Author: Jessica Martinez
Published: October 18, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Summary: 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....
Review: Virtuosity is really unlike anything I've ever read. I loved reading about classical music. I wouldn't say I'm a fan of classical music but I enjoy it on occasion. After reading this book I have a whole new look on classical music.
Virtuosity takes readers into the darker side of classical music where everything is a way to claw your way to the top. People aren't always what they seem and motives aren't always clear. I can honestly say that I was shocked by what happened, but after reading about all of the characters I could definitely see it as being believable.
Carmen was up and down for me. I don't have a problem with her, she just seemed flat and didn't hold much interest for me. Jeremy was about the same, but I still loved reading about them both. At first I didn't understand the relationship between the two because they're suppose to be enemies, but I guess it was equal parts attraction and wanting to scope out the competition.
A lot of the book I could see as believable. I don't have a hard time believing that Carmen's mom would do anything to make sure Carmen won, despite what Carmen wanted. The one thing I didn't see as very believable was how easy it was for Carmen to get off her meds. Obviously she was willing to do it, but I don't think overcoming an addiction is as easy as Carmen made it seem.
Obviously this book is centered on music, but it still surprised me how music-centered it was. I liked reading about Carmen practicing and listening to Jeremy play. It got to the point where I felt like I could here the music alongside Carmen.
Virtuosity takes a step away from the typical contemporary YA. The focus on classical music provided some much appreciated originality and although the characters could have used more life it was still a great book that I think would benefit many to read.