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Secondhand Charm

Secondhand Charm

4.3 44
by Julie Gardner Berry

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Young Evelyn Pomeroy is an ordinary village girl who dreams of being a doctor. She is thrilled when the king plans a visit to her small village and awards her a scholarship to the kingdom's university. While traveling to the university, Evie's carriage is hijacked by an armed highwayman. Her journey is further complicated when the ship she is sailing on gets marooned. Amazingly, she and all the others onboard survive the wreck, and it is during this catastrophe that she discovers her leviathan. Evelyn is a serpentina; a female with magical abilities, special healing powers, and her own size-shifting sea serpent known as a leviathan. Once she arrives at the university, Evelyn meets Princess Annalise who reveals that she, too, is a serpentina. Annalise befriends Evelyn and promises to share her secret knowledge of a serpentina's longevity, love, wealth, and beauty. Evelyn needs to decide what she really wants and who she can really trust in this intriguing and fantastical story. Does she want power and prestige or should she follow her heart and learn how to use her abilities to humbly help others? Deceit and distrust are revealed as the excitement builds in this well-written novel that will keep readers anxious to learn what will happen next. Reviewer: Denise Daley
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Berry's latest fantasy novel is laced with romance, intrigue, and adventure. Evie Pomeroy, 16, lives in the small village of Maundley with her grandfather. Her parents, both physicians, died during an influenza epidemic when she was just a baby. Evie herself is the village healer, all of her knowledge gleaned from her parents' old medical textbooks. When she is offered a scholarship to attend the university, she eagerly accepts. But the journey to Chalcedon is fraught with danger both on land and at sea. Along the way, new friends are made and astonishing secrets are revealed about Evie's heritage and special powers. And this is just the beginning.... Evie is a likable heroine who will capture readers' imagination. The secondary characters, though not as developed, provide the protagonist with suitable, and sometimes surprising, enemies and allies. The many plot elements are deftly woven together into a novel sure to please fans of Berry's Amaranth Enchantment (Bloomsbury, 2009).—Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL
Kirkus Reviews
Berry's romantic fantasy teems with action, suspense and a bit of boy-next-door romance. In her small village in the fictional Kingdom of Pylander, Evie Pomeroy enjoys a reputation as a healer. She longs to travel beyond her village and eventually become a physician. While the dashing King Leopold III is visiting the village, Evie saves the life of his chancellor of the exchequer and is rewarded with a full scholarship to the University. Most of the plot centers on Evie's mishaps while traveling to the royal city and her role in thwarting a plot to assassinate the king. The story's main appeal is the discovery that she is a serpentina, endowed with both healing powers and a magical protector called a leviathan, a sea-serpent–like creature that can alter its size and speak with her telepathically. Evie's companion throughout is the handsome journeyman stonemason Aidan, whose interest in her will become more than friendship. A cast of strong secondary characters rounds out this mix of humor, light romance and mystery. An entertaining read—guaranteed. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.30(d)
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

JULIE BERRY grew up in western New York. She holds a BS in communications from Rensselaer and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College. She now lives in eastern Massachusetts with her husband and four young sons. The Amaranth Enchantment was her first book.

Customer Reviews

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Secondhand Charm 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
kittydanza More than 1 year ago
SECONDHAND CHARM, by Julie Berry, was an exceptional tale about an ordinary girl who turned out to be anything but. This book really blew me away, from the synopsis I had no idea where this book would take me and I ended up on a fantastic journey full of romance and fantasy. Evie was the sweetest girl. She was very simple and, in the beginning, full of simple thoughts. She is a great healer and never questioned her abilities. Given the opportunity to study at the University, Evie and a small crew travel together and meet an unsavory character. After the horrific meeting, Evie and Aidan (swoon) travel across the sea to reach their final destination, in this journey Evie discovers who she really is. I loved (!) the new myth and history of the serpentina's and their bond to their leviathan (snake-like creature). Evie definitely matured very quickly when she realized what she was. She had to make tough decisions and ultimately be satisfied with who she was. Aidan was the only real thing in her life, and she was very lucky to have him as a friend. She was naive at times of his feelings for her, but she realized in due time that he really liked her, and she did as well. Overall, this was a great book, with a fairy tale-esque quality. It was written masterfully with a fantastic plot twist and I am very gratefully for the opportunity to read it.
ashleyann120 More than 1 year ago
I was expecting this to be a fluff, easy to read book that you take on vacation to fill time at the airport. I was pleasantly surprised when I found Secondhand Charm to have in-depth characters and a unique plot line. The only reason this book only got 3 out of 5 was I would have loved to have a little more bonding between Evie and her leviathan. It was obviously supposed to be an important relationship, but I was missing that special connection between the two. I would have also liked the leviathan to have a little more of a personality - a feisty streak, or a stubborn streak- anything to add a little umph to his plain-Jane character.
KonaCakes More than 1 year ago
I love this book and have read it three times (I never read a book more than once). I defiantly recommend this book for a quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Enjoyed it so much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Met the auther. Awesome book
Jecaph More than 1 year ago
A little different then the normal books i read. However loved the characters and it was an interesting storyline.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very light, but fun read. It started off a bit slowly as or the introduction of the fantastical elements, about 100 pages, but even then the characters and writing were charming enough to keep you reading. Once the action began...it kept moving and was very satisfying. I totally understood how Evie, who just found out that she was different and strange from everyone else in the world and how this could lead to her being an outcast....could lead her to cling to and be carried away by the ones person she found, or found here, that understood her and shared her strange gifts. But even as she was carried away she never fully lost herself or her character and that is what saved her in the end. Never giving up yourself or stop being who you are despite many forces telling you otherwise. I enjoyed the slow reveal of the major plot and bad guys and how their plot of thwarted. It was very clever. Though with how it ended, it kind of left me with a though of a sequel....Annalise does not strike me as someone who forget. And of course...I enjoyed the little splash of romance. That is always nice especially when handled well and not overdone or rushed. So over all a charming book and fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
Before I launch into my opinions on the book, I hate this summary. A) It leaves out one MASSIVE plot point - the fact that Evie's a serpentina and has a leviathan to whom she is attached. (And no, that's not a spoiler, not really - you learn it within the first third of the book. The rest of the story is focused on that.) B) It's a king's carriage, not a prince's. C) It's not a footman, it's his tax collector. So the story I got wasn't the story I was expecting - and you know what? I didn't mind all that much. I will admit that the novel is very, very fast paced - events and knowledge are thrown at you, and the book moves on without really giving you time to digest that. Because that, some relationships are hard to believe. Annalise, the future queen, is treating Evie like a sister, and they're supposed to have this immediate connection, which I never felt, even at the end. There were some plot twists I didn't expect, and not all of them were good, but I'm not going to post any spoilers. The one on her Grandfather was interesting, but weird, and the romantic one involving Annalise I didn't expect at all and, though interesting, I didn't really like. I LOVED Clair - the leviathan attached to Evie. That was a character I believed. He was dedicated, adorable, and charming. As for Aidan, I liked his character. He's the kind of guy I love to read about. I wish they had expanded more on his relationship with Evie, but it was one of the relationships in the story that I actually believed. They were in only a few scenes, but I felt their connection. And yes, this review is WAY in advance of when it actually comes out. But I post as I read, unless otherwise asked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazingly written book! Love it!!!!!!!:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never bought the book, but i borrowed it from my school library before. The front was a little slow, but once i got into the story, i couldn't stop! A great read, worth every penny, (though i didn't buy it). It is sweet and adenturous story, (the parts about clair was sweet) and had twists and turns, mystery, with a speck of romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it! The romance, the plot aidennnn (swoon) One complaint tho. The ending absolutely sucked. She better make a sequel!!!!!!!!!
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