Review: Magic to Memphis by Julie Starr

Magic to Memphis by Julie StarrMagic to Memphis
Julie Starr

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A box filled with postcards and mementos that once belonged to her father send seventeen year-old Jessie on a quest to Memphis to find the man who disappeared into his own dreams of musical stardom. Her faithful dog Bear protects her, and a quirky traveler named Finch talks to Jessie about the magic of making things happen. When Jessie begins to embrace this everyday magic, miraculous things begin to happen. But not everyone wishes Jessie well. A sinister man with dark power seeks artifacts in Jessie’s possession, and he’ll stop at nothing to get them back.

I’m not a dog person (go ahead and hate me) but I loved Bear, Jessie’s dog. I liked the way the author used the dog to build relationships between characters. I liked watching Jessie grow as a character. After her cold behavior causes a rift in her band, she learns to swallow her pride and admit she’s wrong sometimes. The music contest was awesome. I loved how that turned out (but I won’t spoil it.)

While I loved the added tension that the crazed killer brought to the story, I felt like he didn’t tie in with the rest of the story as well. He had some inexplicable powers that I kept waiting to be explained or to matter to the story somehow, and that never really panned out. The story isn’t really about him, though, so while it left me scratching my head a couple of times, overall, I enjoyed the tale and the way the author used a box of mementos, the music contest, and the dog to bring a community of people together.

Language Content
Strong profanity used moderately.

Sexual Content

Spiritual Content
References to “magic.” It feels more like a mystic sort of “power of positive energy” type of doctrine. At one point, Finch tells Jessie to imagine her dog well in order for him to recover. She visualizes the dog healed, and soon he is. The sinister guy pursuing Jessie is basically able to control others around him and make them forget things or do things for him, like give him their possessions.

Bad guy roughs some people up. The carnage left behind is briefly described.

Drug Content
Jessie works at a bar on Beale Street. The band celebrates a victory by drinking beer. (Jessie, at least, is underage.)

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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