Mundie Moms

Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Published by: Simon Pulse
Released on: October 18th, 2011
Source: ARC/book from publisher to review
5 stars- I Loved It!

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.... quoted from Goodreads

What a fabulous book! I was completely surprised with how much I loved this story, considering I usually end just just liking or enjoying contemporaries. This one was one I totally fell in love with. Jessica Martinez did such an amazing job at taking me into life the of a classical violin playing teen prodigy, and Grammy winner, Carmen Bianchi. This seventeen year old really has it all together. I absolutely adored how well grounded, relatable and remarkable she is. I enjoyed the characters, the story line and the way the entire plot line flowed. This was a story I had a hard time putting down.

Jessica's writing is brilliant! She creates a story that even those, like myself, who have no idea what goes on behind the scenes for young classical musicians understand everything that's going on. From the anxiety, to the sacrifices both the teens and their family makes to the grueling hours of practicing it takes. Everything that Carmen deals with felt realistic and believable. I sympathized with the pressure she deals with, not only put on her by herself, but from her mom and those around her. She's expected to do phenomenal at each show and her upcoming competition. I also like that there's moments were Carmen gets to act like a typical teenager. She enjoys hanging out w/ her best friend, she has moments where she's defiant and other moments where she's trying to figure out what she wants out of her life, vs having others tell her what she wants. Then there's the sweet moments of romance she has with Jeremy, her British competitor.

My favorite part of this entire story was Carmen and Jeremy. I adored their genuine concern, love and support for each other. Their relationship was engaging, as they start off as competitors who are a little unsure about trusting each other, but end up realizing they have more in common then being both the American and English prodigies that they are. They learn to start trusting each other and realize that there's more to just playing the violin. Their relationship is well written and I liked the forbidden love element to it. What parent what's their daughter dating the main competitor and I think Jessica did a great job at the way she wrote Carmen's mother. She angered me in what she does to her daughter, even though Jessica wrote her mom in away that allowed me to see/try to understand her course of action. Carmen for me was a character who I wanted to stand up and applaud toward's the end of the book.

This story is fueled by passion for classical music, and mixed with romance, driven characters, and choices. Speaking of choices, I really admire the way Jessica handled the topic of prescription medication in this story. It can be such a touchy subject, but the way Jessica wrote it into the story was very fitting. Bravo to Carmen and all she does! She's a wonderful character to get to know. Virtuosity is a fabulous, clean cut read and a book I definitely recommend picking this book up.

The Hunger Games Trailer

Oh WOW! I'll admit I've been on the fence about this movie, but after seeing the trailer, I can not wait to see it!!

Be sure to visit the official The Hunger Games the movie website, as well as The Capitol website, and don't forget to like the official The Hunger Games the Movie page on facebook, and you can also follow Lionsgate on Twitter for all their latest movie news.

Infernal Devices Clockwork Prince 31 Day Celebration: Day 9, Mundane Monday Teaser

Happy Mundane Monday!!! It's day 9 of our 31 days Clockwork Prince Celebration and today's teaser is a nice introduction to a fabulously written steamy scene. So we don't spoil it for anyone, we're not going to say who it is or list the page number, as it's part of a scene we've posted a teaser from before on MM's. We may include another teaser from this scene towards the end of our celebration. Who do you guys think is in this teaser?

He bent down to her; their mouths met again, and the shock of sensation was so strong, so overpowering, that she shut her eyes against it as if she could hide in the darkness. He murmured and gathered her against him.

- Clockwork Prince