Author: Jessica MartinezVirtuosity is an intense tale full of music, love, and having others control you.
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Pages: 302 (e-galley)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Most Appropriate for Ages: 14+
Where I Got It: For review though Galley Grab
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....
Carmen does not live a normal life. She doesn't go to school or have friends, and her biggest worries are definitely not homework; she's a huge classical-music-celebrity. Despite the completely different life Carmen leads than yours and mine (unless you're a classical-music-celebrity) she is incredibly easy to relate to from the first page.
Though at times I thought Carmen and Jeremy's relationship that were a bit cheesy, overall I liked it. And I really liked Jeremy. I hate it when love interests are perfect and say perfect things and the only thing you know about them is defined by their relationship, and that was definitely not the case with Jeremy. He was his own person with his own problems and I loved him for that.
The descriptions of music that Martinez writes are ridiculously good. I found that classical music could make for interesting subject matter when written well when I read If I Stay, and Virtuosity definitely didn't disappoint in that department. In fact, the writing overall didn't disappoint. I'm impressed that this is Martinez's debut and I'll definitely be keeping an eye on what she releases next.
Despite how much I enjoyed it, Virtuosity was just missing that "wow" factor for me, so I don't know how long it'll be staying with me. BUT, with that being said, Virtuosity is a promising start to a promising new author's career. If you read it, I'm sure you'll agree.
Plot: Surprisingly gripping.
Characters: Not really any side characters, but the main characters made up for it.
Writing: Very good!
Ending: Pretty much perfect.
Kid Friendly? There may have been a tad of swearing, as well as addiction to prescribed drugs.
Should I read it? If you're a fan of contemporary, definitely.