Publication: September 29, 2015, by Simon and Schuster BFYR
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Magic
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 travelling 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.
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*
Madly made me feel mad, but of course only in that crazy "Mad Hatter" way. I adored the ending, and saw so many surprises added by the author that my head was ready to explode. This book is seriously for everyone, and I recommend it truly if you have a thing for alchemy and magic. This was entertaining and special—a memorable read for sure.