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Virtuosity Hardcover – October 18, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“An intoxicating blend of passion,vulnerability, and the desire to have it all, no matter the cost. A mesmerizingread.” —Lauren Myracle, bestselling author of Shine and ttyl

“Passionate and true, Virtuosity singsfrom first page to last.” —Sarah Ockler, author of Fixing Delilah and TwentyBoy Summer

“Beautiful writing, a swoon-worthyromance, and tension that will keep you turning the pages. Virtuosity ispitch-perfect.” —Lauren Barnholdt, author of Sometimes It Happens and Two-wayStreet

"Heartfelt, gripping, and unflinchingly authentic.VIRTUOSITY will change the way you think about music." --Antony John,author of Five Flavors of Dumb

"Martinez brings this overwrought world totense, quivering life and guides readers through it confidently. A brilliantdebut." - Kirkus STARRED REVIEW

“Riveting... A beautifully written story….The portrayal of Carmen’s world, in which every performance is terrifying and even one stumble could end her career, is unique and convincing. The novel builds to a satisfying finish as the competition arrives and Carmen discovers a terrible secret. Even readers without much interest in music will enjoy this exceptional novel.” -- School Library Journal

“This story of violin prodigies will elevate readers, lifting them above the standard YA romance offerings and delivering a wise yet endearing love story….Well-developed, with flawed but likeable characters. Any teen who has felt pressured to succeed will easily identify with Carmen and Jeremy, and romantics will find themselves cheering for the star-crossed lovers.” - Library Media Connection

“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

About the Author

Jessica Martinez lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, her two children, and her violin. She spends her days writing, running, and teaching her children to be music lovers. She is the author of Virtuosity, The Space Between Us, and The Vow. Visit her at JessicaMartinez.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442420529
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442420526
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,691,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Angela Thompson VINE VOICE on October 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't really planning on reading VIRTUOSITY. I'm not sure why, because I'm actually often drawn to stories featuring prodigies or people with highly regimented lifestyles due to their skills/abilities/life choices. Also, I like the title. But, the cover doesn't do a whole lot for me (it looks more paranormal than contemporary). Nothing wrong with it, but I will say that it would help if she was at least holding a violin. Then a galley floated my way, and so I went on the hunt for a few reliable reviews. And wouldn't you know, I found them. Enough of them to prod me to see for myself. I actually started VIRTUOSITY right after finishing another book, somewhere in the vicinity of midnight, and I was absorbed quickly and deeply enough that I just read it straight through. I kind of feel like it's one of the ones best read that way, one of the ones that benefits largely from a quantity of undivided attention and a lack of breaks throughout.

Carmen Bianchi is a virtuoso. Her mother sang with the New York Metropolitan Opera at an unprecedentedly young age. All set to ride her stardom high, her career was cut short by an unexpected operation and an unexpected pregnancy. And so she transferred all of her drive, all her expectation, all her determination onto her daughter. And so Carmen eats, drinks, and breathes the violin. Her days are regimented to within an inch of her life, and her activities are sharply curtailed by her demanding schedule. With the most important competition of her life just a few short weeks away, she decides to scope out the competition. But it turns out Jeremy King isn't exactly the way she pictured him. And yet while his manner (both onstage and off) is about as far from her own as possible, he does share an unmatched understanding of what her life is like.
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Format: Hardcover
Seventeen year old Carmen Bianchi is an award winning violinist. She is on the verge of competing in the prestigious Guarneri competition against Jeremy King; one of Europe's most talented young violinists.

After a not-so-chance encounter with Jeremy, Carmen is infuriated. Jeremy seems like nothing more than an ostentatious, arrogant jerk. After a few email interactions, Carmen finds herself at one of Jeremy's shows. As she watches him from her box seat, things begin to change. After the show, the two young musicians share a pizza and as they talk, Carmen comes to the realization that somewhere along the way, music has changed for her. Playing the violin has become something she does for others - such as her mother (who is also her manager), her strict violin teacher, and everyone else around her. At some point she stopped feeling it. She stopped doing it for the joy it made her feel; she stopped doing it for herself.

Carmen's mother warns her against Jeremy, and even forbids her to see him. In a rare act of rebellion, Carmen does the opposite. She sees him more. Then, just as Carmen begins to trust that Jeremy isn't out to sabotage her... he tells her why he's really been spending time with her.

That's when things begin to fall apart for Carmen.

- - -

Okay, to quote the synopsis - "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."

This is very misleading. Carmen didn't need the pills, nor was it her idea to take them. Carmen's mother is domineering and quite frankly, terrible.
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Format: Hardcover
Originally posted on my blog: [...])

"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."

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.
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