Saturday, December 07, 2013

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez was actually the second book I finished reading in 2013, but now that it's nearly the end of the year I'm feeling all guilty about the books I didn't review––especially the ones, like this, that I enjoyed and wanted to share––so expect between 0 and 20 more reviews to follow. No promises!

What appealed to me about Virtuosity despite its mainly predictable premise of a girl falling for the wrong guy (in this case, her competition) was the fact that its set in the world of competitive violin. I love stories that introduce to me a world I wouldn't otherwise encounter, especially contemporary stories, and in this case it's one in which Carmen wants to win basically the most competitive violin competition in the world, the Guarneri competition. Only problem is that she's not great at handling the competition, and as a result takes prescription anxiety medications. Then she meets her competition, Jeremy, and begins to fall for him.

At least in retrospect, since I'm writing this review almost a year late, the story was basically
what I expected, but what I liked a lot was Martinez's writing. It was easy to read, flowed clearly, and really brought scenes and emotion to life. Carmen was complicated and interesting character, as was Jeremy, and it was hard to decide which of them I wanted to win more. Although I didn't necessarily like her, I did find Carmen's voice quite entertaining most of the time. The romance between Jeremy and Carmen could have used a bit more development, but I suppose I feel a lot just because some books are a little more fast-paced to keep the reader's attention. I definitely had a lot more sympathy for Jeremy as a character than I did for Carmen.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the look into classical music that Virtuosity provided, and as I was lucky enough to win a signed copy of Martinez's second book, The Space Between Us I definitely plan to pick that one up as well since I enjoyed her writing here. Hopefully it won't take me 11 months to review that one.