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Through the Looking Glass: June 2012

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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Blogging Hiatus, Back for the Summer!

Hi, everyone! I haven’t been posting lately and I apologize for that. I miss it! But I have still been reading all the time and I will be posting lots of reviews soon. Anyway, I am back for the summer! That’s not to say I won’t be back after the Summer too, of course. From now on, I will be taking some time everyday to work on my blog (hopefully), even if it’s just ten minutes. or even five! I look forward to posting again!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Releases This Week (June 10-16)

Crazy  The Master of Misrule (The Game of Triumphs, #2)  Reunited
Crazy by: Amy Reed - 6/12/12
The Master of Misrule (The Game of Triumphs #2) by: Laura Powell - 6/12/12
Reunited by: Hilary Weisman Graham - 6/12/12

Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) For Darkness Shows the Stars Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1)
Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by: Anne Greenwood Brown - 6/12/12
For Darkness Shows the Stars by: Diana Peterfreund - 6/12/12
Flirting in Italian (Flirting in Italian #1) by: Lauren Henderson - 6/12/12

The Fear (Enemy, #3)  Timepiece (Hourglass, #2)  Riese: Kingdom Falling
The Fear (The Enemy #3) by: Charlie Higson - 6/12/12
Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by: Myra McEntire - 6/12/12
Riese: Kingdom Falling by: Greg Cox and Ryan Copple - 6/12/12

Tokyo Heist  Keeping the Castle  The Vindico
Tokyo Heist by: Diana Renn - 6/14/12
Keeping the Castle by: Patrice Kindl - 6/14/12
The Vindico by: Wesley King - 6/14/12

Stronger: A Super Human Clash  My Life Next Door
Stronger: A Super Human Clash by: Michael Carroll - 6/14/12
My Life Next Door by: Huntley Fitzpatrick - 6/14/12


Friday, June 8, 2012

Call of the Sea Blog Tour: Giveaway of SIGNED Call of the Sea by: Rebecca Hart!

I am thrilled to be a part of this blog tour of the new release, Call of the Sea! Due to school taking up all of my time, I have not had the chance to write my review yet, but fear not! There is still a fabulous giveaway to be held and my review should be up in a few days. I will link it here when it's done.
Author Bio:

Rebecca Hart is a single parent, full time IT geek, and reformed gaming addict living in Upstate NY. When not at the office with her nose buried in a laptop trying to fix it, she can be found at home with her nose buried in a laptop, writing instead. Her debut novel, a Paranormal Romance titled CALL OF THE SEA, will be published by Inkspell Publishing with a release date of June 21, 2012, giving Rebecca one more reason to look forward to summer. Rebecca’s short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Pill Hill Press, Wicked East Press and DFE Quarterly (erotica). She enjoys hearing and interacting with her readers.

Rebecca’s Links:
Rebecca's Website: Http://
Rebecca on Goodreads:
Follow Rebecca on Twitter: @Rebel Hart69
Follow Rebecca on Facebook:!/RebeccaHartWriting
InkSpell Publishing Website:

Call of the SeaCall of the Sea by: Rebecca Hart
Publication Date: June 21, 2012
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Page Count: 278

Elysandra Winters has always yearned for a life of adventure on the rolling seas and is willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill her dream. When her Privateer father continually refuses to allow his only daughter to sail, Ellie defies him, disguises herself as a boy, and goes in search of a captain who will give her a chance to prove her worth.
Thanks to the cursed selkie blood coursing through his veins, Daniel O'Rourke needs the sea to survive. After giving up on his humanity and spending three years in seal form, he decides to give his human side another chance. Daniel goes in search of a job and a sense of normalcy, earning himself a position aboard Captain Winter’s ship, The Siren's Call. However, his new captain’s first assignment has nothing at all to do with sailing, and everything to do with his headstrong young daughter.
Years later, when the leader of a band of bloodthirsty pirates murders Captain Winters, Daniel and Elysandra’s lives come crashing back together with the force of a hurricane. Both experts in deception, they must find a way to trust each other if they are to have any hope of hunting down the captain’s killer.
***You can buy Call of the Sea at 30% off at the Inkspell Publishing Store June 21-30!
And now for the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to follow this blog tour? Here are the stops!

June 8-Through the Looking Glass
June 13-Rai29 BookReadNReview
June 20-BookBrats
June 21-RELEASE DAY!!-BookshelfBanter
June 23-Alluring Reads
June 24-BookLove101
June 25-BlookGirl
June 26-The Book Vortex

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Releases This Week (June 3-9)

Arise (Hereafter #2) Surrender (Possession, #2)  Tempest Unleashed (Tempest #2)
Arise (Hereafter #2) by: Tara Hudson - 6/5/12
Surrender (Possession #2) by: Elana Johnson -5/5/12
Tempest Unleashed (Tempest #2) by: Tracy Deebs - 5/5/12

Monument 14  A Midsummer's Nightmare  Transcendence
Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) by: Emmy Laybourne - 6/5/12
A Midsummer's Nightmare by: Kody Keplinger - 6/5/12
Transcendence by: C. J. Omololu - 6/5/12

Dead Reckoning  Mirage (Winterhaven, #2) Miracle
Dead Reckoning by: Rosemary Edghill, Mercedes Lackey, Jane Hodson - 6/5/12
Mirage (Winterhaven #2) by: Kristi Cook - 6/5/12
Miracle by: Elizabeth Scott - 6/5/12

Wicked Sweet  Now  Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy, #1)

Wicked Sweet by: Mar'ce Merrell - 6/5/12
Now (Once Trilogy #3) by: Morris Gleitzman - 6/5/12
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) by: Leigh Bardugo - 6/5/12

All These Lives  A Girl Named Digit  Messy
All These Lives by: Sarah Wylie - 6/5/12
A Girl Named Digit by: Annabel Monaghan - 6/5/12
Messy by: Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - 6/5/12

Bleeding Hearts (Drake Chronicles, #4)  Stunning (Pretty Little Liars, #11)  Seize the Storm
Bleeding Hearts (Drake Chronicles #4) by: Alyxandra Harvey - 6/5/12
Stunning (Pretty Little Liars #11) by: Sarah Shepard - 6/5/12
Seize the Storm by: Michael Cadnum - 6/5/12

Sirenz Back in Fashion

Sirenz Back in Fashion(Sirenz #2) by: Charlotte Bernardo and Natalie Zaman - 6/5/12