Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke | #COYER Book Review

July 25, 2014 Reviews 14

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke | #COYER Book ReviewDissonance by Erica O'Rourke
Series: Dissonance #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on July 22, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.

My Initial Reaction…

Well I just got stranded on a major cliff πŸ™ But it was worth it! I loved the characters in Dissonance, the world building was great and I didn’t see most the twists coming – but looking back I really should have, which makes Dissonance even more excellent!

The Characters…

I really loved the characters in Dissonance and got to know quite a few of them really well. Del – the main character from whose point of view Dissonance is told – is a Walker, like everyone in her family. But she’s a natural and having that natural ability has made her a reckless rule breaker. But she always has good intentions and, what I loved most about her, she has a deep respect for life (even the echoes, which I’ll explain later). She’s one of those beautifully flawed characters that’s has the best intentions and you like, but makes loads of mistakes that makes you cringe for them. Or want to slap them.

Her sister, Addie, is a character I’m really on the fence about. She’s the polar opposite of Del. She doesn’t break the rules at all, and while she doesn’t have Del’s natural ability, she has skill from dedication and hard work. She can be incredibly annoying, but I loved the sisterly interactions and the feeling that she’s wrestling with a lot of big decisions deep down that Del just can’t fully see or understand.

Then there’s Elliot – Del’s walker best friend, who totally saves her butt over and over. He’s a bit of a technological genius it seems and definitely a nice guy – but I really wish we got to know him a little bit better. I think we would, except that Del doesn’t fully appreciate him, so we don’t get to either. Her loss is our loss.

The love interest – Simon – is particularly hard to describe because we see him in so many different echoes. But I think it says something that no matter where we see him he’s incredibly devoted to his mom and has a dog he loves. And the real Simon shows himself to be a lot more complex than the jock he appears to be on the surface, which was a nice surprise.

The final character I got to know and love was Del & Addie’s grandfather Monty. He lost their grandmother Rose years ago and has never fully recovered. You spend a good portion of Dissonance fluctuating between loving his crazy, senile behavior and wondering how much he’s there. He has a great relationship with Del and I don’t think you can help but love him throughout most of Dissonance.

The Story…

There’s two things I loved about Dissonance and one thing that kind of bothered me.

I loved the world building in Dissonance. It was unique, creative and fresh – not to mention speaking to a question I think we’ve all asked many times. “What if?” What if I had made a different decision – where would I be now? In this world, Walkers (like Del) know the answer because every time an Original (a person in the main world) makes a decision, another version of the world splits off into an Echo, where they made the other decision. It’s complex, but really well explained and you easily pick up the terms and details.

What bothered me was that Del starts traveling through the different Echoes and hooking up with (on a PG-13 level) Simon’s Echoes (so the versions of him that made other choices). On some level this just didn’t work for me – either they’re real and she’s cheating on so many Simons or they aren’t real and then, well, EWWW.

But in the end, that was really a small piece of the puzzle for me. The plot was twisted enough that I always had multiple guesses for what was going to happen and there were plenty of questions floating around – but I didn’t call a single one. Looking back I realize I should have. To me, that’s a great plot.

Concluding Sentiments…

Just when I felt like Dissonance was starting to wrap up, bam! I got hit with another twist and then there was no more book. I felt satisfied with the main story arcs resolution, but I promise you, I will be stalking Erica O’Rourke to see what comes next!

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About Erica O’Rourke

I write books about girls who make their own fate and fall for boys they shouldn’t.

I live outside Chicago. I like to travel but I’ll never really leave this city.

I prefer cookies to cake (even cupcakes), television to movies, and autumn to all the other seasons.

I like sushi, naps, coffee, and driving stick shift.

I hate fish, emoticons, bridges, and talking about myself.

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

14 Responses to “Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke | #COYER Book Review”

    • Berls

      Thanks Kim! I really thought that the concept was original and the way it was executed – using the idea of sound – was even more unique and brilliant. Hope you enjoy it πŸ™‚
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  1. Lola

    Great review! I had seen this book around the bloggosphere a few times alreayd, but never took the time to read the blurb. The thing is you review really makes me want to read this book, but I can’t stand time travel/ alternate realities books. They just rub me wrong and since I never encountered an explanation for it that sounds believeable enough I tend to stay away from them altogether. On the other hand from your review it sounds like this book has great world building, so iI might have to give it a try after all.
    The main character hooking up with different versions of the same person sounds a bit weird. Is it easy to distinguish the different echo’s from eahc other? I once read a book wth multiple realities and I kept forgetting what happened in which reality.
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    • Berls

      I did love the world building, but I tend to love alternate realities and time travel in general, so IDK how you’d feel about it. The echoes were very easy to distinguish from each other because Del (the main character) always focuses on the ways that they are different and id’s them by there world. Like pond-world Simon versus coffee-shop Simon. I really enjoyed it and found it surprisingly easy to follow πŸ™‚
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    • Berls

      Hmmm, that’s a good question. It’s not on audio yet, so I have to say a big part of that would of course depend on the narrator. But I think it would be interesting to see how a narrator interpreted the echoes – would they give the different versions of a person the same voice or a different voice? I think I would want to listen to it, just to see how they interpreted it, but I don’t know if it would become more or less confusing, if that makes sense.
      Berls recently posted…Write On July ReviewAThon 2014My Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Tanja! I think the concept is a great one and could be handled so many different ways, which makes it exciting. I really liked that it used music, I thought that was really unique.
      Berls recently posted…Write On July ReviewAThon 2014My Profile

    • Berls

      Thanks Trish! That concept – and the gorgeous cover – were what drew me to the book in the first place. I thought it was excellently delivered and I’m really excited for the next one (whenever that will be).
      Berls recently posted…Write On July ReviewAThon 2014My Profile

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