Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Review: Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry

Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication date: October 2010
ISBN: 9781599905112
Source: Library

Secondhand Charm

Evie is the talented young healer in her small village. But she longs for more than just a village life.  When chance brings her an opportunity to go to the university in the city, she jumps at it.  But the journey along the way is unexpectedly filled with danger.  It is also filled with opportunities for her to discover just where her healing skills came from.

Things I Liked:
I loved the voice from this book!  I felt like I was listening to a friend and talented storyteller recount the story - and I was reliving it with her.  Not only did it have a charming voice, the story was definitely not what I expected.  It went everywhere but where I thought it would, and that is a good thing.  It was interesting and unique and I loved Evie for her spunk and sparkle.  A fantastic fantasy fairy tale that isn't predictable or silly.  Here are some favorite parts:

A ripple went through the crowd, starting with Mayor Snow's great girth.  A royal visit!  Such a thing hadn't happened since Widow Sprottley's uncle's cow birthed a calf with two udders.  We'd heard the tale often enough to know.  What news! p 3
Water churned in the wake of the ship's stern.  It spread two blades of white-capped spray from either corner of the ship.  The black water stretched forever, except where the dark shore blotted out the stars to our left.  Hanging low over the horizon, painting a shimmering silver ribbon all the way to The White Dragon, was the moon.  p 90
Things I Didn't Like:
There were a few awkward phrases that threw me off.  It was like the wording was a bit off and I had to read it again to figure out what it meant.  But, there weren't too many of those.  I remember also thinking how strange it was that all these things kept happening to Evie in such a very short period of time.  They were all explained, but some of them felt just a touch random or out of nowhere.  Then again, that is what kept it from being predictable.

Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern and Princess Academy

Jessica Day George's Dragon Slippers series
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
some fighting and action, but not much

Overall rating: ****

I'm wondering, for those who read The Amaranth Enchantment, how you think this one compares? I remember thinking the first one was ok, but I like this one better.

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I liked this one quite a lot better!

  2. I liked it too. However, I did give my two Berry books to a friend cause I knew she'd love them more than I did.

  3. I'd really like to bury my head in this book. It is quite interesting for me.

  4. Jenny, I think that's the best thing to do with books you just liked sometimes :)

    Jeff, it's lots of fun.


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