Young people today are wired into the internet, with their flippy-flop phones and online fishing for music in the stream…..
Ok, I’m being a little bit over-dramatic with the old person ramble about young people. But I hate seeing my daughter wired into the internet 24/7. I like to see her with a book in her hand from time to time. I’m old-fashioned that way. So when Amy Alward offered me the chance to review her book, The Potion Diaries, I jumped at the chance for my daughter to read something that wasn’t on the inter-webs….
Samantha Kemi is an ordinary person with an extraordinary skill. Living in a magical world with spells, princesses, and mirrors that can transport you across the city, it can be tough to be an ordinary person. But even though Samantha doesn’t have a magical bone in her body, she can make potions like no-one else. Even her miserable grandfather is impressed with her skills. But when the Princess Of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion, this is Samanthas time to shine. The Hunt is called and Samantha, along with some of the most respected alchemists in the country, are racing against time to find the cure for the princess.
Thoughts on the story
Let’s face it, I’m not a young reader. I should not have read this. But I did. And I liked it! The story moved well with plenty of focus on the Hunt, not the romance between characters. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some romance, but not in a kids/young adult novel. Kids have enough pressure on them without fictional characters bumping uglies too. Anyway, enough of my parental concern on PG sex scenes in books. Unless you are a parent who is reading this review, wondering if you will find it suitable for your young lady. It’s all good. The story is focused more around the Hunt and the adventures of a young woman. There’s travel and danger, the underdog fighting against the odds to prove herself.
Thoughts on the Author
Amy Alward has done a fantastic job at bringing real world aspects (like social media) into the realm of magical kingdoms. She has admitted one of her obsessions in life is social media, so it’s not surprising that she has included this in the story. Overall, I think Amy has a real knack for delivering a story that young people can enjoy, without being too graphic with danger and romance.
My daughter’s favourite bit
I had to let the teenager read the book too. Well, it is aimed at her age group! Overall, she enjoyed the book. The romance bits weren’t to her liking but they weren’t so bad that she wanted to stop reading. She does not do romance at all. But “they weren’t gross” (direct quote) so it didn’t put her off. She did enjoy the danger aspects in the story and was excited that the villain made an appearance. This, for her, made the thrill of chasing down the ingredients a bit more exciting, rather than the normal “race against time” storyline.
Overall, this was a winner in my house. The story moved well and focused on a young girl trying to make her mark in the world, without being graphic with adult themes. Young adults (and their parents) will enjoy this book.