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.
Eh. This was okay, but only okay.
The thing I liked most about The Potion Diaries was the world. It was completely original and fun - a world where there was magic, but only accessible to ‘talented’ people, but there’s also cool stuff like teleportation and alchemy and the inclusion of wide-scale social media gave it a really fun, contemporary feel.
The plot itself was okay, and it centred around the hunt for the ingredients to counteract the love potion that the princess has accidentally taken. I never quite worked out how she managed to take the potion herself and I somehow skated over the explanation of how the alchemists knew which ingredients they should be looking for, but it was fun all the same. There’s also a romance subplot, but mostly the book was all about the hunt for ingredients.
I didn’t really buy into the romance. It felt a bit tame. Zain seemed nice enough, and Samantha was nice enough, but it was kind of like when a friend of a friend gets together with a guy she likes. You’re pleased for them and everything, but you’re not really invested. You know? They could get together or not and it wouldn’t make a whole lot of difference to your life. Samantha and Zain’s relationship was like that for me.
I think the whole book had a nice feel - it was fluffy and light, like a strawberry mousse and it reminded me of a modern-day fairy tale - but it lacked the tension to keep me properly hooked. I’d recommend it, but only if you tend to go for YA at the lower end of the age scale. To be honest, I would have no qualms recommending this for an MG audience.