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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book Review: Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry

Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Pages: 352
Source: Received from publicist for honest review (Blog Tour)

Summary: 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 . . .

My Review: Secondhand Charm was a magical and adventurous story that captured the essence of its time period. Julie's story was stunning and presented the qualities of detailed descriptions, and solid character definition. Evie, a vibrant and intelligent protagonist won me over with her strength and poised maturity. Possessing the skills of a healer, she longed to follow in her mother's footsteps as a doctor. With luck, her goal of attending a university worked in her favor. However, the journey to reach her dream education became a trip full of unexpected occurrences with eccentric people. The author did a great job establishing distinct personalities for the secondary characters. Some were wacky, while others turned into long time friends.

On the path, Evie not only opened her eyes to a world of wonder but, also learned her true self in the process. The power hidden within Evie was interesting and made me enjoy her persona even more. Another person I grew to love was Aiden, a boy next door who was entertaining and protective around Evie. I don't want to give too much away of the main points in the plot, so I'll keep it short and simple. All in all, the creativity and out of the ordinary figures brought life and excitement to me. The extreme lengths endorsed by Evie were difficult but she proved to be one tough maiden I respected and admired. I recommend this book if you're looking for a refreshing tale that will leave you smiling in the end.

My Rating:
Author's Info:
Julie Berry grew up in western New York. She holds a B.S. in communication from Rensselaer and an M.F.A. in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of the Fine Arts. She now lives in eastern Massachusetts with her husband and four young sons, and works for a technology startup.

For more info on Julie, visit her site(s):

Other books by Julie:
The Amaranth Enchantment


Misha said...

Thanks for the review! I was curious about this book.The book does sound great.

Dazzling Mage said...

Ooh, it seems like a great read! Reminds me a little of Ella Enchanted (minus a BUNCH of things). Great review. =)

Tales of Whimsy said...

O O O I want :)

Amelia said...

Totally drool-worthy. Looks awesome! I saw a copy of "The Amaranth Enchantment" in the store the other day and wanted to buy it right then and money. :(

Awesome review! ^_^ I can't wait to get this at the library! (If I ever finish the books I own first! XD)

Hasta luego, chica!


Martina Boone said...

Thanks for the wonderful review. This sounds like a wonderful read. I love books that capture those secondary characters so well.

We're giving a copy of Julie's book away on our blog starting tomorrow for anyone who may want the chance to read it for themselves!

Thanks again!

Aleksandra said...

Thanks for the review! I loved her first book & now I'm glad this one is good, too :)

Anonymous said...

a refreshing tale that will leave you smiling in the end - that's the sort of book I like. This'll go on my list.

Anonymous said...

a refreshing tale that will leave you smiling in the end - that's the sort of book I like. This'll go on my list.

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

Fantastic review. I had a hard time with this one--I wasn't expecting it to be about what it was, I thought it would be more about gypsies and the synopsis didn't mention the serpentina stuff LOL But Evie was awesome--so glad you enjoyed it. Maybe I'll give it another try!

tessie said...

Great review. I really admire your work.
Thanks for doing such great reviews (:

~T (book lovers blog)

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