By Julie Berry
Published Bloomsbury Teens
Released on October 12th, 2010
Ages- I Recommend It for Ages 10 & up
5 Stars- It's a Book I'll Be Reading Again
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 . . . (quoted from Goodreads)
I adore Secondhand Charm and the wonderful journey it took me on. Julie Berry wrote a fabulous story with fantasy, romance, and love. I loved being whisked away on Evie's journey as she learns the truth in who she is and power that lies within her. Julie's serpentina myth and the leviathan creatures that she introduces are what gave the the story it's unique appeal.
I really enjoyed getting to know Evie, as she is one of those all around wonderful characters who's compassionate, smart, sweet, intelligent and lives with her Grandfather. She is following in her father's footsteps and is practicing medicine, even though she's young. She accepts the gift of a life time when the King invites her to leave behind her simple life in her small village and study at the University.
It's on Evie's journey there that she discovers who she really is. One of the things I enjoyed about Secondhand Charm is that I was pleasantly surprised by all the little things that kept happening to Evie, as characters she meets a long the way turn up later on in the story's plot twists. Normally this is the part of my review where I rave about the love interest, and don't get me wrong, I do love Aiden, as he's the boy Evie grew up with and he accompanies her on her journey, but my favorite characters from the story are Evie and her leviathan, Clair. I absolutely love the unique element that Julie added to her story with the serpentina's and their bonds with the leviathan. Evie & Clair's love and bond they have for one another is beautifully written, and romantic in the chivalry kind of way. I really enjoyed reading Clair and Evie's scenes together.
Secondhand Charm is a refreshing story, as it has a wonderful mythology, a beautiful, setting as it's both in a coastal community and on the sea, and great characters. It's a story that I would definitely recommend to tweens, ya readers and adults. While I love where the story left off, I'm hoping Julie will have a sequel for Secondhand Charm, as I'm not ready to leave this world behind. Really I want to read more of Evie and Clair and get to know more of their story together. I recommend picking up Secondhand Charm, as I adore this story as much as I adore Shannon Hale's Goosegirl series.