VIRTUOSITY by Jessica Martinez
Kirkus Star

VIRTUOSITY

Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Grammy-winning, world-touring violinist Carmen Bianchi, 17, has outgrown child-prodigy status. To transition to an adult career as a virtuoso soloist, she must win the Guarneri Competition. If she loses, she’ll be just another former prodigy.

Reflecting on the peculiar fame belonging to classical-music prodigies, Jeremy King—another ambitious ex-wunderkind with an equally intimidating resume—tells Carmen, “You’re a god to two percent of the population and a nobody to everyone else.” Carmen embodies this strange dichotomy. She’s homeschooled, has never dated, lacks close friends and depends on anti-anxiety drugs. She also has a vocation she loves, a Stradivarius violin and a posse of adults dedicated to advancing her career. Chief among these is Carmen’s mother and manager, Diana, whose operatic career ended early. As the competition approaches, Carmen and Jeremy—each ardently competitive and deeply smitten—form a deep but wary bond that Diana, ruled by anxious passions and an iron determination to win, bitterly opposes. Carmen’s struggles to succeed with integrity remind readers that “virtue” is the root of “virtuosity,” a fragile truth often lost when valuable prizes are at stake.

Former child violin prodigy Martinez brings this overwrought world to tense, quivering life and guides readers through it confidently. A brilliant debut. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4424-2052-6
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2011




TEENS IN THE ARTS:

ChildrenHIDDEN VOICES by Pat Lowery Collins
by Pat Lowery Collins
ChildrenIF I STAY by Gayle Forman
by Gayle Forman
ChildrenMARIE, DANCING by Carolyn Meyer
by Carolyn Meyer
ChildrenNORTH OF BEAUTIFUL by Justina Chen Headley
by Justina Chen Headley

MORE BY JESSICA MARTINEZ

ChildrenKISS KILL VANISH by Jessica Martinez
by Jessica Martinez
ChildrenTHE VOW by Jessica Martinez
by Jessica Martinez
ChildrenTHE SPACE BETWEEN US by Jessica Martinez
by Jessica Martinez

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenRIVAL by Sarah Bennett Wealer
by Sarah Bennett Wealer
ChildrenTHIS TINY PERFECT WORLD by Lauren Gibaldi
by Lauren Gibaldi