Monday, 28 September 2015

Review: Madly by Amy Alward

by Amy Alward
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 29th, 2015
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
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.

*Note: Review might contain spoilers for those who have not read the book*

I can easily recall the exact moment I first learned of Madly by Amy Alward. I was full of gelato and organizing goodies for Book Blog Ontario. I took one look at the cover and had to know what it was about. As I flipped to the back and read the synopsis, I was instantly sold.

"Strange. She'd always expected a love potion to be red, not blue." 

A tale of a poisoned princess, crazy magical mayhem, and a laborious search for the cure. Madly by Amy Alward follows the narrative mind of one Samantha Kemi, a young girl who comes from a long line of old-school alchemists. When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion intended for her handsome crush, all alchemists are called to the palace through Audun's Horn for the Wilde Hunt - a treacherous and time consuming search for the cure.  Samantha, against her family's wishes, enter's the hunt in hopes of finding the cure and regaining her family's once respected reputation.

Social media, television broadcasts, magic, and a fairytale-esque world setting - Madly by Amy Alward simply begged to be read. Sam Kemi was an engaging and responsive character. As an average girl with amazing talents, I thoroughly enjoyed reading her narrative. Learning about her family's history was wonderful, and learning of Samantha's past with other characters proved to be quite revealing of her personality. The alchemy aspect of the tale, although quite refreshing, paused me on several instances. In fact, it's one of the reasons why I set Madly down more than once before finishing it. As enticing as the idea of alchemy was, I found myself forgetting a lot of the terminology and the rules of the hunt.

Despite hitting a few bumps here and there, I'm pleased to say that finishing Madly was well worth it. The character's were excellent and the race to the cure completely thrilling. I'm curious to see where book two in Amy's Potion series leads it's readers.

Madly by Amy Alward was a quick and fun read that satisfied the fantasy lover in me. Teens with a passion for everything magical are sure to enjoy Amy's latest.

3 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accepted in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.


  1. Wendy do you plan on reading the second book? I didn't know Madly was part of a series until you mentioned it and I agree that the premise sounds unique and fun.

    1. I certainly plan to read/review it here on A Cupcake and a Latte =D

  2. Thank you for the review
    I plan on buying my own copy tomorrow.

  3. Great review, Wendy (:

  4. Hadn't heard of Madly before today's review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. ps I love your cupcake rating and logo.

  5. personally haven't read many ya books on alchemy
    thanks for reviewing