Review: Madly (Potion, #1) by Amy Alward

Madly (Potion, #1) by Amy Alward
Publication date: Sept. 29, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult - Fantasy
Source: Gift from DJ (Thanks!)
Summary: When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in love with her own reflection. Oops. A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors travelling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn. Enter Samantha Kemi - an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Sam's family were once the most respected alchemists in the kingdom, but they've fallen on hard times, and winning the hunt would save their reputation. But can Sam really compete with the dazzling powers of the ZoroAster megapharma company? Just how close is Sam willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing former classmate and enemy, in the meantime? And just to add to the pressure, this quest is ALL OVER social media. And the world news. No big deal, then. (

The good
I’ll be honest, my decision to read Madly was based mostly on the fact that Sarah J. Maas blurbed it. (Don’t judge, guys.) Still, I knew I could trust my favorite author because her words were totally on point — this book was fun! It’s an enjoyable mix of being magical and contemporary and just flat-out creative. The world is aware of magic and while some people are innately talented with abilities, others like Samantha Kemi are ordinary people who become alchemists. Or in Sam’s case, an extraordinary alchemist who can mix ingredients to create powerful potions.

Her story begins when the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion. It was meant for her childhood best friend and crush but she somehow manages to take it herself. And who does she fall in love with? Her own reflection! Since she’s the heir to the throne, all hell breaks loose and her parents, the King and Queen, call upon the most respected alchemists in the kingdom to join the hunt. The hunt is basically a contest to find the cure, which has only the most rarest of ingredients in the most dangerous of places (naturally!) and furthermore, is televised across all media for the world to follow. When Sam’s family is called to join the hunt, her grandfather, who acts as her mentor, wants no part of it. But Sam sees this as an opportunity to help her family and can’t pass it up. She signs up and what ensues is one serious race to the finish. And through it all, we see how smart and resourceful Sam is. Her determination to do the right thing and her will to prove herself make her a compelling heroine and someone you just want to root for. I know I was cheering for her more and more with every passing page. And even with all the competition — like her own friends, Zain Aster (her biggest competitor and of course, hot guy she’s totally attracted to) and a crazy lady — she continued to push forward.

But ultimately, I think what impressed me most was the author’s story and writing. The world-building was solid. The pacing never faltered. The characters were interesting and there was a good balance of action, romance and family. It’s just a fun, clever book and I’m looking forward to more from Amy Alward.

(No) Reservations
None! I can’t wait for book 2!

Do I recommend?
I do! This is Amy Alward’s debut novel and it’s a great start to this series. I have no idea what’s next in the Potions series but I want to find out.

1 comment

  1. So I obviously need to prioritize reading Madly now! I meant to read it last month, but time got away from me. I definitely want to try to get to it before this year ends though, because it sounds great!


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