Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review: Secondhand Charm

Star Rating: 5/5

Secondhand Charm

By: Julie Berry

In Julie Berry’s Secondhand Charm Evie, an orphan, hardly lives the life of a princess and has never wanted it that way. Living with her grandfather in the small village of Maundley, she dreams of becoming a healer. Having never been ill and studied some medical books, Evie has become the physician for her small village as she attends to the sick and acts as a midwife. Unfortunately, her hopes of receiving real training are next to impossible since she could never afford to attend the University in the capital. That is until the king comes to Maundley for the town’s holiday. During the celebration Evie buys several charms from a gypsy peddler and then her luck starts to change. Seemingly suddenly the local boys start to notice her. She even impresses the king and earns the opportunity to go to the University. Now Evie’s heading to the capital where her charms and her dreams will be put to the test as she discovers where her luck is coming from and what she can become.

Berry’s tale grabs the reader right from the start. Free of lulls and full of excitement, Secondhand Charm introduces the reader to a new kind of heroine. While the novel fits into the classic girl-next-door-discovers-she-is-actually-gifted genre, it also introduces a new twist on magic. This twist comes in the form of a unique sea serpent-human bond, which throws Evie into a sisterhood of foreign myth. While Evie discovers who she is and what she can now do, she also struggles with whether and how these discoveries will reform who she is. Berry deftly throws the reader into Evie’s situation providing all the tools yet still leaving the reader to puzzle everything out along with Evie. Secondhand Charm is a fast-paced and intriguing novel, and it will enchant you through to the finish.

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