Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Title: Virtuosity
Author: Jessica Martinez
Published: October 18th 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
My rating: 4 stars
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've always wanted to learn how to play a violin but never really got the chance. The closest I get on that was learning Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (I did actually have to coax and force my friend to teach me play it) which I have totally forgotten by now. Ha! But violin has always fascinates and mesmerizes me. So when I read the blurb of this book and learned that the main characters are violin prodigies I was absolutely sold! And boy was I not disappointed. Because reading Virtuosity was just as mesmerizing and captivating as listening to a violinist play.

Carmen was a character I instantly identified with. I was amazed and impressed by her accomplishments at a very young age and I truly felt the strong passion and love she had on being a musician. She was a very real and genuine character and although at first she let almost everything in her life be in control of her mother/manager who was totally overbearing and quite manipulative, she sooner realized that she has to start making decisions and choices for her own life.

Jeremy, although he started to be quite this arrogant and kind of a jerk guy I sooner found out that he was also this very soft and gentle guy who just also get nervous and insecure but covers it with his cool and proud facade. I love how he directly and indirectly contributed on making Carmen see how her life was and be an independent woman. Although he did make this mistake with Carmen I saw how he truly felt sorry about it and that his feelings for her were definitely genuine.

The romance here did happen a little too fast which in most case would have make me ran off to the other side but for some reason it worked for me here. Or more like, I actually didn't mind it because I just loved the characters. Ha! It was definitely okay though since as the story went on the development of Carmen and Jeremy's relationship and how it was explored felt really genuine and natural.

The musical aspect here was also really good. The playing was describe in such a very colorful and dramatic way and not really in technical way that might have my mind spinning in confusion. It was more on the feelings of the player and what the musical piece is trying to tell.

Overall, this was truly a great novel that centers about music, passion, love, discovery and choices. You really don't have to be a music lover to enjoy this book. It was beautifully written that I'm pretty sure it would easily make its way in your mind and heart. I recommend this.


  1. Aw, awesome review :) This does sound like a great book, and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much :D I'm not sure if it would be a book for me, but thank you for letting me know about it :) <3 And for sharing your honest thoughts :D
    Thank you for commenting on my WoW. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

  2. I've heard amazing things about this book, I don't know why I haven't picked it up yet! I love the violin, and it's good to hear that both the music and the characters are portrayed in a way that was believable and engaging. Thanks for the review, Eunice. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  3. I read this book almost a year and a half ago! I remember really loving this book as well. I wasn't much of a music-in-books kind of person at the time, but Virtuosity was still able to capture my heart with the musicality and passionate tones. I agree that the romance was a little fast, but it just WORKS. This was indeed a great contemporary. Fantastic review, Eunice!

  4. This sounds really good! I've been quite apprehensive of YA contemporary romances lately due to some bad experiences, but I'm glad this worked out for you. Books are always much more enjoyable when you can relate to the main character, and it sounds like there was a lot of character development going on behind-the-scenes, since you grew to love Jeremy despite his initial impressions. ALSO - music! Something we don't see much in books these days. So, so happy it flowed perfectly.

    Great review, Eunice! I can see why you enjoyed this one so much; hopefully I'll be able to give it a go, too. :)

  5. I've seen raving reviews for this book, so it doesn't surprise me that you liked it. I wished I had learned to play a musical instrument when I was younger, so I understand how you feel. The violin is a fascinating instrument! I'll have to pick this up someday! Brilliant review, Eunice. :)

  6. Carmen sounds like a fabulous MC, and I love the sound of the musical descriptions. I'll have to check this one out :)

    Fabulous review!

  7. Although the romance developed a little quickly, I'm glad it didn't take any enjoyment out of the book. I really like the sound of this! I can see myself warming to Carmen and Jeremy already. Both characters sound like they are well crafted. Great review, Eunice. :) I'll definitely have to pick this one up sooner rather than later.

  8. Sorry the romance was a little quick, but I do like the sound of JEremy and Carmen.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  9. So glad you enjoyed this one too Eunice, give me a decent romance with a mix of music and I'm sold. Martinez definitely won me over with her gorgeous writing too, I can't wait to pick up more of her books, lovely review Eunice! :)

  10. EUNICE!!!!! HEY, GIRL!!! I'm back and I've really missed you so much, and your lovely posts. <3 Fabulous review. I actually play the piano and a lot of my friends play the violin, so I can completely relate to the awed feeling. It's just such a classy, cool-sounding instrument! But I understand it's really challenging, so I think I'll stick to the keyboard please. :P Aww I hate romances that develop too quick, but it sounds like the characters were keepers for sure! I'm a sucker for bad boys with mushy insides. :') Fabulous review, Eunice doll! I'll be sure to pick this up at the library. ;) <3 xx


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