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Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez EARLY REVIEW

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Egalley thanks to Simon & Schuster

Synopsis from Goodreads
Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. Two weeks before the most important violin competition of her career, she has bigger things to worry about—like growing out of that suffocating “child prodigy” label, and not disappointing her mother. But it isn’t just the wrong time. It’s the wrong guy. Jeremy is Carmen’s most talented rival, and according to her mother, he’s only interested in one thing: winning.

He isn’t the only one.

Carmen is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to control performance nerves. But what started a year ago as an easy fix is now a hungry addiction. Her mother insists now is not the time to quit, but Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of doing what she’s told.

When the darker side of the classical music industry and her mother's ambition collide, Carmen must choose between her career and her love for music.

US publication date: 18/10/2011
UK publication date: 27/10/2011
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* * *
Absolutely beautiful book!

I usually stay away from contemporary romance be that adult or YA literature, but I always make exception for books about dancers or musicians. They fascinate me.

I read this book in one go. The writing sucks you right in, the pace is breathtaking and totally engrossing.

Carmen is a very likable character who is on the verge of breaking under her mother's demands and unbearable pressure of music competition. She is a child prodigy, who toured around the world playing as a solo violinist in the most prestigious venues for years.
She also started suffering from anxiety and panic attacks few years ago. And what did her ambitious mother do? Put her on Inderal instead of helping her with the therapy.

Now, off topic  - I've worked in the pharmacy mainly dealing with psychiatric hospitals and rehabs, I also wrote quite a few articles on anxiety and depression. There are a lot of wonderful therapies, like cognitive-behavioral therapy which helps dealing with anxiety. Drugs just suppress it, but the causes of your problem stay until you learn to deal with them.

So whatever Carmen's mother was doing was destroying the girl's life. Until she met her adversary and main competitor, a brilliant violinist Jeremy.

These two were wonderful for each other, snarky and paranoid in the beginning, they got together on a dare, defying Carmen's mother and with the ulterior motives on Jeremy's side.
But what Jeremy did for Carmen is showed her that she forgot the joy music brought her without her drugs, how it used to make her feel alive.

Meeting Jeremy made Carmen re-evaluate what's important and take a step towards being independent, defy her mother and her teacher, and just live.
I loved her courage, her struggle to do what's right. Jeremy was just as complicated and multi-layered. He, um-m reminded me of Alex Pettyfer in Wild Child - cocky, but nice.
I loved that these two saw music in each other, but the romance wasn't the driving force in this book, - finding one's way was.

* * *
Красивая, умная книга! Мне очень понравилось.

Скрипачка Кармен, вундеркинд, что с юного возраста записывает различные альбомы и выступает по всему миру. Теперь она участвует в одном из наиболее важных контестов для юных талантов, который позволит победителю получить контракты для работы с лучшими оркестрами мира на годы вперёд.

Однако Кармен находится на грани срыва, её жизнь жёстко регулирована амбициозной матерью и богатыми родственниками, она страдает от тревожности и панических атак вот уже несколько лет.

И что делает её мать, чтобы ей помочь? Подсаживает её на Индерал, подавляющий тревожность. Только вот сама проблема никуда не уходит, и Кармен чувствует необходимость всё больше и больше увеличивать дозу.

Жизнь девушки начинает меняться когда она встречает Джереми, скрипача и главного соперника в контесте. Эти двое кружат вокруг друг друга, огрызаются и подозревают друг друга во всём и вся, что неожиданно выливается в дружбу и романтический интерес на фоне бунта против матери Кармен.

Эти двое видят в друг друге музыку, и Кармен наблюдая за игрой Джереми понимает, что так как она живёт сейчас продолжать ей нельзя. Это не жизнь, а полу-существование с подавленными эмоциями. Она решается перестать принимать лекарства...

Шикарный сюжет, герои, которым нельзя не симпатизировать, и божественная музыка. Любовная история здесь не главное, главное - это найти верный для себя путь, найти то, что тебе действительно важно.



Giselle said...

Great review! I've seen this book around and was wondering about it. It sounds like something I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

Xpresso Reads

Candace said...

I've heard a few things about this one but I'm not sure I've read a review. It sounds AMAZING though! I'll definitely have to make sure I pick it up sometime. Fantastic review!

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