Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Secondhand Charm" Review

"Secondhand Charm"
by Julie Berry

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Release Date: Oct 12, 2010

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from

In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .
Berry's debut novel garnered glowing reviews and strong sales—and now she's done it again with a beautifully woven tale to keep all readers, young and old, absolutely charmed.

My review:

"The Amaranth Enchantment," Julie Berry's first book, is one of my favorite books of the year, so I couldn't wait to read "Secondhand Charm." This book is filled with all of the things I loved about the first book, magic, adventure, a strong heroin, and a sweet, swoon-worthy romance. 

I loved Evie's bond with her leviathan and how the story touched on how this had caused jealousy in past generations of her family. Her leviathan had many qualities of a loyal puppy, if your puppy could instantly morph from cute and cuddly to a huge sea monster.

Aiden was incredibly sweet. He's the hard-working boy next door who suddenly seems like more than a friend. Aiden is so so supportive of Evie and wants to know more about her secrets but never judges or dismisses her because of them.

The author puts an awesome twist on the typical fairy tale at the beginning of the story. The King comes to the small village of Pylander and singles out Evie and her best friend. But in this story, it's not because they are the prettiest girls in town, it's because they're the smartest. The King gives them both scholarships to the university based on their high grades. It's empowering to see girls moving forward in life based on their merit, not their appearance.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5

Bottom Line:Another fantastic, magical adventure from Julie Berry!

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