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(Potion #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,692 ratings  ·  670 reviews
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 ordina
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published July 2nd 2015)
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Amy Alward Hello! The book is called The Potion Diaries in the UK and British Commonwealth, but Madly in the US and Canada. Otherwise it is exactly the same book…moreHello! The book is called The Potion Diaries in the UK and British Commonwealth, but Madly in the US and Canada. Otherwise it is exactly the same book :) It might be that the book will be known as 'The Potion Diaries' everywhere later on this year, but that is still to be confirmed.
Hope that helps - I know having two names for the same book can be confusing.
Amy Alward Absolutely! My publisher would describe The Potion Diaries as "clean teen" as there is no graphic content.
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Showing 1-30
3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,692 ratings  ·  670 reviews

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joey (thoughts and afterthoughts)
[See the full review at thoughts and afterthoughts.]

Rating: 2.25/5
Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:
Six cups of an adventure around the world similar to The Amazing Race (a quick read with good pacing)
Three vials of fantasy with a dash of modern flare (the world-building leans on contemporary technology, alchemy, magic, and fantastical beasts but is underdeveloped)
One special snowflake and one broody heir to a conglomerate (a romance of instalove)
A teaspoon o
Fafa's Book Corner
Sep 30, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marta Álvarez
Esperaba algo más de esta novela. No es tan ni original ni tan "divertida" como auguraba la sinopsis (al menos para mí). Pero de todas formas ha sido una lectura entretenida, con aventuras y mucho ritmo. Me ha dado la sensación de que en general pretende un tono de humor que se queda en una narrativa bastante naif.
Yet another book that was super close to 5 stars, but just not quite at that level.

This was such a fun read!! It was set in modern times but with some fairytale aspects tossed in and it just made this whole world so enjoyable. Unicorns, abominables, mermaids, and potion making, doesn't get much better than that.

I actually really enjoyed Sam as the main character. At a few points she irritated me, but that's completely normal with any character that doesn't react to something the way I would. I w
Sam is an Ordinary Alchemist who lives with her parents, little sister and grandpa in their family's shop. She has the talent to mix potions but is not a Talented like her little sister. When the Princess of Nova ends up giving herself a love potion accidentally it's up to her and her family to save her. Her biggest competition is her hottie classmate Zain and his father's synth company. Will she get to prove her Ordinary skills are up to par or will she fail herself and her family?

Set in modern
Patry Fernandez
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: año-2016
Reseña completa ->

Un libro divertido, lleno de magia y aventuras donde nuestra protagonista con la ayuda de sus amigos deberá ir en busca de los ingredientes para crear una poción y así poder salvar a la princesa Evelyn.
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
The Potion Diaries was a lovely mix of fantasy, adventure that reads more as a mature middle grade, than young adult series. It follows the story of Sam, apprentice alchemist who lives in the family owned potion store. The Hunt offers Sam a chance for the Kemi Potion Shop to be financially viable once more, provided she finds the cure first. A fantasy modern day setting, it was lighthearted and fun, but the characters seemed far younger than they claimed.
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Find the original review here at This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

Now here's the thing, Madly turned out to be a really good time. I'm really not sure what I was expecting. I just remember reading something about a kingdom and a love potion and thought to myself I should request this book from the publisher. And I'm really glad I did. Madly was the perfect read at the perfect time. I needed something quick and fun and it so happened that Madly checked those things off easily.

Samantha's fam
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Not amazing or anything, but it was light and magical, and I think that was just what I needed.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
4.25 stars. I really enjoyed this novel! It's a little more on the lighter side of fantasy, just so you know. Part adventure and part puzzle, it was fun to try and put things together right alongside Samantha. While I do feel like the characters could have done with a touch more development (and I still don't understand my attraction to Zain), overall, I thought this was a really fun read.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence - Check it out for more reviews!

Combining alchemy, magical creatures, adventure, royalty and a sprinkle of romance, The Potion Diaries was incredibly fun, fast paced and engaging. Samantha Kemi embarks on a quest to find the rare and mysterious parts of a love potion to save the nation’s Princess, which takes her to some dangerous and wonderful locations. She encounters an Abominable Snowman, an Aphrodite mermaid, exotic plants and even a unicorn, in her
Rachel Gunter
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of The Potion Diaries from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward is a great fantasy story about a Princess who brews a love potion but accidentally falls in love with herself - which turns out to be a lot more dangerous than you would expect. So this big Hunt is organised where the leading potion makers sign up to compete to find the cure first. Samantha Kemi is her Master potion maker Granddad's apprentice and puts herself and
Jul 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
3.5 Stars for a really cute story!
I'd seen this under the US title, "Madly," but I didn't realize it was coming out here in the UK yesterday, so when I saw it in Waterstones this morning, I grabbed it immediately. Then I sat down inside the Waterstones and proceeded to read it all. In one sitting. It's so quick and cute, I just did not want to put it down.


-super awesome world. I liked how it was basically just the modern, everyday world, just laced with magic. There's still phones and emai
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Нелепая случайность, и вместо того, чтобы влюбить в себя кавалера, принцесса Эвелин сама выпивает зелье и влюбляется... в собственное отражение.
Мрак и ужас, учитывая, что члены королевской семьи - сильнейшие маги, и потому сдерживают, не используют свои силы. А Эвелин создала зелье сама. Из натуральных ингредиентов, в то время как на дворе двадцать первый век, и все пользуются синтетикой. В общем, вывести противоядие не так-то просто.

В тот же миг просыпается древний рог и призывает всех на Охо
May 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars
Reseña completa en el blog:

Me esperaba más, mucho más.
El libro ha sido más juvenil/infantil de lo que esperaba y la idea "divertida y original" no lo ha sido tanto. La historia y personajes siguen el camino de los tópicos de los libros de aventuras juveniles/infantiles con el plus de las pociones.
La verdad es que me ha decepcionado un poquito, es una historia ligera y entretenida pero no ha dejado ningún tipo de huella en mi y pienso que la idea se podrí
Catherine Doyle
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. It was fun and unique and incredibly readable. Absolutely loved the Princess Evelyn parts.
May 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc

Fantasy seems to be all the rage lately - it's the new dystopia. So there was no doubt that I was looking forward to reading Amy Alward's Madly. What drew me into the book, however, was the cover (obviously!), but also the synopsis. It sounded like it would be different from all the other YA fantasy books I've read because it seemed to be more on the funny side. Madly ended up being exactly that and it turned out to be a very entertaining read.

The basis of the plot in Madly was pretty simpl
I've read my fair share of what I want to call "dark fantasy". You know the books set in realms where everything is kind of like the medieval ages? People travel by horse, everyone is a peasant or a farmer, the royalty is corrupt, assassins run rampant - if they aren't our protagonists - and there is a need for some sort of rebellion. Its fantastic but also kind of depressing. No one seems happy within those realms. The Potion Diaries, however, was fantastically light-hearted, almost whimsical, ...more
Also reviewed on Sophie Reads YA

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This is no way impacted in 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
Tanja Voosen
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Zu Beginn hatten ich und das Buch eine prima Chemie! Ich dachte: hier kann gar nichts mehr schiefgehen. Aber ich je weiter ich gelesen habe, umso absurder fand ich den Plot und diese blöde instant Liebesgeschichte hat allem noch eins oben drauf gesetzt. Aber zum Anfang: die Autorin hat hier eine sehr coole und absolut tolle Idee richtig gut umgesetzt. Es geht nämlich um eine Welt, in der Magie normal ist und die Protagonistin in dem Laden ihrer Familie arbeitet, welche als Alchemisten Zauberträn ...more
Jaime (Two Chicks on Books)
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Such a cute book!This is exactly what I need after reading something heavy. This was fun and cute and a fast read! I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series :)
Excellente lecture que celle-ci.
Le résumé m'a directement plu : l'histoire d'une princesse qui s'empoisonne avec un filtre d'amour destiné à son meilleur ami, pour le rendre amoureux d'elle. Un monde où la magie a une place importance, où The Hunt va être lancée pour permettre aux alchimistes du pays de trouver le remède qui sauvera la princesse.
Samantha Kemi est l'apprentie alchimiste de son grand-père, issue d'une longue lignée d'alchimistes qui avaient autrefois les faveurs de la famille roya
Alessandra Crivelli


The Potion Diaries tells the story of Princess Evelyn who mistakenly poisoned herself with a love potion and fell in love with her reflection on the mirror.
And until her it wasn't a bad plot...
But then it starts the HUNGER GAMES OF BORINGNESS: the entire book is about the alchemists searching of the ingredients for the antidote. I mean THE ENTIRE BOOK!

It was so boring for me... The only character that I care about (a bit) was Zayn.
But everything i
Chapter by Chapter
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
All it took was reading Madly’s opening scene to become head-over-heels excited to read this novel. A story with magic, competition, and a love spell gone wrong? It sounded totally like my cup of tea. I can say that after having already finished this novel, Madly is the type of novel that many readers entering the realm of YA will absolutely adore. It’s a light-hearted, amusing read that kept me guessing until the very end.

Set in a world where magic is a common part of modern life, protagonist S
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decir que me ha gustado seria decir poco; el mundo que ha creado la autora es fascinante, un mundo nuevo donde la magia, las criaturas mitológicas y las nuevas tecnologías se suman en una novela que atrapa y engancha de una manera increíble. La acción es constante y la competición por conseguir los ingredientes para curar a la princesa me han mantenido en vilo.
Un libro que recomiendo completamente, no tiene desperdicio.
Pronto reseña completa en el blog.
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
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
Jaye Berry
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, fantasy, cover-love
Madly begins with the Princess of Nova accidentally using a love potion she made on herself, falling deeply in love with her own reflection. To save the princess, the kingdom begins the age-old tradition of the Wilde Hunt: alchemists nationwide compete to make the cure and whoever wins gets fame and fortune. Samantha Kemi is from a long-line of potion makers who have fallen on hard times. She has no magic but she has an amazing talent at it and winning the hunt would save her family's business. ...more
Veronica Morfi
Solid 3 star read. It was well-written and the story was somewhat enjoyable, but I expected more. More humour (which was non existent), more emotion (I did not feel any connection to the characters and the Kemi family didn't feel like a real family) and maybe a bit more action (there were a lot of adventures that Kirsty and Sam went on to find ingredients but for some reason the action had no suspense).

So I am now back in my search for the perfect summer read.
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J’ai beaucoup aimé cette lecture, j’ai été séduite par le mélange entre la magie et la modernité, ce qui en fait un univers vraiment accrocheur et entraînant. J’ai eu un peu de mal avec les aspects jeunesse de ce livre (il y a quelques clichés ou quelques facilités…) mais c’était finalement moins jeunesse que je le pensais ! Surtout, ça ne m’a pas empêchée d’apprécier l’histoire et le développement. Il y a beaucoup d’action, de rebondissements, et si la fin est un peu rapide et facile à mon goût ...more
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Amy Alward is a 30-something Chinese-White author, born in the UK and raised in Canada, currently based in London, UK. In 2013, she was listed as one of The Bookseller's Rising Stars. Her debut fantasy adventure novel, The Oathbreaker's Shadow, was published in 2013 under the name Amy McCulloch and was longlisted for the 2014 Branford Boase Award for best UK debut children's book. Her first book w ...more

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Potion (4 books)
  • Royal Tour (Potion, #2)
  • Going Viral (Potion, #3)
  • Untitled (Potion, #4)
“There's no mistaking what kind of potion I need. Caffeine - for alertness and rejuvenation.” 8 likes
“There are some things that are just as strong - no - stronger than love potions you know. Like real feelings.” 3 likes
More quotes…