Madly by Amy AlwardMadly by Amy Alward


byAmy Alward

Hardcover | September 29, 2015

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Samantha may be falling for the beloved of the princess she is sent to save in this start to a hilarious, adventurous, and sweetly romantic trilogy.

When Samantha is summoned to the royal court of Nova for a secret mission, it’s her chance to put her training to the test: Princess Evelyn has taken an illegal love potion with disastrous effects, and Samantha, like her ancestors before her, is great at mixing potions. She may not be one of the naturally Talented—those who can heal or transform at the wave of their hands—but she is skilled nonetheless, and determined to find an antidote and cure Princess Evelyn.

The problem? Princess Evelyn took the love potion to make her best friend Zain fall for her—and it’s Zain who Samantha keeps encountering on her hunt for antidote ingredients. As forbidden sparks between them fly, Samantha is forced to wonder: will curing Princess Evelyn doom her own chance at love?
Title:MadlyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.4 inPublished:September 29, 2015Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:148144378X

ISBN - 13:9781481443784


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Madly I enjoyed Samantha’s smarts and her interractions with Zain, but I wish Samantha’s sister and friends had remained a bigger part of the adventure rather than Kristy and the reporter, it just felt like that might have been more fun and more emotional. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Charming Read This book was really good. It was unique and charming; I've never read anything like it before. I love the way Amy Alward took fantasy and contemporary and mashed them together without really calling it urban fantasy. It was funny too, and interesting to read about certain ingredients and have the main character list the uses off. I also found it unpredictable with a few twists and turns I didn't see coming, which is always refreshing. This first book to the series, however, had an unsatisfying ending; though the main storyline was resolved, I felt that it ended abruptly. I didn't get to see how everything turned out. All in all, it was worth the read.
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This was entertaining and special! Amy Alward's Madly was like a never-ending cycle of doubt. I had high hopes, I had low hopes, I had high hopes again, it went downhill once more. I honestly just based my rating off how I felt with the ending, because I did, and still do not know what to expect with this great author's writing, after all. Madly was not the best book out there, and it certainly does not look to be the worst, either. I'm playing with words here, and depending on your intake with magic and potion-related events, then this could turn out pretty great for you. It seems very scientific, in fact. Mixing the potions and learning about how an author living in a contemporary world sees another world with love potions and all of the mythical things we as children learned about through fairy tales was an absolute new experience that I could never throw out of my mind. Madly is about destiny and revenge. And did I mention that there are also sparks of envy here and there? We have a kick-ass protagonist who basically is placed in her situation to ruin the day for the royal Princess Evelyn, and snatch her boy-toy (ew, that word is hideous), Zain, because she always watched him from afar and knew that she had to get him. Put it all into perspective, and you could picture another contemporary romance, with bits of fantasy and potion mixing here and there. No biggie. *sarcastic voice plays in your mind* Samantha is a character to remember, there is parts of her in every girl who ever wanted to get a guy when she knew there was no possible chance to. I could say that this was cliché, but then I keep slamming myself, reminding me of the fact that there is no YA book out there that deals with alchemy in such a wicked environment. This could be modern day, in fact, where the characters are in some parallel universe that is fractured with kingdoms and text messages. In parallel universes, anything is possible. Now I have come to realize that I am getting too ahead of myself. Moving on... it is a distinct, unique story that has never been created before. It hasn't. I usually could state in my reviews books that are similar—"If you liked so and so, this book is for you!"—and in this case, I cannot. Sorry that I am sounding blunt, but this is a wicked, positive thing that Alward established. I praise this story. Even if it was weak here and there (and it was), I have so much respect for it, as well as all of the characters who were in it. It was so intelligent and smart, and seems so real, even though it was absolute fantasy and Zain could never, ever come into my life and rescue me. I really enjoyed the ending especially—which blew my mind and kind of broke my heart to pieces—and I would never regret giving this a chance, even if it was not my favourite. Samantha kicked everyone's butts and made sure she still did the right thing at the right time. People say that she is annoying, that she is stuck-up and selfish. But aside from that (because everyone has those moments), I loved her intelligence and hope. She had her reasons for everything, like for her doing what she did so she could be heard because she realizes her future. She does not want to change her fictional kingdom—no. She just wants to add a little bit of action into her life so she could remember it when things get tough. This was mega, mega interesting. Zain was freaking adorable and I just wish—no I won't say it. Let us just say that the author blew me away and did give in a few surprises here and there. Never mind—she gave in millions of surprises. Everything made sense and I just loved the way everything turned out for all of the characters, even though some had not turned out as happy as they were supposed to, in a way. I adore Sam and Zain's feelings towards each other, even though—AGH I CANNOT SAY IT. Even though it seemed hesitant all the time. And okay, maybe it was only Sam who felt it for the most part. *winks*
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loving yourself a bit too much is never a good thing When Princess Evelyn’s love potion misfires she ends up in love with her own image. Samantha, whose family is in the business of natural potions, races against other teams to find a cure. This first book in a new series is about finding true love, magic and mystery, and will appeal to girls’ ages 12 to 17.
Date published: 2016-02-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Fantastic Adventure Full of Magic and Potions Madly is an enchanting adventurous read~ When I first read the synopsis I was all kinds of confused (read it above and see for yourself). My first thought was, how would this work? Let me tell you something, it worked. The modernized setting with royalty and potion-making gave this story punches and kicks. Wow did we ever get an adventure out of this book! It didn't take me long to click with the world and once it did, I had a fun time learning about how this curious world functioned. The power of the royal family stabilizes the magic in Nova. When Princess Evelyn unintentionally poisons herself, that peace is threatened. Alchemists were called upon to serve the crown in a race. Referred to as a Wilde Hunt, its goal is to produce a potion cure for the ailing royal family member. As the contestants race against time to procure precious ingredients, they find themselves visiting a range of dangerous places and running into an assortment of strange creatures. All of this done while under the ever-watchful eye of the media. Sam is proud of her lineage. She comes from a long line of well-respected alchemists and she wants nothing more than to be deserving of her family name. She's naturally gifted but still works hard to perfect her skills. Wanting what's best for her family, she enters the race. I loved her ability to rattle off the usage of an ingredient when she sees it. She's calm and collected when needed be but she's also just a girl. The support of her family and friends, them having her back, really made a difference. The romance with Zain was cute but felt somewhat flat to me. Sam was cautious around him seeing as he's her rival yet she couldn't stop her brain from conjuring up thoughts about him. They didn't really have enough interaction and I thought she too easily forgave him for his little performance. He had to know she would see and be hurt by it. I do like the balance in their relationship. Zain wasn't a hero waiting to rescue the fair maiden from danger because Sam is no damsel in distress. She's her own heroine (with an able and dashing guy by her side). Princess Evelyn's chapters were so unique. They're a tinsy bit disturbing but so fascinating. A one-of-a-kind perspective I find so well-written. Those chapters allowed us to peek inside her mind and see just what kind of destruction is happening. It fully displayed the gravity and seriousness of the situation at hand. I felt the urgency to cure her. I'm not surprised that this is a series. Despite its odd modern setting, I immensely enjoyed how the magical elements were incorporated. I'm itching to mix a little potion myself ;) Sign me up for the rest of this fun world!
Date published: 2016-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from This is the Story of My(Reading) Life Now here's the thing, Madly turned out to be a really good time. I'm really not sure what I was expecting. I just remember reading something about a kingdom and a love potion and thought to myself I should request this book from the publisher. And I'm really glad I did. Madly was the perfect read at the perfect time. I needed something quick and fun and it so happened that Madly checked those things off easily. Samantha's family runs one of the oldest alchemist shops in the kingdom. But these days they have very few customers as technology and the use of synthesized potions have become taken over. With Samantha's younger sister showing the signs of becoming a very strong talented(witch), Samantha being an ordinary, is primed to take over running the families shop. Although Samantha dreams of bringing the shop into the 21st century, her grandfather is set on running it as it has always been run. All seems like the eventual demise of the old way, until the Princess becomes poisoned with a love potion and the court calls The Hunt. An old competition that sees the kingdoms most known alchemists competing in a world wide race to save the sick royal(in this case the Princess). As the love potion being outlawed many a years ago, the competitors must work off their knowledge and instincts to produce the correct potion to save the Princess. Samantha may be an ordinary but she has an extraordinary talent for alchemy and mixing. She joins the hunt to save the Princess but also to prove that the old ways aren't dead and thus save her families shop. Samantha cannot guess what The Hunt will bring; except she knows not letting the Megapharma(and old family rival), ZoroAster win is top of her list. I really loved the world Alward created; Nova and the rest of the world is purely fantasy, yet set in the 21st century. Magic, alchemy and mythical creatures were all present, but so were T.V.s, cell phones and airplanes. It was a cool mix. As was the comparison's between the different lands and our countries. I laughed at how Nova has a royal court, but also a parliament thus showing the royal court to be more for show than anything else(remind you of a certain bunch of royals?). I just found that the world was something I knew well, but also had a great fantastical element to it. The Hunt itself turned out to be what you would expect; something akin to The Amazing Race. It saw Samantha leaving her kingdom for the first time to travel the world in search of rare and sometimes dangerous to find ingredients. The Hunt was heavy with competition, obviously, which meant backstabbing and racing to that finish line. Not only was the Princesses life on the line, but so was the kingdoms future and each team wanted the prize. As seemed to be the running theme with Madly, the characters were super fun too. You've got the ditsy Princess who creates a love potion which she accidentally ingests, thus falling in love with herself. Which provided a bunch of chuckles. Than there's the outcasted King's sister who was set to destroy the competitors of The Hunt so she could take over the kingdom. Being a light book, she's not truly scary, just a good Disney type villain. Samantha's grumpy grandfather, was the character with secrets that he was set on keeping to stop changes to his life. Samantha's loyal best friend, who was more set on seeing Samantha succeed than her own family. Molly, Samantha's younger sister, who just happens to prove herself at the opportune moment. And my favourite, Kirsty, the families Finder(she travels to world to find ingredients for Samantha's family). She's the one who knows the world and get whatever and wherever with her charisma, know how and don't care attitude. There always needs to be a Kirsty. Samantha was an excellent heroine. Even though she'd not traveled, she never appeared sheltered. Although technically ordinary, her brain and skill at mixing proved magic is far from everything. Samantha turned out to be quite endearing and fearless. She definitely had that "special" aura about her, but for some reason it worked and didn't have me eye rolling. Samantha had a good conscience and used her intelligence to make right decisions, but also the dangerous ones, knowing the pay out would be worth it. Samantha was exactly the type of heroine to fit the story. Now of course there was romance. But it wasn't the focus, or what was centric to making the plot progress. That fell purely on Samantha's talents. Anyhow, based on how light and fun a story Madly was, guessing the love interest didn't take a rocket scientist. So as it turned out, the son of ZoroAster had a secret crush on Samantha. Zain is of course handsome, popular and charismatic. But was also under the thumb of his overbearing father, so you know, Samantha just happened to be that intriguingly smart and special girl that can help him stop his father. You know how it goes? Like everything else I mentioned, the romance fit with the story. Unlike Zain's father it was not overbearing, just sweet tinged with the awkwardness of being a teen and the distrust Samantha had in Zain's feelings. Madly was a super quick, light and fun read. It had a full arc and ends as it is a stand alone. I know Goodreads has it listed as the first book, but I'm not sure where Samantha's story could go next. Everything was wrapped up nicely. Although a little cheesy, that's not something I mind so much. A little cheese never hurt anyone. That being said, I wouldn't mind a sequel that sees Samantha taking her new found life forward. I'd look forward to it actually.
Date published: 2015-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such a cute magical journey! Sam is an Ordinary Alchemist who lives with her parents, little sister and grandpa in their family's shop. She has the talent to mix potions but is not a Talented like her little sister. When the Princess of Nova ends up giving herself a love potion accidentally it's up to her and her family to save her. Her biggest competition is her hottie classmate Zain and his father's synth company. Will she get to prove her Ordinary skills are up to par or will she fail herself and her family? Set in modern times there are Talenteds people who can do magic and then the Ordinary, people with no magic who become alchemists instead. Ruling above all are the Royals who are the governing head of Nova. I really enjoyed this spin on modes fairy-tale. The journey to find all these ingredients and then having to compete for the right one was pretty clever. I wasn't bored at all! I was also blessed to find that it hardly had a focus on the romance at all and it was more about the journey to help the Princess. Did I mention that it wasn't about a hero coming to help her either? It was Sam who is Ordinary and just wanted to do a good deed to help the Royal family and of course her own family's reputation. I really liked Sam and her family. The fact that they Amy Alward had more back-story into the entire set of characters made it even more fun. Even having her little sister try to help and her reasoning behind wanting to help was fun to read about. Did I also mention there are mermaids and unicorns set in this world as well? I kind of loved that. A fun magical journey, "Madly" will make you smile and laugh at all the right places!
Date published: 2015-09-28

Read from the Book


Chapter One

Princess Evelyn

A TINY BEAD OF BLOOD bloomed where the knifepoint pressed against the tip of her finger. She held it over the rim of a glass vial and watched as the droplet fell, turning the liquid in the bottom from pink to a dark, inky blue.


She’d always expected a love potion to be red, not blue.

Editorial Reviews

"The continuous action and suspense will keep readers turning pages."