The Recital

The Recital

April 14, 2016
GenreComing of Age, Contemporary, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Urban Fiction, Women's
Audience Young Adult
Format Book Length Manuscript
Type General Fiction
Word Count 60-80k (average/short)

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Edited by Kate Angelella
Cover design by Jess Bastidas
Published Through Amazon Createspace – KDP

Reviewed on December 26, 2016

Review by Chantelle Atkins

The Rundown

There is so much going on in this novel and all of it is wonderful! If you are a fan of magic realism, or YA fiction with gritty plots, then this is for you. I enjoyed this book from the start and fell deeper in love with every chapter. There is simply no scene wasted. The characters are superb, in fact, Edith’s character, in my opinion, provides an impeccable YA voice, such is the strength and conviction of her narration. I just loved her. As with all great YA works, the main character is not perfect, and the plot sees her stumble rather awkwardly from one mistake to the next. She overreacts, she lashes out, she behaves badly and experiences envy and jealousy, but at no point do we lose faith in her. Edith’s journey is a rather complex one and her flawed and likable character entices us to be with her every step of the way.

Edith is an awkward 12-year-old, who at the start of the novel has only three problems. One, she has not grown any taller in a year, two she is anxious about a piano recital she hopes to perform at Christmas, and three she is desperately attracted to her close friend Nemo, who just happens to be going out with Julie, a girl Edith strongly dislikes. However, a major spanner is thrown into the works when Edith discovers she is also Witch. So, on top of boy trouble, and her family life unexpectedly imploding, Edith has to learn how to deal with her new found powers.

This book provides the perfect coming of age journey, with a supernatural twist. Edith has a dramatic and sometimes sinister outer journey to go on, as she tries to harness her powers for good. But she also has the delicate and awkward inner journey that all young people must go through, that of growing up and finding out who she is. Social issues are handled extremely well in this story; such as divorce and betrayal, fitting in and discovering your sexual identity. As a reader I became increasingly attached to this young girl, such is the strength of the perfectly constructed plot and her endearing character. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who enjoys young adult fiction, even if magic realism is not their usual genre. It really is worth a read.

The Recommendation

Like all great YA books, The Recital focuses on the great emotional truths we all have to endure, such as family life, peer pressure, and sexual identity. This book gives us an almost painful insight into the mind of a young girl about to turn 13, with the added twist of drama, intrigue, and magic. Spellbinding in every way, I would recommend this book to young people aged 12 and up, and to any adult who enjoy the YA and magic realism genres.

The Rating Reviewer Rating: 5 Stars

5 Stars (out of 5): Highly recommended. This book did exactly what it set out to do, with originality, style, and maybe even a twist. It stands out next to popular, traditionally published novels in its genre.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Characterization, Dialogue, Emotional, Page Turner, Plot

Author’s Summary

Everything changed after the first day of seventh grade. For Edith Solstice, it wasn’t her height. It wasn’t getting her first kiss. It wasn’t harder classes, either, except for Pre-Algebra.
The change was a magical one. Unfortunately.
Edith didn’t know magic was possible, and that’s what nearly ended Julie Cherry’s life. She didn’t mean to. Edith shouldn’t have thrown that first punch. Now, Julie isn’t okay. In fact, she may never be the same. And Edith’s chance at contrition comes at a price she might not be able to pay.
The Recital enchants with elements of whimsical fantasy and young romance while coping with divorce, bullying, and the awkward, inevitable dawn of adolescence.

Short Description

A preteen discovers she’s a witch when a fight with a school rival turns both magical and nearly fatal.


Everything changed after the first day of seventh grade.

Additional Links

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