Michelle's Review: Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry

secondhandcharm Trade Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Teen

Language: English
Source of my copy: publisher
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.

Michelle's Review:
Evie, a powerful healer, lives in Maudley, a secluded village in the kingdom of Pylandrian. She just graduated from what was the equivalent to high school and she had nothing to look forward to except marriage. Evie wanted more; she dreamed of attending a university and becoming a doctor. When the king came to her village and awarded her a scholarship to the Royal University, Evie jumped at the chance to leave Maudley and chase her dreams. Accompanied by Aidan, her childhood friend and who will later become Evie's love interest in the story, she travels to Chalcedon. But what Evie thought will be an uneventful journey quickly turned into something bigger. First, Evie and Aidan were stopped by a bandit and then the ship they were on was shipwrecked. But most interestingly of all, Evie found her leviathan--her "other half" she didn't know she had. Full of twists and turns, Evie will discover secrets about her mother that changes everything she thought she knew about her family and herself.

Secondhand Charm was a light fairytale/fantasy story and I'd forgotten how fun these types of books were. Evie told the story in first-person narrative and she was your typical smart, headstrong and impulsive female character and she's easy to like. I love the unexpectedness of this book and the plot twists as both kept me turning the pages. The plot took a few unexpected turns that I didn't see coming because the blurb had me expecting something else. I also liked that this book doesn't really take itself too seriously--there were plenty of action and surprises in the plot but it was a very easy and can be read in a few hours. There were numerous secondary characters but my favorite was one of the villains. I like my villains to be more than just plain mean or evil but has an unexpected soft side too. I knew something was off about the villain's character from her actions throughout the book but it was from her that Evie learned about her mother and herself. I thought that was an interesting twist.

I quite enjoyed this light read for the most part but afterward I was left wanting a little bit more. A bit more development in the romance, the world building and back story about the leviathan, the characters--it maybe just me but it was lacking that wholeness and left me a bit unsatisfied and hungry for a bit more. But if you're in the mood for a light fairytale-esque fantasy novel, look no further than Secondhand Charm. This fast and fun read will certainly entertain you for a few hours. 4 out of 5 stars


  1. Sounds very nice! title alone is enough for me!

    I have my first giveaway posted! a gift card sponsored by CSN Stores. Please do come over.


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