Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Title: Virtuosity
Author: Jessica Martinez
Publisher: SimonPulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary romance
Release date: October 18th, 2011
Pages: 292 (ebook)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Pulse It

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....

A few months back, I saw this book all over the blogs I followed.  There were blog tours and reviews galore.  Honestly, I didn't pay any attention.  No matter how beautiful the cover is, I didn't even think to look twice.  After noticing a recommendation, I realized that I really wanted to read it.  Boy, was I glad I did.

Virtuosity follows the life of a child prodigy named Carmen.  So far, everything she's done in her musical career had been a success and nothing would stand in her way of winning.  That is, until Jeremy comes into the picture.  He's the only contestant that is actual competition, so when they begin to get close, Carmen realizes that everything could blow up in her face.  Despite the fact that Jeremy is arrogant and pompous on stage, you learn that it's an act and he's really not as different from Carmen as he may seem.

Before indulging in this book, the most I knew about the violin is that it was an instrument.  Embarrassing, right?  The only love for music I've ever had is dancing along to it alone in my bedroom.  Needless to say, I feel much more informed after reading this.  I felt like I could actually understand Carmen's anxiety, especially when she chose not to take her pills before a big performance.  The only difference is that she feels anxiety in front of hundreds and I could barely handle a group of ten.  This is the number one reason I could never be a performer.  I admire Carmen for that.

In the beginning of the story, I enjoyed learning about Carmen's mother, Diana.  She sounded like a strong, confident woman.  Unfortunately, that admiration faded the more I learned about her.  At least Carmen's stepfather, Clark, was genuinely supportive of Carmen's talent- though he was often left in the dark when it came to Diana's plans for Carmen.

When it draws nearer to the date of the competition, everything that could go wrong seems to.  Carmen starts to stand up for herself against Jeremy and her mother, who keeps her on an incredibly short leash.  She learns how to make her own decisions and in the end, they prove to be the right ones.

Virtuosity is sweet and fulfilling, like the first bite of your favorite desert.  Once you begin, you feel the need to devour it.  The end leaves you with a sense of elation.  This is definitely a book I need to purchase sometime in the future.  I just need it on my shelf!


  1. same here/ i loved as well
    great word choice

  2. I loved Virtuosity as well! It's dearer to me as I learn music too. My dislike for Diana increases as the novel progresses. She is such a rotten mother. Great review!

    Jez@Jez's Boookcase

  3. I know NOTHING about music, and I still want to read this book! Great review!

  4. I know nothing about music either but it sounds amazing. It must be such a struggle to be a child prodigy. Carmen and Jeremy both sound intriguing and I hope their story works out! I'm adding this to the list! Thanks!
    Check out my review if you have time Reign Fall