Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry 5 of 5 stars.
To be released October 12, 2010 by Bloomsbury Children's Books
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. And 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 entourage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all. . . But this young girl's destiny is no mere romantic fairytale. Her fate, and the journey she is about to embark upon, will taker her far from her tiny village, uncovering serpentine powers and a legacy she never dreamed possible. (Book blurb)
Evie dreams of helping people, of being a martyr. She knows what she wants from life. When the king makes a chance visit to her small village he grants her the chance to follow that dream. But Evie faces many trials along the way that make her question her past and her future. When all is said and done, will Evie let her so called 'fate' make her decisions for her? Or will she stick to what she believes in, despite the dangers such a decision pose?
Secondhand Charm was a beautiful novel written in a pleasant fairytale style that few can master. Sea monsters and dashing bandits keep you on the edge of your seat as we follow Evie into this beautiful world. Since reading her debut novel The Amaranth Enchantment, Julie Berry has been one of my all-time favorite fantasy writers, and Secondhand Charm was no exception.
The story begins in Evie's small village where we see her daily life. It soon becomes obvious that she is mature beyond her years. As things progress, obstacles are thrown into our heroin's path that could never have been expected. Despite her feelings of insecurity around the beautiful and mysterious Annalise, Evie stays the strong young woman that we all love to see in the young adult/middle grade genre.
The plot is twisting, unpredictable, full of suspense, and at times hilarious. Whether you enjoy a lighthearted fairytale or an action packed adventure, you are sure to fall in love with Secondhand Charm.
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