Author: Jessica Martinez
Source: Borrowed from Library. I will be purchasing a copy!
Goodreads Summary & Cover:
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....
As a past music performer and competitor, I can say that this book was absolutely touching and so full of truth. The anxiety, the competitions, the always questioning yourself, etc...it is all so very real.
Carmen's journey through this book, dealing with Jeremy (her main competitor), and the anxiety and the medicine that went with it, had me connecting so well with her. All of these things happen to performers every day. You are given one chance and if you blow it, it's over.
Jeremy was such a cocky and arrogant doofus at first, but you grow to love him in no time. His competitiveness was just a different variety than Carmen's. Guys definitely handle things differently than females. After his question to Carmen about the competition, I felt so sorry for him. I felt sorry for Carmen, too! However, his apologies and truths made me love him all the much more.
Carmen's mother, Diana...OY!!! It makes me so very sad when parents don't let their children live and learn. Especially when it's something that wouldn't cause bodily harm or breaking the law. :) Just because she had an unfortunate career end, doesn't mean that she needed to micro-manage Carmen as she did.
Carmen's father and grandparents...OY!!!
Carmen's step-dad, Clark...LOVE him!!! He was a truly amazing person and dad for her. He gave her confidence, trust, and support that her mother should have.
Yuri...what an old, knowledgeable, and angry dude...who made me cry!
VIRTUOSITY absolutely blew me away! So moving and touching. So full of truth!
Martinez gave a new life to violinists and classical music to a new wave of readers.
Virtuosity satisfies part of the Completely Contemp Challenge!