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Review: Virtuosity by: Jessica Martinez

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Through the Looking Glass: Review: Virtuosity by: Jessica Martinez

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Virtuosity by: Jessica Martinez


Virtuosity by: Jessica Martinez
Publication Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: 294
Format: Nook Book
Genre: Contemporary, Music, Romance
Author Website:
Jessica Martinez
Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Summary from Goodreads:

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 stopped thinking and knocked.

I only had a few seconds to regret it before the door swung open. There stood Jeremy King, one hand on the knob, the other holding a cup of Dr. Pepper up to his mouth. His tuxedo shirt was open at the neck, his jacket and bow tie were behind him, strewn over the armchair.”

My Review:

Initially, upon buying this book, I thought it would be centered on the struggles of substance abuse and overcoming it. For me, Virtuosity was much more about the extreme stress of being one of the world’s best violinists and following your own dreams, as cliché as that may sound.

I think the last line of the summary, “Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall…” serves as a good tagline for the themes in this book. Carmen Bianchi is still only a teenager and is facing the challenge of her career, The Guarneri Competition. On this competition sits her future in music and the famous Guarneri violin as a prize. The pressure is intense and overwhelming.

On top of all the pressure from her career is her mother. She is a constant weight on Carmen’s shoulders, always pushing her and pushing her to her limits. Her mother is living vicariously through Carmen, I think.

When Carmen begins to see Jeremy more often, a dangerous endeavor, she opens herself up to the world beyond competitions and lessons. Dangerous because she knows Jeremy is her only competition and it is never a good idea to flirt with the enemy. Even as her mother warns her about his intentions, Carmen can’t quite separate herself from him.

Jeremy opens up to Carmen like he has with no one before and reveals parts of his life that aren’t even hinted at in his biographies. With him by her side, she feels like her life doesn’t have to be all about music anymore, that she can live her own life out from underneath her mother. I love that Jeremy created that for her. They are incredible together.

I thought I might be disappointed that this wasn’t about substance abuse to me so much as it was about Jeremy and Carmen’s relationship and her becoming independent. It did have quite a bit about how she struggled with the drugs but I thought the former things were more important and pronounced in the story.

Virtuosity is a wonderful contemporary with tales of romance and discovery presented in a very truthful form. I connected with each character well and enjoyed reading about them.

Official Rating:

Four Un-birthday cakes
Four Un-Birthday Cakes!


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At June 28, 2012 at 11:23 PM , Blogger Read. Write. Ramble. said...

I hadn't heard all that much about this book before reading your review, but you've convinced me that I need to read it immediately!* This is a really great review. :)

*"immediately" being as soon as I'm done with my huge TBR pile sitting in my room right now. Haha :D*


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