The Potion Diaries Book 1 Review by Amy Alward
Guys, I really want to start doing book reviews here. I love reading, although I must admit that I need to do it more often. College destroyed my reading habits. However, I’m doing a huge effort to pick it back up. You can read more about how to start reading again here in this post. It’s about how people seem to have lost the ability to read and what to do if you want to be a writer in this world. Today, I’ll write about a lovely book: The Potion Diaries Book 1 Review.
All right, let’s start with the book review.
This is the original book description from Amazon:
“Samantha may be falling for the beloved of the princess she is sent to save in this start to a “charming and humorous” (Kirkus Reviews) romantic trilogy.
“Inventive, romantic, and downright delightful.” —Sarah J. Mass, author of Throne of Glass
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? And just how close is she willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing enemy, in the meantime.
Just to add to the pressure, this quest is ALL OVER social media. And the world news.
No big deal, then.”
And this is the cover:
My opinion on the book. Is it worth reading?
You guys, I loved this book!
I would give it 4,5/5 stars.
I had no expectations at all. I just picked it up because I couldn’t find anything else on Kindle Unlimited.
- I don’t like romance;
- You know me, I hate clichés more than anything;
- This sounded like a BIG cliché romance story with an overpowered main character.
The Potion Diaries Book 1 Review: Main Character
Samantha, the main character, is smart and a true businesswoman. She practically runs her family’s alchemy store. She is passionate about science, and alchemy, and she is very determined. She is THOUGHTFUL! This is something that we practically can’t find in teen characters. They usually don’t think about anything else besides themselves and their wishes.
Samantha is well-developed. She is not just that cliché teenager character who usually is unpolite, stupid, angry, and only thinks about her crush. Sam is a real girl! I saw myself on her. This was one of the best parts of the book. She was so nice and felt so real. She truly has layers to her personality. Besides, it’s very hard to write a self-proclaimed “intelligent” character. She won’t be intelligent just because you, the writer, said she was. You really have to show HOW she is intelligent, instead of just telling the readers. Amy can totally do it. Sam shows her personality all the time.
I thought I would hate the fact that she had a crush. Usually, the characters lose all their personalities next to their crushes and become just bland, “in love”. Sorry, but can’t handle that.
She became a bit silly and all, as we do in real life. But she kept her focus on her main goal instead of throwing it all away for her crush. This was different from other romances that I read.
I also loved how much she cares about her career and her business. She really thinks like a boss, being smart, looking for solutions and technology. Being a businesswoman myself, I was so happy to identify with a character like that. Like I said, usually, teenagers are just plain stupid and don’t think strategically. She wasn’t!
The Potion Diaries Book 1 Review: Other Characters
The other thing that I LOVED was her family!
She has a family!
YES, SHE IS NOT AN ORPHAN!!!
EVERY Young Adult out there seems to have an orphan at some point. Or, on the other hand, the parents are always mean or never show up. Never care about anything or their children’s well-being.
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE IN HERE!
I’m almost shouting because this is SO SPECIAL TO ME! It’s SO RARE to see a well-developed family in Young Adult.
The parents are thoughtful like Sam. They have personalities. They care about Sam’s well-being. They aren’t ridiculously nice, they scold her when they need. Her grandpa is a main part of the story.
Her little sister is more “powerful” than Sam, but they don’t hate each other! Sam is a little bit jealous but always supports her sister. It was BEAUTIFUL to read.
It was so real and interesting. When Sam goes away for the adventure, their parents are ACTUALLY CONCERNED!
I would give 5 stars just for the family, really.
Her best friend is also good. She is not white, even in a fantasy world, which is a great way to add diversity without forcing it. She has a personality too and she is not only “the side-kick”. When they go out in the adventure, she has her own goals. This is also rare to see in Young Adult, honestly.
The Princess, the one that is poisoned in the beginning, is also very well-developed. She is not stupid like a princess stereotype. She falls in love with herself, which I found one of the best aspects of the book. It is very original and the way she treats her relationship with herself is so amazing. It’s different, creative, and very inclusive. I loved the princess.
The Potion Diaries Book 1 Review: The Crush
I thought I would hate the book because of this.
I usually HATE romance interests.
But not in this case, I swear.
He is not that well-developed in my opinion because he does fit in the typical bad boy stereotype. However, he is not plain stupid like A LOT of them are. And he is not ridiculously good to the main character too. He is a good balance between being bad and being good. He also has his own goals and aspirations. He is not stupidly in love with the “normal girl”.
A lot of people didn’t like their interaction. Honestly, I would say this book would be PERFECT if it had no romance. But you know me, I’m a bit of a romance-hater. Even so, I loved this book, so you can see that this is not bad, otherwise, I would hate it.
It takes nothing for me to hate a romance book. And I didn’t.
However, I do hope that he didn’t exist. He needs to exist for history to make sense but… a girl can dream, right? For a world with Young Adult without NO love interest ever!
The Potion Diaries Book 1 Review: The Adventure
They go out hunting for ingredients to create a perfect potion to save the princess. I loved the adventure too! It has a lot of cool scenes where you can see the interaction between the characters, giving them depth. It’s so cool that the main characters lose a lot. She is definitely not a “chosen one”, which I LOVE, because Young Adult, again, has soooooo many clichés. Not this one though. Sam really has to think, research, train, and evolve throughout the book. She gets better bit by bit. And she never gives up! Which I love. It’s such a positive message, even with all the challenges that they face.
I really loved this part. It made me want to turn page after page until I devoured the book!
Also, the elements that are shown. The potions and their ingredients. It makes so much sense and it is very, very, very well-developed. The worldbuilding is honestly amazing. You feel like in Harry Potter, where all the magic system makes sense. You start guessing which ingredient will serve the other part of the potion.
The Potion Diaries Book 1 Review: The Villain
While I liked everything until here, I have to say that I HATED THE VILLAIN.
I’m not sure why the writer lost herself here.
The villain is poorly developed, and absolutely cliché, she has no real motivation besides “revenge”, and I literally didn’t even see the need for a villain. Also, the villain is super powerful, she always shows up in the most inconvenient times, even though it doesn’t make the story move forward. It seems like the villain shows up to be “one more challenge” besides the one that they were facing. No need, honestly. The challenges, the competition, and the rivalry between the alchemists were all enough to create conflict. She literally didn’t need this.
I skipped the parts with the villain because it disappointed me THAT much.
The Potion Diaries Book 1 Review: The Ending
No spoilers here.
I do wish that it was a bit more original though.
That’s all I’m saying.
The Potion Diaries Book 1 Review: Final opinion
Absolutely loved it. I’ll be, for sure, reading the others from the series. I couldn’t put it down. The strong factors (mainly the original and well-developed characters and world-building) outweigh the bad factors (romance and the villain) BY FAR!
Highly recommend it if you like fantasy, adventure, romance Young Adult.