Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

"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...."- summary from Amazon

What a fantastic debut! I will admit though that based on the cover and prologue, I thought it was a paranormal book (or like a magical realism book, ala Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White). But what I found within was so much better- a wonderfully written contemporary debut that just knocked my socks off. I read this book in 2 days, and ok, part of that was because the e-galley was running out, but for the most part, it was because this was such an intriguing, compelling book.

Carmen was a great main character and I loved reading her story. She's very relateable, despite having a Grammy and several CD releases, and fairly fun. I really enjoyed reading her interactions with her tutor (whose name I can't remember) and of course the ones with Jeremy. Those two together were just immensely fun to read. Carmen's mother, however, was not fun to read about; I seriously wanted to slap her at times.

This book showed the darker side of classical music competitions and really, just about any area where someone is striving to be perfect. Perfection cannot be obtained and it'll kill you to keep trying for it. The ending was unexpected but nice to read and I kinda want to read more about Carmen and what happens to her! I hope there's a sequel.

Overall, a simply amazing contemporary debut and one you should all check out. Martinez is an author to keep your eye on.

FTC: Received e-galley from Simon & Schuster Galley Grab. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

1 comment:

  1. I so agree about that detestable mother. GEEZ. If only we could do something about the terrible mothers/characters sometimes. How'd you feel about the ending? Martinez just got signed for 2 more books!