Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bookanista Thursday: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

So the month of November is being featured as Just Contemporary month over at Basically Amazing Books and Chick Loves Lit, which I'm so excited about, since Contemporary is my first YA love. It makes me so very proud and happy when I find amazing Contemporary books, and VIRTUOSITY certainly qualifies!

From Goodreads:
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....

My Thoughts:

This is a book that had me from the first intense page.  It's a book I fell into immediately and didn't want to put down. At all.  Carmen's voice sings from the start, and the tone is passionate, true, fragile, and strong, all at the same time. 

I am not a musician in any sense of the word, so this glimpse into Carmen's world was both enlightening and startling.  The intensity of the practice, the competition, and the pressures of this life are palpable in every word Martinez writes.  And her words are brilliant--crisp, vivid, and gorgeous in the best possible way.

Virtuosity is so many things--way more than the summary suggests.  It's a story of a girl facing her opponent, her inner conflicts, and her own talent, and it's so gracefully done I can honestly say it goes on the list of "Books I Wish I'd Written."

So check it out, if you haven't already!

You can also find Jessica on her website: , Facebook, and Twitter!

And while you're here, check out what the other Bookanistas are talking about this week:

Elana Johnson gushes about THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

Shelli Johannes-Wells praises Addison Moore's books

Rosemary Clement-Moore gets all wrapped up in WRAPPED

Nikki Katz screams for LEGEND

Katy Upperman sets us all up for BEFORE I FALL



  1. I've had my eye on this one for awhile... I love the cover SO much, and I'm all for a great contemporary! I'll definitely be adding it to my book shopping list. Thanks, Jessi!

  2. Thanks for the shout out! This is an awesome review. I loved Virtuosity and was absolutely thrilled by all hidden complexities in the story. An awesome book for sure!!