Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Title: Virtuosity
Author: Jessica Martinez
Published October 18th 2011 by Simon Pulse         
Goodreads | Amazon

Ah, virtuosity. Music, romance, what can possibly go wrong?
Something always goes wrong.
The book turned out to be better than I thought but not as good as I hoped. I liked the getting to know the violin scene, I liked the Chicago setting, I liked the story’s building up. I loved the first chapter, it fulfilled its purpose of hooking me from the start.
What bugged me though, was Carmen’s personality, she is a total virtuoso, and maybe that’s just the way musicians are, but sometimes she was just, so, clueless. I wanted to shake her and tell her to grow a backbone during most of the book; annoying girls are something I cannot stand, but I somehow got over her and was able to finish the book with my head still full of hair.
The story is about Carmen’s violin competition for a Guarneri violin, which she wouldn’t need ‘cause she has a Strad, a $1.2 million dollar violin her grandparents lend her, but she wants to win for the year-long, world-wide tour that is also part of the prize.
But lately, Carmen hasn’t been herself. Ever since she started to take meds for stage fright she’s been going through the motions, like a robot, not enjoying the music like she used to. The exciting part here is that I recognized the med right away, knew what it was for, knew what were the risks and everything; it gave me a thrill haha. Although I understand that people are scared of meds, I wish I could tell them that meds do not take away their creative side or anything, the pharmacology industry has come a long way to help people and most of the side effects people talk about are just placebo.
She knows she can do it, the other only person in the whole competition who really stands a chance is Jeremy, a handsome Brit that is the male version of her career. When Carmen meets Jeremy she can’t believe how good of a violinist he is, not to mention he’s so charming and good looking. And when he asks her out and they start to know each other and even though they’re supposed to be enemies, the attraction is there and it can’t be denied. I like the sparks in their relationship, I thought it made sense for them to get together; they had so much in common. But young and naïve, they had to ruin it somehow and from Jeremy asking Carmen that, and Carmen’s mom doing that, *sigh* they almost blow it.
Good thing everything got sorted out at the end. And I actually enjoyed how it ended, even though it was a bit unbelievable, it was still worth the time I invested.


  1. LOL sometimes I want to shake the characters too. I think that maybe some day I'd like to give this book a read. I've seen it around in the bookstore quite a bit.

    Great review!

    Jenny at Books to the Sky

  2. I really didn't like Jeremy-I would have preferred the book focus on Carmen's stage fright and her relationship with her mother, a very different kind of relationship than we usually see in YA.

    1. when he asked Carmen to lose the competition I was like: I HATE YOU, YOU JERK! and he was pretty much blah after that, so I didn't care about him at all.


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