Thursday, December 10, 2015

Review: Madly (Potion #1) by Amy Alward

Madly by Amy AlwardMadly
(Potion #1)
by Amy Alward
September 29, 2015
384 pages

Goodreads 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.


Madly is an enchanting adventurous read~ When I first read the synopsis I was all kinds of confused (read it above and see for yourself). My first thought was, how would this work? Let me tell you something, it worked. The modernized setting with royalty and potion-making gave this story punches and kicks.

Wow did we ever get an adventure out of this book! It didn't take me long to click with the world and once it did, I had a fun time learning about how this curious world functioned. The power of the royal family stabilizes the magic in Nova. When Princess Evelyn unintentionally poisons herself, that peace is threatened. Alchemists were called upon to serve the crown in a race. Referred to as a Wilde Hunt, its goal is to produce a potion cure for the ailing royal family member. As the contestants race against time to procure precious ingredients, they find themselves visiting a range of dangerous places and running into an assortment of strange creatures. All of this done while under the ever-watchful eye of the media.

Sam is proud of her lineage. She comes from a long line of well-respected alchemists and she wants nothing more than to be deserving of her family name.
She's naturally gifted but still works hard to perfect her skills. Wanting what's best for her family, she enters the race. I loved her ability to rattle off the usage of an ingredient when she sees it. She's calm and collected when needed be but she's also just a girl. The support of her family and friends, them having her back, really made a difference.

The romance with Zain was cute but felt somewhat flat to me.  Sam was cautious around him seeing as he's her rival yet she couldn't stop her brain from conjuring up thoughts about him. They didn't really have enough interaction and I thought she too easily forgave him for his little performance. He had to know she would see and be hurt by it. I do like the balance in their relationship. Zain wasn't a hero waiting to rescue the fair maiden from danger because Sam is no damsel in distress. She's her own heroine (with an able and dashing guy by her side).

Princess Evelyn's chapters were so unique. They're a tinsy bit disturbing but so fascinating. A one-of-a-kind perspective I find so well-written. Those chapters allowed us to peek inside her mind and see just what kind of destruction is happening. It fully displayed the gravity and seriousness of the situation at hand. I felt the urgency to cure her.

I'm not surprised that this is a series. Despite its odd modern setting, I immensely enjoyed how the magical elements were incorporated. I'm itching to mix a little potion myself ;) S
ign me up for the rest of this fun world!

4 Cats
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


  1. This sounds super intriguing! I'm really curious to see how the fantasy setting and social media go together. That's sad the romance was flat though. Boo on that. :P

    1. I've got my fingers crossed that the romance will be work out better in the next book :D

  2. Wow, this sounds great. I love that Sam isn't a damsel in distress.

  3. I agree that the synopsis is a bit confusing, and I was confused when I started reading it in the summer. Over here, it's published under the title The Potion Diaries, and I'm glad I persevered because I really enjoyed it.

    I enjoyed the romance, but hope that it gets ramped up in book 2, because I need more of it too.
    Great review!

    Sophie @ Sophie Reads YA

    1. I've seen the UK copy and it's so cute I love it!

      I definitely agree that we could use more romance ;)

  4. I'm glad that this worked out well for you. I was kind of iffy about reading this at first too based on the synopsis. Have a great week! :)

    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG
    ARC Review: This Raging Light || GIVEAWAY: Hardcover of Faking Normal by Courtney Stevens


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