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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

All the raves, the praises, even the not so secret swooning over the devastating Violin child prodigy that is Jeremy King, all of it is well deserved. And true. And goodness me, Virtuosity is just awesome.

Title: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Pages: 304
Release Date: October 18th 2011
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: Publisher (thanks, Amy!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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....

Where do I start? I should probably list the reasons why I loved this book, but let me start telling you what its about first. Carmen is a music genius. A great violinist. A grammy award winning musician. She was almost at the top of the music world, and to be there she has to win the Guarneri. Everybody expects her to, until Jeremy King came along. He's another child prodigy, and he's everything Carmen isn't. Intense, cocky, self-assured and he certainly doesn't use Inderal to calm his nerves before creating beautiful music. A natural talent. He's the only one who stands in the way between Carmen and winning the prestigious competition. Winning the Guarneri means a lot to Carmen, but to Jeremy it means much more. So Carmen did what she thinks was right at that time, observe the enemy. But observation quickly turned into a small obsession. Because Jeremy turned out to be nothing like what the articles said, and before long Carmen is being swept away by emotions she had never felt before. But what if Jeremy was just making her feel that way because he wants to get inside her head? So he can distract her, make her lose the competition?

Please add Jeremy King to your list of infuriatingly hot British boys who will make you fall in love with him in a second with a smile and smart, witty comments and basic musical genius. While playing the violin, of course. Blonde, blue-eyed Jeremy might seem carefree, even cocky on the outside, but he lives a life far less perfect than Carmen's. He envies her. He travels alone for music tours and competitions and has a younger brother who has a sickness that might take him away from their family soon. The Guarneri is Jeremy's chance to be at the top until that day he sees Carmen. Another tormented, gifted musical artist. Who wouldn't fall in love with a guy like him? This British boy can turn on the charm easily and still be a supportive someone to Carmen.

Carmen is a girl I really liked from the start. Her life has revolved around music and she doesn't have the freedom she longs for because of a protective mother. I thought it was so charming and cute when she tried 'checking out' her biggest rival, Jeremy King. She's innocent and she's the type of person who needs to get walked all over into before she realized how brave she is. It's sad to see a girl with so much talent get destroyed by her mother's ambition and drugs. Deep down even with the success she has gotten Carmen feels hollow because the amount of success she gets equates to the amount of love she receives from her estranged, wealthy grandparents and her mother who has a twisted concept of love. Carmen had to see the horrors and great lengths her mother will go to before she decides to break free and just play good, honest music once more. It might not be perfect, but its true and from the heart.

I felt a mix of pity, sadness and anger for Carmen's mother, Diana. She's a very cunning woman and I find it hard to feel even a little bit of sympathy for what she had done. She might have helped build Carmen's career but she eventually destroyed Carmen. Diana's desire to achieve whatever it is she has lost when her career was ended by a disease that stole her golden voice was desperately carried out through Carmen and that blinded her enough to not see that her controlling nature was slowly but surely making Carmen suffocated in a world she used to love.

Virtuosity made me squeal with excitement, made me squirm with all those short, intense moments between Carmen and Jeremy. They're both very intense characters, and there's just something refreshing about seeing two people who's life has been dedicated to music try being normal, go out on dates and just be the teenagers they ought to be. I relish the romance between the two of them, mainly because I keep on thinking if there was some underlying agenda or reason why it all happens. Jeremy and Carmen thought they were as different as night and day but the truth is they're not. It's lovely to read as their preconceived notions against each other slowly peels away and before they knew it, these two rivals are leaning to each other for support to conquer their fears and follow the path they want to go to. They're both endearing and really, just two teenagers I couldn't help but root for.

Plunge head on into the world of music in Jessica Martinez' novel, Virtuosity, a debut that will surely catch quite a few hearts. If you think violin competitions aren't as cutthroat as others, then you better read about Carmen and Jeremy and their world full of child prodigies and the ruthless world of music. Virtuosity has romance, family drama and beautiful music all rolled into one awesome novel. This book will charm its way into your hearts, a lovely, perfect example of toe curling love story between the Romeo and Juliet of music.

My rating:

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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