Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review: "Virtuosity" by Jessica Martinez


Received via: ARC - Netgalley
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 18th, 2011


The Scoop: (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....



My Take:

Virtuosity was a nice break from my paranormal-heavy book rotation that I've been swimming in lately. (You know I love my paranormal YA, but sometimes I need to get back to a semblance of the real world...)

As you no doubt read in the blurb, Carmen is a world-renowned violin virtuoso. I found it interesting to read about her life and the inevitable pressures that come along with such talent and fame. Carmen, for all of her world travelling and access to unique circles of people, is still a very sheltered teen thanks to her mother, Diana.


"You will practice your scales again!!! Here's a pill, take it!!"


Although, I'm sure, Diana's intentions were pure in the beginning of Carmen's career, she has now become a stage mother of all stage mothers (hello, Mama Rose!) and the central source of Carmen's growing anxiety.

Enter stage left: Jeremy. Jeremy is Carmen's cheif rival for an upcoming all-important competition and (natch) her love interest. I liked the way their relationship developed and loved the mystery that made me question his motives almost until the end.

Is Jeremy looking for love or a mutli-million dollar violin and contest win?

The only drawback for me was the end. I promise not to ruin it for you, but Carmen's choices in the last chapter had me questioning girl power in the modern world. My faith was restored in the end, but just barely.

Apparently Carmen hasn't been listening to enough Beyonce!

Overall, I really enjoyed Virtuosity. I loved peeking behind the scenes of such a glamorous, yet stressful life and Martinez shares the details like an insider.

Final Verdict:
Good, old fashioned comfort food. Sticks to your ribs and is good for you!


 

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