Virtuosity
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Virtuosity

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,537 ratings  ·  462 reviews
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 Je...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Simon Pulse
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Divergent by Veronica RothUnearthly by Cynthia HandAcross the Universe by Beth RevisWither by Lauren DeStefanoAngelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
2011 Debut Authors (Young Adult and Middle Grade Lit.)
58th out of 369 books — 2,180 voters
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YA Music Books
12th out of 249 books — 459 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cory
May 01, 2011 Cory rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cory by: John Egbert
Shelves: galleygrab
I was actually prompted to write this review after a friend pointed me to this interview: http://www.jessicamartinez.com/index....

In case you're reading this Jessica, I'm not a guy. I'm a seventeen-year-old girl. Just thought I'd get that out of the way.

Now, onto the review.

It's difficult for me to express what I disliked about this book. It wasn't the writing style, nor was it the romance.

No, I think it comes down to the protagonist. I like a protagonist that I'm able to sympathize with. As I...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Sep 09, 2011 Maja (The Nocturnal Library) rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: fans of Where She Went
Recommended to Maja (The Nocturnal Library) by: Nomes
At first glance, Virtuosity is just another story about a girl who isn’t in control of her own life. And you know what? That’s exactly what it is on second glance as well. But unlike so many of these stories, it is well written, completely engrossing and definitely worth a read.

To say that Carmen grew up shielded from everyday life would be a serious understatement. She was homeschooled, she never had a real friend other than her tutor Heidi and she never spent any time with boys her age. You s...more
Reynje
I confess that I am one of those people that say: “I love music.” Probably a lot. And I do, in a certain sense of the word. I love music in that I find emotional connection and release in it. I love music in that I come home from work some days, pour myself a glass of wine, put on the Cure and dance around my lounge room. In that I listen to it every day without exception.

But when I stop to really think about it, I see how limited my appreciation of music really is. I watch my six-year-old niec...more
Lisa O.
4.5/5 stars

When my good friend Maja mentioned in her review of Virtuosity that she recommended it for fans of Where She Went, I knew I couldn't possibly skip this book.
And she was right, if you like Gayle Forman, you will most probably like Jessica Martinez and this stunning debut as well.

In Virtuosity, Carmen is an accomplished violinist at only 17. Not only is she a child prodigy about to start Juilliard in the fall, but she might probably be the best out there with a Grammy award to her me...more
Nomes
Virtuosity is a gorgeously written book. I loved the smooth flowing prose from the start but what impressed me most was the way Jessica Martinez manages to evoke atmosphere and emotion ~ and her descriptions of music and the way it made me feel are *brilliant*. So succinct, never flowery ~ just the perfect blend of ache and beauty.

Virtuosity covers about two weeks in the life of Carmen ~ leading up to winning a future-changing prestigious award as a violinist. There's the perfect amount of back-...more
Jo
Sep 23, 2011 Jo rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya, e
“And once the nervousness had completely disappeared and the flatness descended, it seemed like whole world took on a matte finish. No gloss to slip on.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
That last page saved what would have been a ‘WHAT THE EFF’-type of ending… but we’ll get to that. Don’t worry.

High Points.
The cover… it really doesn’t have anything to do with the story but, man, do I wish my hair would do that. Music. Pizza. Ball gowns. Walks in the park. Jazz clubs. Curfews. Makeovers. Almost-there...more
Jasprit
Where can I start with Virtuosity? My thoughts are kind of all jumbled up right now, having just finished this book which was an amazing read. I think I’m quite surprised by this, as when I’d read the blurb, I had certain expectations of the book in my head, but this book totally blew them away and gave me so much more!

Carmen Bianchi is a talented violinist, she’s been playing ever since she can remember, she’s won a Grammy, and even released her music, but everything she’s done in her career ha...more
Aleeeeeza
The thing about reading books set heavily around music is that they get me sort of really obsessed. Like, when I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman, I totally fell for the cello. When I read Where She Went, If I Stay’s sequel, and Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, I totally fell in love with the guitar. When I read The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder, I thought: Dude, I NEED to learn how to play the drums… And so forth.

But it’s actually really awesome, falling in love with these different instruments an...more
Eunice
I've always wanted to learn how to play a violin but never really got the chance. The closest I get on that was learning Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (I did actually have to coax and force my friend to teach me play it) which I have totally forgotten by now. Ha! But violin has always fascinates and mesmerizes me. So when I read the blurb of this book and learned that the main characters are violin prodigies I was absolutely sold! And boy was I not disappointed. Because reading Virtuosity was just...more
Hayden Casey
From the day I was born, I sang.

At two years old, I'd make noise when my diaper was being changed, and I'd kick my legs

At three, I would bounce in my crib and sing.

At five, I would stand in front of the TV when Blue's Clues was on and shake my butt in my diaper, singing the Mail Song.

At eleven, I entered a singing competition, and when I was twelve, I won it.

The point of this timeline-style anecdote is that I've felt pressure my entire life, to do better, to do more, to improve, to win. I know e...more
Emily
Virtuosity has lots of elements that I typically enjoy reading about in contemporary YA: complex family relationships; a nuanced love interest; snap-crackle-pop dialogue; a smart, talented main character. So it was no surprise that I enjoyed this book, but I didn't realise just how much I would love it.

When Carmen’s story begins, she’s two weeks away from a career-defining competition. Her dependency on anti-anxiety medication is increasing and her passion for violin is all but lost. Martinez d...more
Laura
4.5 Stars

Virtuosity is a beautiful read. Powerful emotions and gorgeous scenes strung together with a pitch perfect, pure, warm tone that expresses all the passion, competitiveness, and conflicted feelings running through these characters. What does winning really mean if you can no longer feel the soaring passion and thrill of the competition, art, or love pumping through your body?

Carmen’s love of music is intertwined with her everything. Her life is defined and built around her love of the vi...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
VIRTUOSITY is a book that I've seen all over the blogosphere, so I was pretty curious when I got it in the mail.

Carmen is a violinist. Her mother a failed musician has been the driving force that has pushed and encouraged Carmen to reach the potential that she has today. With a Grammy under her belt, and a place to compete for the Guarneri music prize - nothing is going to stop her. She's one of the best, if not THE best, but for the first time there's an ounce of doubt when she hears a boy cal...more
Lenore Appelhans
Carmen is a 17 year old violin prodigy, already accepted to Julliard, already winner of a classical music Grammy. She is pushed to achieve increasing greater success by her mother Diana, a former opera singer who lost her promising career due to a medical condition. As the story opens, Carmen is preparing for a prestigious violin competition that takes place only once every four years. If Carmen wins, she’ll tour the world. Losing is not an option. Her main competition is Jeremy - a handsome Bri...more
♥ The Book Snob ♥
Initial reaction: Oh, wow! Such a beautiful cover! And look at the blurp! You bet this is gonna be a superb read! :D

 photo SuperExcitedGif_zpsa635f34a.gif

~

After reading: 2.5 is what I'm rewarding Virtuosity with.

Seriously, I don't even know what to say about this one. I didn't like how it started, I didn't like how it ended. Mainly, I didn't like the plot.

The only thing I did like was that it revolved around music. And I, myself, am a stage performer. So I should've connected.

But I couldn't.

I liked that she had this hunger to win...more
Isamlq
3.5/5

I have got a goofy grin pasted on my face right now because that ending has got me thinking about what could be. It's simply ripe with possibility! BUT I'm also recalling what I initially felt for Carmen: CONFUSED. I mean, what exactly was the problem here? She had got parents who support her and an actual talent for her passion! But read a bit more, and I saw that getting where she was was not easy especially with a mother who drove her a little too hard and her issues on perfoming on stag...more
Angie
Originally published here.

I wasn't really planning on reading VIRTUOSITY. I'm not sure why, because I'm actually often drawn to stories featuring prodigies or people with highly regimented lifestyles due to their skills/abilities/life choices. Also, I like the title. But, the cover doesn't do a whole lot for me (it looks more paranormal than contemporary). Nothing wrong with it, but I will say that it would help if she was at least holding a violin. Then a galley floated my way, and so I went on...more
Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)
I have been looking forward to reading Virtuosity from the moment my friend Katie (sophistikatied.com) told me about it. I really love the cover and music is a topic that I generally love to read about.

I had not read any violin/classical music based books, and did not know much about the topic in general, but Jessica Martinez does an excellent job of showing the passion and dedication of serious violin players. She even mentions the marks the players have on their necks from holding the violin,...more
fяσzєη, kupo~
This review is also available over at my blog.

_______________________

Actual rating is 4.5 stars.

I don't know why I held back from reading this. I had it, just sitting on my shelf, for several months, but I honestly have no idea why it took me so long to just pick it up and read it. I actually like music-themed YA books and wanna read more of them, because I think I've only ever read, like, two. Including this one. Other books had music themes sprinkled onto it, like the protagonist being a music...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

First-person perspective young-adult novels and I have a tricky but pretty reliable relationship etched out: if they are handled well and maturely I can legitimately love them, but if the author doesn't have the panache to pass their voice as a believable teen it's a lost cause with no hope. Happily for me, Jessica Martinez shines in her debut novel in the voice, mind and world of Carmen Bianchi, world-class violinist. Believable without trying too...more
Emily
One of my favorite type of books is the book I don't want to read but have to that turns out to be a book that I love and can't put down. That's what Virtuosity was for me. When I got it in the box of review titles, I was less than thrilled after reading the back. But I knew I had to read it so I did. This is a smart book - that was the word I kept thinking as I read it - a breath of fresh air in a world of YA look-alikes and dumbed-down titles. Since I just read Cold Kiss (which was borderline...more
Nafiza
Let me be (one of) the first to say it:

Virtuosity just may be the strongest debut of 2011. And I have read enough of them to form an educated opinion.

I don’t know about you guys but I love books about music. Or movies about music. Or manga about music… you get the idea. (And if you haven’t yet looked up Nodame Cantabile, I reckon you should.) Anyway, Virtuosity is a well crafted novel that allows the reader a close look into the life of a musical prodigy. In this case, the prodigy would be Carme...more
Jordyn
Carmen is a young violin virtuoso who already has a Grammy under her belt and a scholarship to Juliard, but for her that's not enough. Her career in music hinges on winning the prestigious Guarneri competition, which comes with a worldwide, year-long tour. She must win not only for herself, but also for her mother whose own career as an opera singer was cut short and has poured her love for music into her daughter. When Carmen begins to fall for her competition, Jeremy King, she finds that she a...more
Joy (joyous reads)
At the youthful age of seventeen, Carmen has not really lived a life of a normal teenager. Having spent most of her young life rehearsing, touring, and competing, you could say that her life experience is pretty much limited to music. She’s a violin virtuoso; amassing awards, recognition and accolades is more of her forte than worrying about crushes and what to wear for the dance. She’s homeschooled and the only exposure she has with boys is through competition. She’s focused on winning the most...more
Ashelynn
Virtuosity is a book that messes with your head. Right away you know there can only be one winner, and really, it’s between Jeremy and Carmen. So who’s going to win? And throughout the entire book you don’t know who is going to win. You want Jeremy to because of his family, but you also want Carmen because it’s her dream.

It’s just so heart-wrenching to think about.

One thing I talk a lot about for contemporary novels is emotion. I thrive for emotion in contemporary novels. High-concept ones get e...more
Rogier

my thoughts

cover: The cover does not really tell me something about this book. Its just nice to look at. The pink-reddish in contrast to the black silhouette. The uk cover is a bit plain and boring for my taste . Just a girl on the cover . she whore that dress in a scene


book: I first saw this on my on one of my favorite blogs as a review book. I looked it up on goodreads and added it to my tbr/wishlist shelf. When i got the galley grab email, i was so exited seeing it downloaded it along with p...more
Rachel Harris
Gayle Forman’s world-of-music based IF I STAY and its sequel WHERE SHE WENT are two of my top five favorite young adult books of all time, so the moment I learned about Jessica Martinez’s VIRTUOSITY, I was twitching to get a copy. But I have to admit, going in I was nervous. Was I was putting too much pressure on this debut, wanting to recreate the feelings and sweeping obsession those other two books inspired? Could this possibly live up to the hype and my admittedly high expectations? Well, I’...more
Danya
My reaction: I enjoyed getting a glimpse of the music performance industry; I thought the portrayal rang quite true from everything I've heard about it. The main characters Carmen and Jeremy were both likeable and easy to relate to, despite the fact that unlike them I have never participated in any major music competitions. Carmen may be innocent and naive, but it's believable, because she's intelligent too. We see her mature throughout the novel and end up making some decisions I had to really...more
Gabbi  Calabrese
http://bookbreather4lyfe.blogspot.com

I'm sitting here trying to write this review, and all I can think to say is, "OMG THIS IS THE BEST EVER. READ IT NOW OR PREPARE TO FACE MY WRATH." But somehow I know that is not an acceptable review. So I'll do my best to put all of Virtuosity's awesomeness into words.

I'd been on a pretty bad reading streak, and Virtuosity was just what I needed to break through that. This book had its claws in me from the very beginning. The back and forth banter between Ca...more
Steph Su
I delight—and simultaneously despair—when a book is more than what its synopsis implies. I delight because is better than I expected. I despair because I wouldn’t have picked it up on account of its synopsis had someone not convinced me to read it, and I despair that others might miss out on it for the same reason I almost did.

VIRTUOSITY’s synopsis suggests that Carmen’s main conflict will be against her performance anxiety and Jeremy, but the fact is that there is so much more going on in this...more
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