Virtuosity

Virtuosity
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
October 18, 2011
ISBN
978-1442420526
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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....

User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0(2)
Characters
 
4.5(2)
Writing Style
 
4.5(2)
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Looking for a Light Cutsie Read?
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
“That's so British," I countered.
"What is?"
"Making sweeping generalizations about Americans because that makes you feel better about having a national inferiority complex the size of the Atlantic Ocean. I was just trying to be helpful, but if folding your pizza threatens you sense of patriotism, you probably shouldn't do it.”

Received: Simon and Schuster Galley Grab

Review: This is going to be a quick review today because *blush* I’m not done reading (or rather listening to) the second book today. And, well, I kinda want to do something with the fam for New Year’s Eve, yo ;)

Well, what can I say? I loved Virtuosity. I adored it. It is SO CUTE! I rarely fall for the romancy books, but this one? Oh goodness, it is amazing.

I picked up Virtuosity because one of my best friends has the same name as the author. It’s such a little thing but something as insignificant like that can just capture my attention and before you know it, I was falling head over heels for Carmen and Jeremy and their rocky relationship.

Plot: The plot was so good – sweet and simple – something that could just make you smile. I have to admit, it is very predictable. But aren’t all romance novels? It contains a bit too much detail too, but I’m not going into that.

Characters: Carmen may seem different from the typical teenager: she’s passionate, driven and engrossed in her violin (that’s not to say teens aren’t driven, but come on, she won a Grammy at age 9). Despite all that, she’s just the same as any of us. She has differences with her parents, she goes through the same first romance, and she learns to be independent. So maybe you can’t totally relate to the child prodigy or the ultimate musician that is Carmen. It doesn’t matter. I can’t sing and dance for the life of me, but I loved her all the same. Martinez just gets how to make solid, realistic, well-developed characters that you would die to meet. Okay, maybe it’s just me.

Within two pages, you just know Jeremy is going to be a great “bad boy”. And that’s how he is on the outside. But the more you get to know him, the more you peel back the layers…Jeremy is no Edward, I can promise you that. (I know, Twilight reference again, sorry). He’s way way better. He is caring and funny, but he’s also unwilling to let go of everything he ever worked for just for a girl he just met. Talk about realistic. And omg, he’s British.

Romanciness: If you’ve read many of my reviews, you know that I usually don’t have something great to say about the romance. Be it over the top, underdone, or just plain annoying and unneeded, romance is present in almost every YA book I’ve ever read, but it’s also very hard to write. Or rather, it’s difficult to make the romance relevant and believable. Not so here. It's slow and sweet, and I found myself cheering for the two of them. One thing I’d like to say is that there’s NO LOVE TRIANGLE! Woohoo! I don’t know how you escaped recycling the overused love triangle, but you did it, Martinez. Here’s a pat on the back. Aw shucks, gimme a big hug!

Cover: Oh my gosh, isn’t it awesome?! It’s not that ornate or anything, pretty simple and perfect! Check out some of the alternate covers below. I like the title too. Virtuosity-A perfect title for a perfect book.
Virtuosity Virtuosity - Liebe um jeden Preis
The left one's the UK cover and the right one's German. Which one do you like best? Let me know in the comments!

Well, the review didn’t turn out as short as I thought, but I got everything out, so it’s all good. Now I’m off to finish the last book for Review Mania! Can you believe it? It’s almost already over. ?

Recommended for: Anyone looking for a light cutsie read!
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About Much More Than Just Music
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
At first, I was not sure how I was going to feel about this book. The prologue (not called that, but I don't know what else to call the abbreviated first section) certainly grabbed my attention, but it also made me worry that this might not be a good book for me. Carmen does not come off as too smart or likable in this brief segment, but, when you finally catch up in time to this moment, you totally get why she was going crazy.

Once I got into the flow of the book and managed to somewhat calm down my intense curiosity to know the resolution of the opening scene, I got completely sucked into this book. I loved the focus on music, as well as the serious moral dilemmas that Carmen had to face. In some ways, it reminded me of Where She Went by Gayle Forman and, in it's lighter moments that focused on the rivalry and relationship of Carmen and Jeremy, of Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund.

The coming of age aspects of the story also rocked my socks. Carmen, though in some ways very mature, given that she's traveled the world and won a grammy and plays a 1.2 million dollar violin, is also, as her mom tells her, naive. Because of her virtuous status and tour schedule, she has been home schooled and has little experience interacting with others. This is partly why she has so much trouble understanding Jeremy and trusting his motivations. She is so used to being told what to do by her mother and her teacher that she really has to learn how to be herself. Of course, the fact that she was often drugged did not help. Carmen's drug addiction, whether mental or physical, was a scary thing, particularly as she had been encouraged in her dependency by people she should be able to trust.

I really loved reading this and rather hope that there might be another book on Carmen's adventure, as the ending totally makes it possible. This story was beautiful, heartbreaking and powerful. The cover's awesome too.

P.S. There was a reference to Amy Winehouse in here. I wonder if it will be in the finalized version or if it will be removed because it's too soon... The main characters mentioned her and said that they hoped she was in rehab. Unfortunately, she said "no, no, no."
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