Review: The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward

23344222 Title: The Potion Diaries
Author: Amy Alward
Published: July 2nd 2015 by Simon & Schuster UK
read in: August 2016
Series: Potion #1

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fantasy • romance • teen

“Magic is part of our atmosphere, the air we live and breathe.”

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 traveling 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.


This is probably one utterly disappointing book. I found out about a book because it was mention in a youtube channel that the premise seemed to be intriguing at that time. Well, well, premise got me fooled.

The story is about a princess who drank a love potion and fall in love with herself was really promising for me. I imagined the princess would became an egoistical self-centered narcissistic kind of princess, but no no no the author chose to make her fall in love with her reflection in a mirror, and go ballistic to be separated from it. This is weird because she was in love in a way that her reflection is a person. . err. . what?  I know this is more of a middle grade read, but it didn’t mean that falling in love need to be that literal.

Another big flawed in this story was about the ingredients. Was it just me or the hunt for the cure of the princess’ condition was based entirely on instincts? Did I miss a page where the ingredients were mentioned earlier in the first couple pages? It was rather confusing because the ideas of each ingredient just appeared out of nowhere. I felt like the author didn’t put much work on making the story a bit mysterious. That goes to the world building as well. The world was poorly described and at certain times gave me confusion about the setting and the beasts and the mermaids and so many things that was going on in different places.

The characters were okay (beside the princess, of course.). It wasn’t my favorite, but for middle-grade reader, I’m not complaining much. I mean the characters were probably the least of my problem in this book.


The main problem goes to the romance. The romance was another level of confusion and instantly plotted. Like the ingredients, the romance was written without any thought of involving the reader. The instant love was so annoying and poorly felt realistic from the moment it started until the end of the book.

Turns out it doesn’t take much to perk someone up – but to make them fall deeply in love? Now that’s a bit more complicated.

(Is it? This book proves that to be wrong of course!)

As for the conclusion, I would say that without expecting much this book would become a quite enjoyable read to certain people. It was pretty light and fast read since it was meant for middle grade reader, so I would recommend this if you need something to kill some free time. As for the rest of the series, I wasn’t sure if I’m going to continue reading, I hope if I do there will be more upgrade on what lacked on the first installment.




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