Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher, Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez | Book ReviewVirtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Published by Simon and Schuster on September 18th 2012
Genres: Friendship, Love & Romance, Music, Performing Arts, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 292
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Buy on Amazon

An intensely romantic, “brilliant debut” (Kirkus Reviews) about a dangerous addiction, a fierce rivalry, and a forbidden love.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 antianxiety 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 sicker of always doing what she’s told, doing what’s expected.Sometimes being on top just means you have a long way to fall….

Carmen has cracked under the pressure as we see in the opening pages of Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez. You are pretty much thrown head first into the plot as Carmen is dangling her million dollar violin over a hotel balcony. Does she drop it? Even more important, how did she even get to that point, where she is willing to toss one million dollars away?

You guys! Normally I am not into blondes at all, but Jeremy, Carmen’s violin-playing rival for the Guarneri competition is a sizzler. Seriously! Like, Carmen creeps on him and he calls her out on it. And guys, there’s a slow burn! But Carmen’s crazy ass stage mom, Diana, messes with her head and is all don’t trust him he just wants in yo pants. I could go on and on about how that woman could drive me to drink if she was my mom, oy vey. But enough on the side characters in Virtuosity.

Carmen, herself, is an interesting character. She totally excels at being a violinist and is a superstar in the classical music realm. Yet, in the real world, people don’t know who she is. Plus, I thought she seemed socially awkward — mainly because she is home schooled and didn’t seem to get the high school experience. But what I truly enjoyed about Carmen was seeing her lose her performance joy but then coming back to it again. It’s a kind of redemption and I love love love when that happens in a book, you know, when your fist pumps for the main character because they just ran up some stairs to cool music or when they achieve something after working really hard!

Further, I was able to guess the twist in Virtuosity early on. I actually ended up GChatting Shanyn about it – you know the whole OMG I THINK THIS HAPPENS OMG DON’T TELL ME. DO NOT TELL ME. OMG OMG AHHHHH. Yeah, that’s my style. It definitely did not diminish my enjoyment of Jessica Martinez’s debut novel, as I like feeling smug and superior at making accurate predictions.

So, um, peeps, when does Jessica Martinez’s next book come out? BECAUSE I WANT IT. Jessica Martinez took a subject I find to be boring as hell – classical music- actually, that’s in theory, because I enjoy it in books- and made it to be full of HEAT and COMPETITION and ROMANCE and ANXIETY and INTERESTING. Yes, full of interesting.

FYI I went to one of Jessica Martinez’s signings!

Disclosure: Received for review, but then I purchased a copy. And this review is based on the copy that I purchased, because I am awesome and buy books.

 Other Reviews of Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez:

Forever Young Adult
Anna Reads
The Perpetual Page Turner
Makeshift Bookmark

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This one caught me by surprise. I enjoyed it SO much more than I was expecting to. Read it in one night. Loved each character.

  2. when I first saw the cover of this book, I immediately thought of those Fanta Commercials.. The pink, and the flinging hair.. god that song is annoying, and that shit tastes like ass. Have you ever had it? Ugh.. liquid ass. lol.

    Anyway, This is now the second great review I have read for this one. I does seem like a boring book when you just read the description. I like classical music to an extent, but I have never really read about it. I’m most interested in reading about her crazy mom. The last review I read focused a bit on that.. Since my own mother is kinda crazy.. (correction.. she’s a complete nut bag) I always like to read and compare. I think I already added this one to my goodreads.. but I’ll check, if I didn’t yet.. I will. 🙂

  3. YES. I loved this book. Diana was batshit cray and Jeremy… I am with you on the “blondes-aren’t-my-thing” thing (weird that I am one, but whatever) but OMG. JEREMY. Surely his was woven from golden sunlight beams because I have no problem with blondes in his case.

  4. I’m sorry, is this a book? I mistook it for a freeze-frame from a tampon commercial, with the O standing for Ovary instead of Ovation.

    Regardless of this hair-flinging cover, I want to read it! Your reviews tend to make me want to do that. (music and slow-burning also helps!)

  5. I saw the twist coming too, but like you I didn’t find it diminished my enjoyment of the story. I also wanted to give the mother a bit of a smack. The whole medication thing made me want to just scream. Great comtemp though.