Review: Magic to Memphis by Julie Starr


Magic to Memphis
What if your life is working from the inside out?

Author: Julie Starr
Kindle Edition, 217 pages
Published October 7th 2014

officialsynopMusic, murder and everyday magic.

Jessie is seventeen years old, a runaway musician living rough in a trailer with a pit bull dog called Bear. That’s fine by Jessie; she’s got big plans. A music contest in Memphis offers the chance of money, fame and escape from a nowhere town with no real prospects.

Turns out there’s more in Memphis than music. When Jessie’s mom sends her a box of things belonging to her dad, she finds out that he made the same trip years ago. She’s determined to find him, but has no idea that the ring her dad left her is being hunted by a sadistic killer. Nor does she realize that he will stop at nothing to get it back.

Suddenly, a simple music contest turns into a fight for survival and only a puzzling traveler called Finch has the answers Jessie needs. But will she listen? And can she trust in herself enough to change her luck and make magic happen?


This is perhaps one of the most memorable books I’ve read this year. The kind of book where its characters keep on lingering in my mind. The kind of book that make me appreciate music and lyrics and love even more.

Jessie ran away from her home to lead her own life and come to terms by finding her real father. Daddy dearest was MIA since she was a kid, and she only knew him by the name Billy J and that he was part of a band called Braves. She herself was the lead vocalist in a band named Political Love (corny name…. I know) but soon found herself evicted from the group after one loss to another. When her mother sent her some items about his father, she decided to travel to Memphis to continue her search for Billy J. And join a musical contest that would cement her future as a musician.

With the help of a cigar box containing his dad’s memorabilias, Jessie and her trusted pitbull companion Bear endured loss, fire, tragedy, feathers and everyday magic. The kind of magic that worked inside out. The kind of magic that triggered domino effect of events. The kind of magic that made Jessie doubt reality and make-beliefs.

And along the way, a crazy serial killer was on the loose, and everyone involved in Jessie’s life had a taste of fear, madness, pain and death in his hands. From Dorma to Memphis, this killer was set on one thing and one thing alone. An ancient ring artifact that cost the lives of so many people. And a dog.

Bear, the bravest pitbull I’ve ever known served his purpose until the end. Gosh, I couldn’t help my tears from falling whenever I thought of Bear. He was so unbelievably great and loving and pure. I am already missing that dog.

Another interesting character was Finch. Finch, a mysterious wanderer, traveler, hippie, musician, healer and jack-of-all-trades, was the one person that made Jessie believe again in magic. From their first encounter to the last,all her questions were answered by another set of questions. And another.. And another.. That is the magic that Finch brought.

Was Jessie able to find her dad somehow? Not really.. But you’d be surprised with the twist. Beware!

Did Jessie and her band win the newcomer contest? That is what you have to find out. Like I said, prepare to be twisted… One thing for sure, you’ll realize this wasn’t a romantic story until you read the end.

I only have good things to say about this story. Julie Starr’s writing was nothing extra-ordinary, but the concept, the setting, the lessons and the people involved created their own blend of magic… a magic that haunts, confronts, teaches and twists your mind in the most extra-ordinary way. Plus the music, the song, the lyrics – they were seamless, inspiring, blissful and most importantly – magical!

My rating:




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