Book Review: Secondhand Charm

Book Review: Secondhand CharmSecondhand Charm by Julie Berry
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books on August 24th 2010
Pages: 352

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...


Secondhand Charm is a charming tale filled with a dash of action, touch of romance, and an abundance of magic. From the beginning, readers are in for a treat as Berry takes them on a grand adventure. And based on the summary alone, I was not too sure what I was getting into. The summary hints at magic and charms, but the novel has so much more in store.

Evie is an exceptional character with a hidden past. A past that she never even dreamed she had. In the beginning of the novel, Evie is a small town girl with huge dreams. She longs to leave her small village to study medicine at the University. But due to the norms of her society, this is a far fetched dream… until the King visits her small village for their yearly celebration. This visit, unbeknownst to Evie, will change everything.

You see, Evie is a serpentina. A person who shares a special bond with a leviathan, or sea snake type creature. Right from the start of uncovering Evie's true nature, I was in love with this new myth. It was fresh… captivating… and so different. Berry is an extraordinary storyteller as she brings this new myth to life. And I loved every second of learning about the serpentinas.

All in all, Berry has won me over with Secondhand Charm. The tale is filled with a little something for everyone. And a twist at the end that you probably will not see coming from a mile away.

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5 responses to “Book Review: Secondhand Charm

  1. The Golden Eagle

    It sounds like a great book! I like the idea of a serpentina–I’ll have to check out Seconhand Charm some more.

  2. I’d heard of this book but hadn’t seen a lot of reviews about it, so great to get your perspective! I wasn’t sure how different it would be from traditional fantasy, but it sounds like it has a fresh take on it with the whole serpentina idea.

  3. Kristen

    Oooo am I posting a comment? Scary.

    I need to read this one especially since you thought it so lovely. I enjoyed her other fairy-talish book as well so I bet I’ll love this one. And jeez Kate, come back to Google Chat – it’s very lonely!

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