Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 18th 2011
Summary: 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....
Review: Virtuosity will take you on a journey that is both compelling and honest. I love books that revolve around music of any sort, possibly (probably, definitely) because I love music in general. This book, however, really hits the spot for me.
Competition is tough. It's brutal. It's ugly. It's necessary. Through Carmen's raw voice, we not only discover how cruel competition can be, we discover that people will do anything it takes to win... And we discover the sacrifices made, the feelings lost, and the memories gained.
Carmen's emotions really reached out to me in a way that I felt I could relate to. Now, I've never played an instrument at the level she plays the violin, but I can understand how the practice of violin becomes her. I can see how it's possible for her to see absolutely nothing when she imagines a life without violin. Most importantly, I can feel how her love for the instrument is replaced by an obsession to win a competition that can prove everything, while proving nothing at all. Her passion and voice are thrown onto the pages, so unrestrained and powerful that it cannot be missed.
It's odd how things unravel in this book, yet it's a beautiful weirdness. The instant connection between Carmen and Jeremy is brilliant, bright, and hard to ignore. Their witty banter, spunky conversations, constant wariness, and shared passions create a dynamic that is ready to explode at a moment's notice. It can be a wonderful outburst or a terrifying boom. But it can never be both at once.
The thing about Jeremy is that he comes off as kind of a sketchy character. His actions and motives keep you on your toes, but his vulnerability and charm draw you in. The tension between him and Carmen is intense and it can (and does) only grow stronger as the competition looms closer and their attraction becomes more obvious and confusing.
Nothing short of brilliant, Virtuosity is a book filled with twists and turns. This is a must read that appeals to all emotions and tastes. The relationship between Carmen and Jeremy is unexpected, but once it's there, it feels completely natural and essential. A mesmerizing combination of music, talent, discovery, and harsh reality, Virtuosity doesn't disappoint in any way.
And it truly makes you wonder: How far will you go in order to win? And when will you stop?