Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Copy Courtesy of Simon and Schuster
Release Date: Oct 18, 2011
The top of the violin world comes together every four years to choose a star at the Guarneri competition, and Carmen is one of those select few chosen to compete. To be at the top, Carmen has sacrificed everything, but when Jeremy, her main competitor, enters the picture, Carmen starts to wonder whether any of it was really worth it.
Wow, I was surprised. In the first scene of the book, Carmen is poised to throw away a $1.2million violin (a Stradivarius for those who know anything about violins), and I was poised to not like the book because while that is a dramatic gesture, I wasn’t sure I could take such a horrific waste of money whether or not it was mean to be a gesture or not. Virtuosity though, turned around and surprised me with an engaging story, personable characters, and a building tension that broke at just the right moment.
Carmen’s slow realization throughout this book of the gilded cage surrounding her is not a new story, but it is told so well that it doesn’t need to be new to be great. The way Carmen’s addiction to an anti-anxiety medicine played out might have been a tad unrealistic since it seemed a bit too easy, but the thoughts which went through her head were well-written.
Maybe it’s because I don’t read that much contemporary fiction that I thought this one was good or perhaps it’s because it was good ^.^ Either way, this is a book you should get on the bandwagon for reading.
Star Rating: 4.0/5.0
For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.