Magic To Memphis
by Julie Starr
Music, 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?
Teenage runaway Jessie receives an unexpected package from her mother, containing memorabilia of her father.
Unfortunately a deadly killer named Kabos is searching for a ring that is contained in the package.
Enter the mysterious Finch, who instills magic into everything. After a message from Finch: there is always an end before a beginning, Jessie loses everything; her job, her band and her trailer. This sets her off on her journey to Memphis.
I have to admit that I don’t really read a lot of YA novels and my expectations coming into this book weren’t particularly high. But how wrong I was!
I loved Jessie, she is strong and feisty but she’s also hurt, lost and vulnerable; struggling with her feelings of abandonment. The story follows her journey from filthy trailer park in Dorma to Memphis in search of her father and musical success. Jessie is all alone having left home at sixteen after relations broke down with her mother. Well she’s not quite alone; she has her best friend, Bear, and what a friend he is. A big, ugly pit-bull terrier, born and bred as a fighting dog, but rescued and retired by Jessie. The two are inseparable and he is as big a character as anyone in the book.
The character of Finch was wonderful, guiding Jessie along the way with his magic and ways of teaching Jessie to look at herself differently.
What if your life is working from the inside out?
If only all teenagers had a Finch.
Then there are the members of the band that Jessie is the lead singer in. They all head to Memphis to take part in a music competition that could change all their lives.
Add to the mix the psychopathic killer searching for the ring that is in Jessie’s possession. Kabos is an Egyptian sorcerer who has killed many times and will stop at nothing to get the ring back.
I really enjoyed the descriptions of Memphis. The author brought to life the area and its music really well.
I would recommend this book for all ages. There is enough depth for adults and the easy writing style ensures that it is clear enough for younger readers. It is totally engaging with memorable characters and storylines to keep the pages turning.
All royalties from this book go to children’s charities. If you would like to purchase the book you can do so here
Many thanks to Kate Appleton for sending me a copy.