Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: VIRTUOSITY by Jessica Martinez

 Courtesy of Simon and Schuster Pulse It!

Carmen is a violinist in competing for first place in the prestigious Guarneri competition, for a one year contract, a tour around the world as the soloist and for the ownership of the most expensive and beautiful sounding violin in the world for a year. She has no competition, for she is the best among the best. That was before Jeremy King. Infuriating, arrogant, and the only one who could beat Carmen, he is the threat, as well as the love interest. Soon, Carmen begins to defy her mother/manager, go for late-night-outs, kisses Jeremy and surprisingly, she finds the passion for music that was long since lost. But she still can't tell Jeremy about her secret-her addiction with anxiety pills, no matter how charming he is, and there is absolutely no way she can let him win the competition too. Sick with her addiction, sick with people always telling her what to do, and sick of doing what's expected, she's heading for a crash, and being on the top means that you have an extra length to fall.

     Beautiful and inspiring, Virtuosity is a novel that strikes straight to the heart of readers, music lovers especially. Lyrical and brilliant, Martinez keeps you eager for the next line. There was never a dull moment, for it is full of tension, emotions and romance. 

     The characters are extremely relatable, especially Carmen. She is strong yet vulnerable, and able to confront her own fears and problems. Extremely talented, she leads an unusual life, yet still strives to live a normal teen life. It's hilarious yet sweet as hell.

     Jeremy King is an awkward, humorous yet awesome and talented British lad(why am I reading so many novels with British guys lately?). Completely believable, as Carmen is. Jeremy will be one of your favorite guys. The other characters are very human too, their actions and emotions make sense and will also catch your heart. Everyone has their stories, and their past make them who they are in the novel.

The relationships between the characters are expertly constructed too. I loved watching Carmen grow into the talented woman she is, Carmen's bombastic and sad relationship with her mother and Carmen's relationship with Jeremy.

     The world crafting is immensely successful. You sense the city Carmen is in, and you'll get the tension in between the lines. You'll understand more about the classical music world than you'll ever know. This is another reason why I love the novel. 

     Despite the novel is mainly about classical music, non-musical readers will find themselves sucked in by 
Carmen, Jeremy and the Guarneri, and understand everything they're going through. Every scene is well crafted, oozing with emotions and atmosphere when it's supposed to be. 

     The main reason I love this book is because of the music and drive. For me, Carmen's need to strive is that much more endearing and heart wrenching. Being a pianist myself, I understand Carmen's need to excel, to win, to be the best of the best, her passion. Even if you do not play an instrument or love music, you'll know and understand the feelings and actions Carmen have. Some parts-some despairing parts-I find my nose sore and eyes wet. This shows how good of a writer Martinez is. 

     Virtuosity is a wonderful debut novel from Jessica Martinez, fully capturing the voice and life of a child prodigy, turning in to a talented young woman, while she finds love in the brutal world of classical music. A definite job well done, clean and expertly executed.

     The cover is gorgeous! The exact profile of Carmen in my eyes. I can feel the passion and desperation, all at once.

Ratings: 4.5 stars

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear the characters are relateable. That is important to me when reading because it so rarely happens. Child prodigies must live very difficult lives. This sounds like a really good story and I really look forward to Carmen's music and strive to succeed.
    If you have time stop by and check out my review Reign Fall


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