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Friday, May 13, 2016

Flashback Friday: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Hello everyone! Welcome to The Left-Handed Book Lover's Flashback Friday. I'm not sure if this feature has been done on other blogs. I haven't seen it, but if it has been, let me know so I can give some credit!

FF is a feature here where I talk about books I read a while ago but still want to give major love to. This feature is designed to give some exposure to books that may have been forgotten about or that some people haven't heard of, even though they're really great!

This week's FF goes to...
Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Published: October 18, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Genre: YA contemporary
Summary 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.... 

I read this novel on Pulseit in early 2012. I was going through a pretty bad reading slump, and this novel kicked me out of it. 

Point-blank: This novel is wonderful. It received quite a bit of positive feedback when it was released, but it has long since fallen off the radar. It deals with anxiety, drug use, music, competitiveness, and figuring out what you really want for your future rather than what others want for you. Not to mention, there is good writing, and entertaining banter between Carmen (the protagonist) and her best friend. 

Here are three reasons you should read this novel:

  1. There is a complicated, yet enticing, romance. Carmen and Jeremy, the couple in question, should be enemies. They should hate each other. And yet...they are drawn to each other. But their lives do not always allow for love to come first. 
  2. Family dynamics. Carmen's relationship with her mother is very tense. Her mother has a very short leash on her, and Carmen has to learn how to extend the leash and become more independent. 
  3. The musical aspect. Maybe it's just me because I am a music nerd, but I love novels that deal with music and performing, and this book certainly fits into that category, this time in the form of violins. 

I was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. As a child I played the violin, read books, and climbed trees incessantly. I went on to study English and music at Brigham Young University, and since then I’ve been an English teacher, a symphony violinist, and a mother. I currently live in Orlando, Florida with my husband and three children.

My young adult novels are Virtuosity, The Space Between Us, The Vow, and Kiss Kill Vanish. I’m represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency.
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