Nov 3, 2011


Virtuosity | Jessica Martinez
Simon Pulse
Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....
I love contemporary more than anything in the universe. Contemporary done right, that is. There isn’t anything more satisfying than reading a book and thinking, “That character is so me,” and seeing the protagonist as a reflection of yourself. And I did that with VIRTUOSITY. Carmen was written so well, and I understood everything she said/did—not saying her moves were easily calculated or expected or boring, just that I perfectly understood them.

When I say I related to Carmen, I don’t mean that I am also one of the top violin players in the world and am going to Julliard in the fall. I mean that I understood her desires: perfection and companionship. Carmen had all this pressure from her family to win the Guarneri that it turned into something they wanted, not Carmen. And her interest in Jeremy! It started out as just a know-thy-enemy thing, but transformed into a full-on relationship. Jeremy wasn’t a St. Clair or a Cricket, no, but reading his and Carmen’s interactions was delicious, and it either made your cheeks hurt from smiling too much or had your stomach turning in knots.

I expected the drug addiction to play a bigger role in the story, but I wasn’t disappointed at all. There’s so much happening, so many twists, it really is compelling.

This book is the best ever. It’s tense, moving, and exhilarating.


LoriStrongin said...

I've definitely been wanting to read this one. Ditto that I love a good contemporary done well. And I love the premise of delving into the world of competitive classical music. Plus, the author came from that world herself, so I love the authenticity that adds to this book.

Can't wait to read it!


Little_Dhampir91 said...

I read this book a few weeks ago and absolutely loved. Thought the author did a great job in capturing Carmen's intense lifestyle. Great review.

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

Great review sir. It makes me want to read it. If anything, the cover looks amazing as well.