Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars (The colors and movement are just fantastic!)
Genre: Young Adult
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: 292 p.
Carmen is a famous violinist and is preparing to compete in a huge contest, the Guarneri. Usually, this would not a problem, but on boy in the competition might be trouble. Carmen sees Jeremy as a male version of herself after reading about his accomplishments, and she decides to scope him out. At first his arrogance is too much for Carmen, and she writes him off as an idiot but the more they run into each other the more she sees that he might understand her better than anyone. Then there's the Guarnei and Carmen's mother. Both of these things stand in the way of Carmen falling in love, especially after her mother plants the idea that maybe Jeremy is just using her to win the competition. Carmen has to figure out what she wants the most and just blindly dive in, she can't always follow what her mother says is right.
This was a fascinating coming of age tale. Carmen is coming of age a bit late in the game, but she led a sort of sheltered life. She traveled all around the world and played in front of thousands of people, but had never been kissed. I could tell that Jessica Martinez was a violinist, her writing holds so much passion for music that she had to feel that love first hand to convey it so perfectly. Carmen's mother is a stage mother living past her failed career through her daughter. She was a fairly selfish person. I realize that she may have sacrificed for Carmen's career, but she never asked Carmen what she wanted. People should be able to make their own life decisions, without people guilting them about self sacrifice. Carmen really needed to grow up and get away from her mother, she was really just stunting Carmen's growth. One thing that fell flat for me was the relationship between Carmen and Jeremy. It didn't seem like a big deal. I couldn't feel the longing between those two, and it seemed like they didn't really care. They said they thought about each other, but there wasn't half as much passion in their relationship with each other as their was in their music. It just didn't seem like they wanted each other enough, so them not being together didn't feel like a big deal. Not that they had to be star-crossed lovers ready to die for the other, but a little more would have made it better. It was realistic though, I guess. Most people don't go crazy for the first person they connect with. Regardless, this was a wonderful story, and I very much look forward to reading more from Martinez.
"The balcony felt cold under my cheek."
"I did remember the story, though. It was about a bird who flew up and up and up toward heaven until she was too high to be seen."