ARC Review: The Potion Diaries (The Potion Trilogy #1) by Amy Alward


The Potion Diaries
Series: The Potion Trilogy #1
Author: Amy Alward
Published July 2nd 2015 by Simon & Schuster UK

Goodreads Synopsis
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.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

Before looking at NetGalley, I hadn't heard much about this book, but both the cover and synopsis drew me in, and I had to request it ASAP. This book was really different to what I'd expected, but in a good way.

The Potion Diaries (also published as Madly in America), recounts in dual POV the stories of Princess Evelyn and the alchemist apprentice Samantha Kemi as their stories intertwine to save the princess's life. As said in the synopsis, Evelyn accidentally takes her own love potion, meant for someone else, and manages to fall in love with herself. Due to the instability of her magic, the whole kingdom rests on a cure, and Sam is one of the alchemists tasked with finding said cure. Through the two POV's, we get to know both ends of the story, from the search for the ingredients and recipe through Sam, and how Evelyn is coping being in love with herself - though she doesn't realise that Lynn is actually just her reflection.

Out of the two POV's, Sam's was definitely my favourite. I really enjoyed getting to know her character, and I feel like she definitely grew throughout the story. Though she had definite feelings for Zain - a character I also really liked - she didn't let that get in the way of the task at hand - saving Evelyn. Zain and Sam's relationship was really cute, and I hope to see more in the next books. Both Zain and Evelyn were also really good characters, even with Evelyn a bit crazy in love with herself.

The different places travelled in this book were all really unique, and enjoyable. I loved how the magic elements, and alchemy details, were included in the dialogue, especially the little descriptions of what each ingredient can be used for. I can't to see more of this in subsequent books.

Overall, this book was a really wonderful twist of the modern world and old magic/alchemy, and I really enjoyed it. I definitely can't wait to get my hands on the second book, and would recommend this as a wonderful UKYA debut!

Dates Read:
June 2 to 4, 2015

4 Stars

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  1. This sounds different and cutesy, I'm definitely curious about it! I just fear it will turn into a triangle. :P
    Thank you for your review! I'm glad you had fun with it. :)

    1. Thanks, Danielle. I don't really see it turning int much of a love triangle, unless someone new is introduced to cause one. I hope you check it out, and I can't wait to see your review either :)

  2. Yay! Happy to hear good things about this one. I won a copy on Goodreads and am waiting for it to arrive. I really hope I enjoy it, I need a fun read at the minute.

    1. I hope you enjoy it too. It was really cool to see the mix of modern and traditional elements, and it was quite a fast read :)