"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 goodreads.com:

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!


  1. Oh I like that they get scholarships :) That sounds like a great king to me

  2. Oh! I sounds good, I'm going to try to get this one and the other one you mentioned. :)

  3. I love love love the sound of this one! I've heard iffy reviews, but I'm going with yours. Great thoughts, Carrie! :)

  4. This book sounds like a good one. And I like that twist. :)

  5. Wow...5's all around. A great message for good grades. Because you know, the "beautiful people" really are a very small group.

  6. I read Amaranth Enchantment and loved it so I was really excited to read your review. I will have to read this one too. Thanks for the great review!

  7. That sounds like a very good book. I have always enjoyed reading. I do not read as much now as blogging takes too much time.

  8. Hi Carrie! I saw you on my list of followers and thought I'd stop by to say thanks.

    Your blog looks pretty amazing ~ it's so pretty and your review of this book made me want to read it!

    I am an absolute book lover myself, {as my hubby can attest too when I come home with a new box of second hand books yet again...} and it's really great to be able to find out about some of the new ones being released. I usually go with the classics, but it sounds like I might be missing out on some good ones! > _ <


  9. I enjoyed this one too. I loved the Leviathan...I forget its name though. Aiden was very cool. The book reminds me of Shannon Hale.

  10. Great review - this sounds like a wonderful read!

  11. I have both of Julie Berry's books on my TBR list. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I look forward to reading her work =)

  12. Hi Carrie, an old follower here.
    Haven't seen you around lately, so thought I'd stop over and say hi :)
    Great review - it sounds like a lot of fun to read. I would totally want a puppy that could also be a leviathon!! *Sigh*

    I'm off to find this book on Goodreads now!

You can visit my latest update on ebook news at e-Volving Books

  13. this looks really great. I can't wait to get my hands on this book and her other book. but sadly it will take time for my library to get it * sad face*


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!