Published: Simon Pulse (October 18, 2011)
GoodReads Summary: Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....
My Thoughts: Firstly, this book is about VIOLINS. I've wanted to play the violin since forever, but apparently people with abnormally small hands (yours truly) will inevitably fail. I've never read a book about a violinist, so imagine my delight when I find out this book is about a GRAMMY-WINNING violinist!
Carmen is such a complex narrator. I love that we get to be in her head instead of third person, because that would detract so much from the story. The girl is pretty messed up and RIGHTFULLY SO. You see, Carmen is the cream of the crop, but she has a mad case of stage fright. So she gets medicated. It's a difficult issue, she being so young and so medicated. Lucky for us, Martinez is pretty much gangster at tackling the difficult issues, as well as playing puppet master to two very unlikely rivals and the pieces of their love puzzle.
Jeremy King is a straight up douche bag. I hated him from the moment we were introduced to him. I was dead set on hating him for the duration of the novel, despite Martinez's sly tactics to get me to love him. NOPE. Can't love a guy that arrogant. Except wait, there's some sensitivity peeking through. OH, and deep dark secrets? WAIT, he has a good heart and is kind of the embodiment of sexytimes? And BRITISH? And he's blonde? That's usually the dealbreaker for me, but I didn't even give an eff. I wanted more more more Jeremy King at any cost. His romance with Carmen was bittersweet and heartbreaking at times. If you're looking to swoon, you've come to the right place.
I loved this book because it made me uncomfortable in places. There was so much line crossing. In fact, we were so far PAST the line, that the line was just a dot (yes, that's a Joey Tribbiani quote!) I was pretty homicidal towards my Nook, and I can't really tell you why without being spoilery. Just know that you'll likely be JUST as pissed off as I was.
Virtuosity was a surprising book for me. It was so much more than romance. It's competition and overbearing parents and self-doubt and high stakes and sacrifice and coming of age. If you couldn't care less about violins or music....or books, STILL read this book. Jeremy King awaits you.