Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Title: Virtuosity
Author: Jessica Martinez
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Source: Kindle for iPad
This book would be rated: PG-13 for mild language and some drug use (would be fine for a mature preteen)

Carmen plays the violin. Okay, so lots of teenagers play the violin (I'm the parent of a violist, and we chose that instrument precisely because so many kids play the violin). But Carmen doesn't play like most kids-- whining through their 15 or 30 minutes of practice each day. Carmen is a child prodigy. She has won Grammy awards. She has CDs. She plays a Stradivarius worth $1.2 million. Her fallback plan for next year, if she doesn't win the Guarneri competition, is to attend Julliard.  The only thing standing between her and the Guarneri is Jeremy, her biggest competition.

In many ways, Virtuosity is a fairly predictable romance. Carmen falls for the only boy who is wholly unavailable to her. And while Martinez does a nice job with the romance side of the novel, I think that Carmen's perfectionism and her dysfunctional relationship with her mother/manager are far more interesting aspects of the novel. While this book was probably only a 3-star read for me, I have a feeling that my daughter would consider it a 5-star read, so I settled on a happy medium.

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