Carmen has cracked under the pressure as we see in the opening pages of Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez. You are pretty much thrown head first into the plot as Carmen is dangling her million dollar violin over a hotel balcony. Does she drop it? Even more important, how did she even get to that point, where she is willing to toss one million dollars away?
You guys! Normally I am not into blondes at all, but Jeremy, Carmen’s violin-playing rival for the Guarneri competition is a sizzler. Seriously! Like, Carmen creeps on him and he calls her out on it. And guys, there’s a slow burn! But Carmen’s crazy ass stage mom, Diana, messes with her head and is all don’t trust him he just wants in yo pants. I could go on and on about how that woman could drive me to drink if she was my mom, oy vey. But enough on the side characters in Virtuosity.
Carmen, herself, is an interesting character. She totally excels at being a violinist and is a superstar in the classical music realm. Yet, in the real world, people don’t know who she is. Plus, I thought she seemed socially awkward — mainly because she is home schooled and didn’t seem to get the high school experience. But what I truly enjoyed about Carmen was seeing her lose her performance joy but then coming back to it again. It’s a kind of redemption and I love love love when that happens in a book, you know, when your fist pumps for the main character because they just ran up some stairs to cool music or when they achieve something after working really hard!
Further, I was able to guess the twist in Virtuosity early on. I actually ended up GChatting Shanyn about it – you know the whole OMG I THINK THIS HAPPENS OMG DON’T TELL ME. DO NOT TELL ME. OMG OMG AHHHHH. Yeah, that’s my style. It definitely did not diminish my enjoyment of Jessica Martinez’s debut novel, as I like feeling smug and superior at making accurate predictions.
So, um, peeps, when does Jessica Martinez’s next book come out? BECAUSE I WANT IT. Jessica Martinez took a subject I find to be boring as hell – classical music- actually, that’s in theory, because I enjoy it in books- and made it to be full of HEAT and COMPETITION and ROMANCE and ANXIETY and INTERESTING. Yes, full of interesting.
Disclosure: Received for review, but then I purchased a copy. And this review is based on the copy that I purchased, because I am awesome and buy books.