Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review - Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

VirtuosityTitle: Virtuosity
Author: Jessica Martinez
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 304
Published: October 18, 2011 by Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781442420526
Source: Galley Grab Program

Description: 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 betterCarmen 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...

I Give This ...

I really wasn't sure were my interest in this book might fall.  I'm not a musically inclined person.  I can't sing and I don't play an instrument.  However I did dance competitively for many years, so I was hoping I could identify with the main character, even  if it was just a little bit.  

I was amazed at how fast I got sucked into Carmen's world.  I felt her indifference to her music, but her understanding that she had a gift.  She didn't know how to be anything beside a violin prodigy.  But, she was unhappy and I think that's why she initially started having performance anxiety.  I think she gave in to the medication to easily.  It was an easy out and they made her feel better.  I am curious about the addiction she was experiencing to it.  She really shouldn't have been experiencing the level she was but it was fascinating to watch her struggle with her basic activities.  She was needing them just for practicing and an ungodly amount for performances.

I loved her interactions with Jeremy.   I was glad to see it wasn't instant attraction, but more subtle (or maybe stalkerish) curiosity at first.  But, they have some in common even if there reasons driving their music forward is different.  I wasn't ever really sure if I liked Jeremy because I thought there was always an alternative reason for him wanting to befriend Carmen.  But, I was pleased to see them build a true friendship.  I think Jeremy was the perfect person for Carmen to befriend at that moment.  He had a true love for his music that Carmen was lacking.

I think I was able to understand Carmen the way that I did because I knew someone like her growing up.  She had a gift for dance and was excellent at it.  But, she had no joy in what she did.  Her mother pushed her forward constantly.  I always wondered if she would fight back.  I'm not sure if she ever did at the level Carmen did.  But, I do believe she began to enjoy dance again. 

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