Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez.
Publisher: Simon Pulse.
Pages: 304.
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 book about competing violinists? *yawn* How entertaining and engrossing could that possibly be? The answer: Immensely. I devoured Virtuosity in one sitting. With such a fast pace and high intensity, it was very easy to become so absorbed with the story.

I love how Jessica Martinez manages to twist my feelings on certain characters throughout the whole story. I started off loving characters who I hated in the beginning and absolutely loathing characters who I didn't mind so much when I first started reading. And I have to mention how the two main characters and violinists, Carmen and Jeremy, seem to express their personalities most when they're onstage. The scenes where they were actually playing were so beautiful and I wish this book had come with some sort of soundtrack to make the experience that much better.

I've read a lot of reviews prior to reading that talked about not being able to relate to Carmen's character, but that didn't apply to me at all. Maybe it was just me, but Carmen's anxiety and anguish over the competition and her feelings for Jeremy just leaped right off the page and into my head. And the way she transformed and rebelled from under her mother's thumb was done really appropriate, I think, that someone who has ever been pressured would understand what Carmen is going through.

Overall, Virtuosity is one of the more fabulous contemporary novels released this year, full of drama and romance and struggles between right and wrong and attempting to find yourself through everything. Carmen's battle with the violin, the pills and her relationship with Jeremy had me on the edge of my seat. I definitely recommend you check Virtuosity out!

Other reviews for Virtuosity:
Chick Loves Lit.
Makeshift Bookmark.


  1. I love how you though the violin part was going to be boring but turns out you actually enjoyed that a lot haha

    and you're right!! I understand some people not being able to relate to every single main character especially Carmen (how many book bloggers take anxiety pills for stage fright & have won a Grammy?) and it pisses me off when people complain because I'm just like you don't need to relate to every single character! every single character is not written for you! You should be able to understand what the characters feels and is going through, it's called sympathy not empathy! And I think emotions are the best part of this book!

    They're beyond well done and I can just feel them taking over me, what Carmen felt I felt.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this because I certainly did too. Great review!

    -thank you&come again.

  2. I really enjoyed this book too. Though my classical piano background drew me into that aspect of the story and I was actually looking forward to the violin part of it, but hey, to each his own, right? :)

  3. I didn't love Jeremy so much, but I definitely do agree with you review! One of my fave contemporary books of 2011 so far!

  4. There aren't enough books about musicians out! I can't wait to read this!

  5. I'm actually super excited about this one, not just because of the premise, but because Jessica came from the competitive world of professional chamber music. She's used her experiences to bring a whole new level of emotional depth and reality to her book. Can't wait to read it!