The book starts in the 1300's, with Seraphina getting ready for a masked ball. Escaping the crowds with a very handsome boy called Cyrus, she then gets attacked and killed by a couple of street ruffians. Cyrus gives her a drop of this potion that he has, enabling her to live forever by jumping bodies when they get tired of their current one. Then the book flips forward to the current day, and Sera is still alive, but instead of just her and Cyrus, they have a whole gang of followers. By this time, Seraphina has grown tired of murdering innocent people who still have their whole lives ahead of them to continue her already centuries old life. She vows that the body she is in now would be her last, and plans to kill herself on her switching night. Without her gang knowing, obviously. However, just before she does the deed, a car crash happens nearby and while trying to save the victim, she accidentally takes over her body.
Now Seraphina has to try living the life of Kailey, a sixteen year old girl, without Kailey's friends and family knowing the difference.
It was really fun to watch Seraphina try to duplicate Kailey's life, because she made so many awkward mistakes. This girl's never even gone to school! And it's a little hard to try living someone else's life if you don't have any idea who they were and all you have to go off is some pictures and stuff. But, you know what they say, fake it till you make it.
Cyrus will go through any lengths to get Seraphina back. Seraphina's relationship with Cyrus is very complicated, to say the least. Seraphina really did love him, way back when, but over the centuries, she says, that love kind of dimmed then went out when Cyrus revealed his true cruel nature (you know all those books where there's the girl and boy are like "I'll love you forever" or something like that? I always found that corny, and the great thing about this book is that Seraphina doesn't believe love can actually last forever and ever and ever and I know that's kinda sad, but honestly, seven hundred years is a lot of time for people to change). She knows Cyrus still loves her (although if you ask me it's more of obsessive possessiveness) and... yeah. It's a little complicated.
The scary thing about Cyrus is that he could be anywhere. He could be anyone. Kinda creepy.
The love interest in this story... well, I won't reveal his name, but it was a bit obvious, I think. Anyway. I felt really bad for him.
One thing I didn't like about the Alchemy of Forever is the way Seraphina read volumes in each word they played on Scrabble (it was scrabble on their phone, no time limit to the moves). I mean seriously, what are the chances of having the perfect letters to write the one word that explains everything that's happening? Just because I play the word "zombie" doesn't mean zombies are coming or that I am turning into a zombie or that anything in my life has anything to do with zombies.
And another thing. i find it a little hard to believe that Kaylie's friends or even family didn't notice that anything was wrong. Everything was just put down to "concussion issues" or trauma. Noah (boy next door) was basically the only one who noticed anything was wrong and he knew Kaylie even less than her best friends and family. I think I would notice if someone close to me had suddenly been replaced with the soul of a seven hundred year old immortal person.
The ending was horrible and amazing at the same time. I can't wait for the next book!!