Virtuosity (by Jessica Martinez)

8 01 2013

virtuosityCarmen is 17 and one of the best violinists in the world. She’s already landed a Grammy and has a scholarship to Juilliard. She also has the privilege to play on a 1-million-dollar violin (!) – courtesy of her uppity grandparents – and now she’s ready to get into and win the prestigious Guarneri violin competition. Raised by a former opera singer, Carmen was destined to become a great musician. From a young age, her mom sheltered her, homeschooled her, overprotected her and basically molded her into this picture perfect violinist, the star she herself couldn’t be any more after a throat surgery ruined her voice. Now, with the Guarneri competition, Carmen’s talent gets matched by that of British prodigy Jeremy King. It doesn’t take much for Carmen to feel threatened by Jeremy. And yes, the two kids also feel an attraction…

Unfortunately, Virtuosity, though definitely not the worst book the cat’s read, is just so… bland, to be considered a thrilling read and anything more than ‘a filler read’. The romance between the two is sweet-ish , in that instant attraction sort of way (from feeling threatened and severe distrust to butterflies and kisses all in the span of an evening!). The ending felt very deus ex machina, like Martinez didn’t want either of her protagonists to lose out. There were also plenty of elements in the book that just didn’t work to be believable (the pills, what mom did to the competition).

Virtuosity is the book version of an X-Files MOTW-episode… Obviously there are no real monsters here, but it’s a bit of a filler in between really great books. For a book that’s supposedly all about the way something (in this case, music) makes you feel things (both Carmen and Jeremy liken their playing music to flying), the cat felt very little of that. Too plain, too obvious, too … mèh…



2 responses

24 06 2013
The Lucy Variations (by Sara Zarr) | Ringo the Cat's Blog

[…] recently, read another book that dealt with a musical child prodigy, Virtuosity, and for the second time I feel like there’s something that was missing: that passion that the […]

22 12 2013
The year 2013 in reading | Ringo the Cat's Blog

[…] Hit totally stank. I honestly don’t understand how people could rate books like Where She Went or Virtuosity more than, “Mèh, they’re […]

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