Synopsis: 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....
I was genuinely surprised at how much I loved this book. Glancing at the cover and skimming through the summary, I thought'd it just be a meh book, but Virtuosity absolutely blew me away! Carmen was a very strong protagonist that I grew to love. She was used to being controlled by her intense mother, Diana, and her whole life was centered around violin. But throughout the book, Carmen grows a backbone and she becomes an independent and admirable character. I loved seeing her transformation.
Everything felt so, so, so real to me in this novel. It was absolutely believable and whatever Carmen felt, I felt as well. Jessica did a great job with her characters. Diana is Carmen's controlling mom. She organizes everything and pushes Carmen into doing things for her career. Basically, Diana runs the whole Carmen show. She even got Carmen attached to a calming drug, which is kind of against the rules. Diana was scarily similar to my own mother in the way that she was the one pulling all the strings. But, of course, Diana was much more extreme. A lot of people hated Diana's character, but I personally didn't. I understood why Diana took certain actions and although I strongly disagreed with about everything she did, I never hated her.
The plot was the perfect pace and Jessica's writing is really easy and fast to read, mixed with just the right amount of humor. The only things I didn't like were these: the insta-love and the ending. Virtuosity isn't too insta-love-y, but it was definitely there. (Kiss on first encounter insta-love.) That said, the romance wasn't bad. It started off iffy, but it gradually grew into a great romance that I really enjoyed. The ending, I felt, was a bit improbable and kind of rushed. Readers didn't get to experience any of the decision making, thus I was just a tiny bit lost.
Virtuosity is a stunning debut that pulled on my heartstrings and at times made my heart race. Filled with fantastic characters, realistic issues and a surprising romance, this book is one you should definitely pick up.