The Recital

A Novel.

Edith Madeline Solstice is a witch,

but she doesn't know it until she almost kills someone..


Her body is changing. She's entering seventh grade fighting the romantic feelings she has for her longtime friend Nemo. And although she hasn't grown an inch according to the Sacred Wall of Heights Feared in the third-floor hallway of St. Vincent Catholic Elementary, she knows something is up.


Her hands have been burning up like a fever. The ache has been robbing her of sleep every night for weeks now. She doesn't let this keep her from practicing piano, especially since her favorite teacher Miss K offered her a recital in the annual Christmas Eve Festival.

Then, stranger things happen.

Her best friend Lenore wakes up in the middle of the night of their slumber party, crying for help in a voice that isn't hers. Before Edith can make sense of what's going on, Lenore has a seizure.


Edith soon learns this wasn't any ordinary seizure. Something else is wrong. Something magical, and it's not good.


She finds out when she gets into a fight with her rival Julie, over Nemo, a few days later. But what Edith does to Julie by accident is the key that unlocks a world of wonder that Edith doesn't want to be part of. 


She has no choice. 

The Recital is a coming-of-age young adult fiction novel centered in magical realism. The story tackles themes of intersectionality, early-teen angst, and queer sexual awakening. The Recital is an homage to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and films like Harriet the Spy, Pretty in Pink, Eve's Bayou, and Kiki's Delivery Service.


Filled with inspiration and magic, this story sets a stage for Edith and how she must deal with the next step in her life, becoming a teenager. It's a honest and open book and it deals with feelings and family, all that come from growing up. With a male author, this book was surprisingly insightful. I hope that there is something that comes next as there needs to be some closure or even growth. Good story.


~Amy Shannon, Amy's Bookshelf Reviews

Very rarely have I come across a story that mixes reality and fantasy into such a seamless blend. The effect becomes almost like a magic trick that awakens the beautiful parts of your mind that we usually end up suppressing as we age.

~Jesse Torres, JTVizion

There are many intriguing subplots to The Recital: what qualifies as “good,” what grief does to our mindset, especially when left unprocessed, the agony of first romance, and the double agony of a first romance being a recognition of one’s own queerness.

~Michelle Nugent, The Feminist Bookworm

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.


~Chantelle Atkins, Underground Book Reviews

If there is a special place in your heart for Molly Ringwald and John Hughes movies, then this story will satisfy that wonderful nostalgia we all like to bask in from time to time. “The Recital” is a story that will most likely send you down your own reflective path, where you will reminisce about your teen years and the magic of experiencing such intense feelings for the first time. Love, hate, anger, envy, longing, friendship, love.

~Review via Amazon

The Recital, Kyle V. Hiller