Review: Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Secondhand Charm by Julie BerrySecondhand Charm by Julie Berry
Also by this author: All the Truth That's in Me, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, The Passion of Dolssa, Lovely War
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on 2010-10-12
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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 son. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the prince'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.

Maundley is putting on a celebration for the king. As the king comes to the celebration, the town is in a whirlwind. Evie, a young (read: teenage) resident, impresses the king with her academic prowess. Her good luck and skills help land her a full ride scholarship to the university provided by the king. What ensues in Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry, is adventure, as Evie journeys toward the University. As for matters of the heart, Evie is at a crossroads where she must choose between the one who is familiar or the one who is royal and can give her anything she desires.

Ultimately, Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry culminates into an incredibly charming story with mythology, that to me, was reminiscent of Marion Zimmer Bradley. As you know, one of the hallmarks of Marion Zimmer Bradley is powerful, magical women. This felt like MZB for YA. That is a huge compliment. Granted, this was only 299 pages (ARC), but it’s a great story. What is examined is luck and charms vs. skills. There is a new magic system called serpentine magic, which I won’t elaborate on because it’s best to discover all this while you read Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry.

Evie is my favorite kind of female lead character. She’s a bit self-conscious. She’s academic, and cares about her family. she is loyal. Evie also possesses a sense of adventure. I love well-rounded characters. With fantasy, I feel that sometimes characterization gets sacrificed for the great grand plot (this isn’t always the case, but I do run into it from time to time). While Evie wasn’t quite fully realized, I thought on the whole, her characterization was quite magnificent.

I very much enjoyed the supporting cast of characters, from feisty town leader Widow Moreau, to a certain character I refuse to name because that would be a spoiler, to sweet and noble Aiden. Also, sidebar, why are most Aidens nice guys? (Think: SATC). I really think the side characters do help make or break a story, and with Secondhand Charm, I loved all of the quirks.

Secondhand Charm is a short book. Also, it is comprised of 49 chapters, and as we all know, books with shorter chapters just read faster (or is that just me?). If you are looking for a rare STANDALONE young adult fantasy, look no further than Secondhand charm for an overall pleasant reading experience.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Hey, hey! I just put this on my wishlist two weeks ago, and I was wondering it it was good. I’m really glad it turned out to be so! I’m going to enter the contest. Yay!

  2. Wow! I’m dying to read this book. The story seems to be so good.

    I loved the review.



  3. Sounds like a good read – thanks for hosting.

  4. Interesting premise. I love books with short chapters!

  5. Thanks!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by April C, Julie Berry. Julie Berry said: Some lovely reviews of Secondhand Charm that I'm finding. Here's one from "Good Books and Good Wine." […]

  2. […] The Truth That’s In Me is a total departure from the other Julie Berry book I read, Secondhand Charm. I am actually really okay with this. I like when authors try different things and I like it even […]

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