Friday, March 16, 2012

Five Stars Friday: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

We here at BCM really, really, really love books that just knock our socks off. We know that you do too, so we thought we would start up a new meme just for those books that we could not put down; those books that  have received our highest rating and deserve a little extra recognition.

Every Friday we will select one book that we have given 5 stars to and and tell you a little about why we loved these books so much. Our hope is that this meme will provide recognition for some books that maybe you haven't heard of but should be added to your To Be Read pile ASAP. There is no age limit to the books we will choose. There could be some current releases as well as some oldies but goodies (well, more like "greaties" since they have earned 5 stars).

We hope that you love this meme and would love it if your joined in. If you choose to participate, please leave us a link to your post in the comments so we can visit your blog. And if you don't have a blog, don't fret, just leave us a comment with the title and author of a book you feel deserves 5 stars. We are always looking for new books to add to our own To Be Read piles!

This week's spotlight book is a recently released YA contemporary:

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez 
Published by Simon Pulse
on October 18, 2011
ISBN: 1442420529
Hardcover: 304 pages
From Goodreads: 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....

This is a very engrossing, fast read. Every time I saw how far I was into the book, I was surprised. It flew by so fast. But it is so good. Very emotional.
Although I am a music lover, when I listen to an orchestra, or musician, I don't usually go beyond the music, or how beautifully they are playing it, to the person creating the music. Who they are, what they like, what their life is like.This book does just that. it delves into a few weeks (along with some flashbacks and an epilogue) in the life of Carmen, a child violin prodigy, who is preparing for one of THE most prestigious violin competitions in the world. 
Carmen's life has been mapped out for her by her uber supportive, maybe overly so, mother. There is not a minute of her day that is not scheduled out for her. 
And then when Carmen realizes there is a whole wide world out there that she is missing, she starts to second guess everything she has grown up believing.
I spend a lot of this book feeling a bit sorry for Carmen. On the outside, she is living the dream. On the inside, and behind closed doors, things are not what they seem. And the lengths that Carmen's mom will go to ensure that her plan for her daughter's future will continue on the path she has laid out may just sicken and appall the reader. And although this is only a work of fiction, things like this could really happen, and that is when you stop and really start to think.


  1. I've been wanting to read this one for awhile; I will have to request the book from the library for sure now; I've seen such fabulous reviews all over!! Thanks for sharing I really like the idea of doing this with 5-star books!

  2. Laura, I hope you get a chance to read the book, and love it as much as I did. I'm glad that you like the 5 Stars Friday idea. It would be great if you participated along with us.

  3. Sounds good, I should check it out :) thanks for the review!



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