Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Carmen has made it, she's a child prodigy with a Grammy award for her violin playing. There are displays of her cds in music stores and people in the classical world have their eye on her. But, in order to be more than just a passing spark, Carmen needs to win Guarneri prize. She should be a lock for it, her grandparents have invested in a million dollar violin for her to play on and even her crotchety mentor seems to think she's ready to stand on her own against anyone who might challenge her for this title.

That challenger happens to be one very cute, very talented, Jeremy King. His playing makes Carmen nervous, but his attitude makes her furious- he's arrogant and brash and she thinks he's too much of a show-off for the serious world of classical music. But, when she gets to know him, she can't deny that beneath his cocky exterior, there might be a decent human being. One who might not deserve her scorn.

But Carmen's been around long enough to suspect almost everyone in her life of wanting a little something. Her mother sees the career she couldn't keep, her grandparents are only interested in her now- after coming to national attention, is Jeremy any different? And then there's the major question that no one seems to be asking, what does Carmen want?

This is realistic fiction with a glimpse backstage at the intense lives of young musicians. What makes this book special is how tense Carmen's world is. This is more a thriller than a coming-of-age drama. People are keeping secrets from Carmen. Lots of secrets. Finding out these secrets will completely change how she lives her life, is that something she wants to do?

Carmen is smart and fiery, she has grown up in the very adult world of classical music and she's sharp and suspicious because of it. She's also very likable and the reader is pulled along with her as she rockets towards the Guarneri competition. In a lot of YA, you can't believe the choices that the main character makes, that's not the case here, Carmen's choices are hard and at every turn you'll be wondering what you'd decide to do. Grab this book up and hold on, who knew violinists had so much to deal with?

Check out this cool extra from Jessica Martinez, you can listen to violin tracks from her own teenage years!

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