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Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez


by Jessica Martinez

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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
I thought that the book was going to be about Carmen becoming addicted to the Inderal (anti-anxiety meds). It's not a big deal that it wasn't, but the misleading summaries need to go away. The sole focus of Carmen's life is violin, and in the book particularly the Guarneri competition. But she isn't in control of her own life. That job has been taken over by Carmen's mother, who makes Carmen take the Inderal (and is the one who decided that she needed it), scheduling what she does before big performances, and what she does in her free time. The book was really about Carmen taking control of her own life, and the choices she has to make to be free. I was rooting for her all through the book.

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  captainbooknerd | Jan 11, 2018 |
Egalley thanks to Simon & Schuster

Absolutely beautiful book!

I usually stay away from contemporary romance be that adult or YA literature, but I always make exception for books about dancers or musicians. They fascinate me.

I read this book in one go. The writing sucks you right in, the pace is breathtaking and totally engrossing.

Carmen is a very likable character who is n the verge of breaking under her mother's demands and unbearable pressure of music competition. She is a child prodigy, who toured around the world playing as a solo violinist in the most prestigious venues for years.

She also started suffering from anxiety and panic attacks few years ago. And what did her ambitious mother do? Put her on Inderal instead of helping her with the therapy.

Now, off topic - I've worked in the pharmacy mainly dealing with psychiatric hospitals and rehabs, I also wrote quite a few articles on anxiety and depression. There are a lot of wonderful therapies, like cognitive-behavioral therapy which helps dealing with anxiety. Drugs just suppress it, but the causes of your problem stay until you learn to deal with them.

So whatever Carmen's mother was doing was destroying the girl's life. Until she met her adversary and main competitor, a brilliant violinist Jeremy.

These two were wonderful for each other, snarky and paranoid in the beginning, they got together on a dare, defying Carmen's mother and with the ulterior motives on Jeremy's side.
But what Jeremy did for Carmen is showed her that she forgot the joy music brought her without her drugs, how it used to make her feel alive.

Meeting Jeremy made Carmen re-evaluate what's important and take a step towards being independent, defy her mother and her teacher, and just live.

I loved her courage, her struggle to do what's right. Jeremy was just as complicated and multi-layered. He, um-m reminded me of Alex Pettyfer in Wild Child - cocky, but nice.

I loved that these two saw music in each other, but the romance wasn't the driving force in this book, - finding one's way was. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
Seventeen-year-old Carmen has always been obsessed with playing the violin. It’s her life and breath. She is nothing without it, which is why she has to be the best. After being discovered as a child prodigy, her whole life has revolved around touring, concerts, recordings, lessons, and planning everything around her next competition. Read the rest of my review on my blog: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/virtuosity-jessica-martinez/ ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
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 their 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." ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
3.5 ( )
  FlanneryAC | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Just before the most important violin competition of her career, seventeen-year-old prodigy Carmen faces critical decisions about her anti-anxiety drug addiction, her controlling mother, and a potential romance with her most talented rival.

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