Virtuosity

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Virtuosity

by Jessica Martinez

Simon Pulse | April 21, 2014 | Hardcover

Virtuosity is rated 3.75 out of 5 by 4.
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....

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.2 in

Published: April 21, 2014

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1442420529

ISBN - 13: 9781442420526

Appropriate for ages: 14

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Understated Review first posted at http://unautrehistoire.blogspot.com/ I hadn't heard of Virtuosity when it showed up in my mailbox a few months ago. What I did notice right away was the cover. Look at that cover, It's beautiful! And after reading the novel, the cover is very fitting for the story. I really like this book. A lot. I enjoyed the musical world Jessica Martinez created. It was fun and complex, and the competitiveness that takes over the lives of young musicians I found very original. One often reads about competitive sports competitions, but this concept of a musical skill being all consuming is not something that I have read about before, and I found it incredibly interesting. I was sucked in Virtuosity from the very beginning. I absolutely love when an author does that. When she is able to create such a gripping tale, that sucks you in from the first line. Martinez was able to convey the extreme emotions that Carmen was made to feel because of the Guarneri competition. I felt for Carmen, and her I could understand her anxiety. It made sense to me. Her confusion over her feelings for Jeremy was clear, and well developed. I loved reading about it. Her feelings of not being good enough were something that as a reader, you were empathic to. I enjoyed this part of the novel immensely. I liked Carmen. I really liked Carmen. She was a fairly timid girl and even with her timidity she tried to be strong. For a lot of the time she attempted to be the person everyone else wanted her to be, and that almost destroyed her. She lost sight of the thing that she loved the most- her music. What I loved the most about Carmen was when she made the decision to stand up for herself, and live her life, she stuck to it (for the most part), she knew that she needed a change and she was the only one to bring to make that change a reality. Although it was not easy for her. Carmen's mother was a piece of work. She was in no way supportive of her daughter. She was controlling and manipulative, and she almost destroyed her daughter. It really irked me. I really dislike the notion of parents living vicariously through their children, nine times out of ten it's not going to end well. Which we saw in Virtuosity. A mother's obsession that almost ruined her daughter. Jeremy. Oh, Jeremy. I liked Jeremy when her first made an appearance. I thought he was cocky, and funny, and he brought Carmen out of her shell. I wasn't a huge fan of this, a boy being the reason a girl could be herself. Girls don't need boys to be themselves. But, that's beyond the point. In this sense Jeremy was good for Carmen, and they had something in common. Her understood her. He knew what she was going through, and how the competition was all consuming, he knew the feeling. It was great. However, Jeremy wasn't all good. He did some pretty crappy things, which led to Carmen's downfall. However her redeemed himself, sort of. Jeremy wasn't without his faults, but he was pretty terrific. Overall, Virtuosity was a great book. I loved this story, and I loved the world that Martinez created. It was complex, and magical, and totally worth the read.
Date published: 2012-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful and Heart Breaking I want to start out by saying I know almost nothing about classical music or the world of competitive violin playing. This did not stop me from becoming completely absorbed in this novel. Jessica Martinez makes the finer details very accessible for those readers who (like me) are unfamiliar with this particular musical world. Though there are many, many things I loved about this novel my favourite by far was Carmen herself. She was so authentic, so real and that girl is just so brave! Even with all her personal flaws, I found her so admirable. She is an incredibly complex and deep character and I just don't think 300 pages was enough! I wanted the novel to be longer so I could get to know more about her (I don't think this is a criticism – I certainly don't intend it to be). There are some heavy issues put forth in this novel. We've got intense competitions, prescription drug addiction, teenage love, over bearing parents. All tackled in just 290 pages! A difficult feat to pull off but Jessica Martinez manages it. This novel handles these issues in an appropriate way and doesn't brush off their importance. I think a lot of people (not just teens) will be able to relate to many of the themes in this novel Virtuosity pulls you in and certain scenes will just tear you apart. The story is tragic, yet absolutely beautiful. This and other reviews can be found at Christa's Hooked on Books - http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com
Date published: 2011-10-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Welcome to the Darker Side of the Competitive Classical Music World... I've been very excited to read Virtuosity ever since I first glanced at its bold, pretty cover... but it also doesn't hurt that its plot description immediately appealed to me as well! Jessica Martinez welcomes readers into the dark side of the classical music world with her debut novel! At the heart of Virtuosity is a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl just trying to break free onto her own path. Virtuosity has a wonderful, quiet intensity that continues to build as you progress through the novel. There's a lot at stake for both Jeremy and Carmen's futures with the approaching Guarneri competition, but of course, only one of them can win. They're the best violinists of their generation and everyone is watching– and waiting– to see who will come out on top. But while their musical talents are practically utter perfection, what their stage presence hides are their complicated relationships with their families. In particular, Carmen's mother is controlling and conniving to the point where you're left wondering just far she'll go to ensure that her daughter wins. And there's more to Jeremy's background than first meets the eye as well, lending more depth to his character. There's an enticing edge to the romance which develops between Carmen and Jeremy. They're both highly competitive and driven to win, yet they share an undeniable connection with their love of music and playing the violin that no one else can truly understand. But with the pressure of the competition on their shoulders, there's a certain tension in their words which leaps off the pages. I was left suspicious and weary of Jeremy initially... but mostly because I wasn't all too sure if I could trust that he wasn't trying to use Carmen's feelings against her. I loved how Jessica Martinez left her readers on edge, wondering what would happen next! The ending of the novel is left rather open-ended without too much closure, but there's a hopeful tone to it that suggests everything will work itself out in the end... even if we don't actually get to read it. Jessica Martinez's debut novel Virtuosity is one of those hidden gems you stumble across and immediately wish you had read sooner! I can't wait to see what kind of novel the author will write next in the future! You can also read this review at: http://midnightbloomreads.blogspot.com/2011/10/virtuosity-by-jessica-martinez.html
Date published: 2011-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Musical and Romantic In this intelligent read about love and music, Carmen surprises us with her witty and smarts. This was a little different than other books I read, but with its emotional pull, it really pulls the reader in. The book was narrated by Carmen, who in my opinion was very strong and I would say that she is independent. Her mother is too controlling of Carmen's career in becoming the top violinist. Her main goal is to win the Guarneri- a prestigious award. Then we met the handsome Jeremy. Ladies he is one great character. I liked him from the start, he was charming, adorable, and HOT. Carmen first meets him at a concert he plays, but with their little banter the relationship grows upon that. As they grew closer, we learn a new side of Carmen. Jeremy brings out a lot of things that Carmen, and her mother tries to get her to ignore the relationship and that he is using her, but once Jeremy kisses her.........Jeremy is one great character (British) all of his reasons for being there are heartwarming, it shows that he also has feeling for her once he got to know her. Violin is what connects them, and can also tore them apart. The plot was put together well, characters were well rounded, you really get in touch with Martinez's characters to the heart. Carmen's family is caring to some degree, but her mother is very insensitive, I know she cares for Carmen and her career as a violinist, she smothers her, and we dont see much of her biological father, only 2 mentions of him, I thought we could've seen more of him despite the circumstances. Overall I enjoyed the romance between these two, and the ending was a great ending, but it could have been more. If you like music, love and much more take a look at this book!!! http://lovesbooksreviews.blogspot.com/
Date published: 2011-09-30

– More About This Product –

Virtuosity

by Jessica Martinez

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.2 in

Published: April 21, 2014

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1442420529

ISBN - 13: 9781442420526

About the Book

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....

Read from the Book

Chapter 1 Carmen, stop staring. You can’t force him to appear with your eyes,” Heidi said. She was right. But I couldn’t risk missing him either. The backstage door of the Chicago Symphony Center was frozen shut, and it had been for at least a half hour. He had to be coming out soon. “Trade you,” she said. I took a quick glance at my dessert, a miniature chocolate cake with a molten center oozing out and a dollop of whipped cream on top. Then I looked at Heidi’s, a lemon drop cupcake nestled in an unnaturally yellow cloud of spun sugar. Both were missing one bite. “What’s wrong with yours?” I asked, eyes back on the target. “Nothing. It’s just too tart for me. Look at it, though. Isn’t it pretty?” She poked it with her fork. “Um …” I didn’t really care. Where was he? She smiled, sensing victory, and tucked her silky blond hair behind her ears. “I’m just in the mood for something richer.” She glanced at my plate again. “And you love lemon, right?” “I guess.” I pushed my plate toward her. I didn’t hate lemon. “You’re the best,” she said, her fork already sinking into my cake. “I know.” I took a bite of her dessert. The lemon curd was tart, especially after that bite of chocolate cake, but the frosting was painfully sweet. Elegant and trendy, like everything else on Rhapsody’s menu, but not somet
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From the Publisher

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....

Editorial Reviews

“Martinez has a gift for making classical violinaccessible and understandable to even the most tone-deaf reader. The twists inthe pair’s love affair, combined with the turns in their careers, catapult thisnovel from sweet romance to tour de force. Decisions are never easy, but willthe cost of winning—or losing—be too high?” —Booklist

Appropriate for ages: 14

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