, but King George II is just sassy fun.
Other possible options: Manon from the Throne of Glass series, and Sebastian from The Mortal Instruments series. After all, definitions of sassy include: smartly bold, impertinent, saucy, and insolent. I think that fits those two fairly well, don’t you?
6. The Reynolds Pamphlet (book with a twist you didn’t see coming)
I’m going to pick Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo here, but just because it was a action-filled adventure with a number of setbacks, roadblocks, and twists. It left me desperate for the next book.
7. Non-Stop (a series you marathoned)
The last series I marathoned was Percy Jackson and the Olympians followed by the Heroes of Olympus, and then I read Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer and The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle. It had been so long since I had read these books, and I hadn’t actually finished HoO, having only read The Lost Hero, so it was time to finish them and catch up. I couldn’t stop reading.
8. Satisfied (favorite book with multiple POVs)
When it comes to favorite book(s) with multiple POVs, I have to go with an epic fantasy type series…so I could pick the Falling Kingdoms series, or A Song of Ice and Fire, or the Wheel of Time series, or basically anything by Brandon Sanderson. Because of the large scope of these stories it is necessary to have multiple POVs so the reader can experience more of the world and understand everything better.
9. Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story (a book or series that will be remembered throughout history)
I really wanted to try and pick something other than the obvious, but I’m sorry, is there any answer other than the Harry Potter series that is a legitimate answer.
10. Stay Alive (a character you wish was still alive)
Okay…if you haven’t read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, specifically the first book, Mistborn: The Final Empire then SPOILERS AHEAD.
Seriously, if I could bring back a character or keep them from dying, my choice would be Kelsier. I have been trying to read the second book, The Well of Ascension for months now and it is just not the same without his awesomeness in the world.