By Jessica Martinez
Oct. 18, 2011
Simon Pulse, 304 pages
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….
— Amazon.com description
This book was entirely authentic, and the author clearly knew her subject matter: the high-stress, competitive world of professional musicians. It was equal parts exhilarating and anxiety-causing to be dropped into this world for a short period of time.
Carmen is a masterful concert violinist, up for the prize in the competition of her career. The pressure weighing her down and suffocating her was so well portrayed, I felt all of her anxiety and vulnerability. I was so riveted, I read it in one sitting while waiting to board a plane.
And, of course, there’s plenty of romance. As someone who loves a good Romeo & Juliet story, I adored the storyline of Carmen falling for Jeremy, her biggest competition. Can she trust him…or is he trying to use her? It’s hard to tell throughout, yet you still cheer for these two crazy kids.
Another brilliant point? This book features one insanely evil character. Who doesn’t love a good villain? This one is definitely worth checking out.