Book Talk: Virtuosity/Jessica Martinez

Virtuosity. Carmen. Jeremy. A Guarneri competition. The fallout. A secret. The aftermath. A fresh start.

Interested yet? Keep reading.


Carmen Bianchi is a world-renown violinist at age 17. Jeremy King is the competition, the one to beat, and the one she falls for. They both want to win the Guarneri competition for different reasons.

Playing the violin consumed her entire life before Carmen starts to realize that there is more to life than just that. When the finalists for the competition are revealed, it comes as a shock when Jeremy’s name isn’t announced. In an unparalleled playing field, Carmen rights the wrong, because a tainted victory is no victory worth having.

Thoughts and sentiments
The scenes between Carmen and Jeremy created an anticipatory, budding relationship that gets me thinking about first love. Carmen can’t help but to fall for him, when he alone is the one person who understands her the most. I’m glad that in the face of fallout, Carmen does not completely breakdown. And that makes her strong.

Carmen uses anti-anxiety medication to calm her nerves and I’m glad the author didn’t shy away from this topic. It makes the story seem more realistic that Carmen has her weaknesses as well. I feel the moment Carmen wants to stop using the medication so that she can experience the joy of playing, she is truly trying to live her life. Her mother, Diana, is a controlling force, and I feel that Diana wants the Guarneri win more than Carmen. Diana did whatever it took to ensure her daughter would win, but Carmen surprised me when she let the secret out even though her future in classical music would be ruined by the scandal. She refuses to walk on the road her mother paved for her. Her selfless act makes her a courageous and worthy character in my eyes.

The open ending was just enough that I get a sense that whatever Carmen decided to do with her life, she would be okay. The story was believable, and I was enthralled by it.

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

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