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Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke eARC {5 Stars}

Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke combines the favorite sci-fi topic of parallel worlds with music theory for some truly awesome world-building along with the adorable teen romance that we’ve come to expect of the YA genre. On top of all that goodness, Dissonance contains family relationships and develop and actually matter to the plot, a whole lot of feels, and some crazy plot twists of deliciousness. Dissonance really is as awesome as you’ve been hearing ;-).

Note: I received an advanced copy of Dissonance from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke eARC {5 Stars}

Dissonance by Erica O'Rourke (Dissonance #1)
Published by Simon & Schuster on July 22nd, 2014
Genres: Sci-fi, YA
Page Length: 496 pages
How I got my copy: Edelweiss
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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.

5 Stars


  • The world-building in Dissonance is artfully done. I am a big fan of book excerpts being included at the beginning of chapters to assist with filling in details, and Dissonance does this really well. Del and all other young Walkers attend Walker training and have textbooks just like with any important subjects, so we get snippets of her textbooks to explain bits of how the parallel worlds work as we go. These snippets were generally really well timed too, so that I found out about something interesting just in time for it to be relevant to the plot and therefore much easier to remember!
  • Del’s family are all Walkers, but they are a regular family too. She has an older sister who she generally doesn’t get along with and her parents are normal overworked parents. She also has a grandfather, Monty, who served as a stand-in parent figure for a lot of her childhood so she is very close with him. Del’s family relationships develop a lot as the events of Dissonance unfold and they matter very centrally to the plot. It was so great to see family bonds being embraced in YA!
  • The romance that slowly and sometimes awkwardly develops is pretty adorable. I’ve apparently come to terms with how romance is often portrayed in YA and even though I sometimes roll my eyes, I remind myself that that really was how I felt when I was a teen too ;-).
  • OMG I LOVE PLOT TWISTS. I just can’t even express to you the crazy awesomeness that is in store!
  • But be prepared with tissues because there are alllllll the feels. One moment I wanted to slap a character and the next I was sobbing my eyes out. There is even proof on Instagram >.>.
  • Dissonance pulled off a wonderfully smooth transition between the first and second book. Instead of leaving us with an insane and annoying cliffhanger, events from this first book are nicely wrapped up and just enough hints are dropped to make it clear that Del will have her work cut out for her in the next book. *grabby hands*


  •  There is a fair amount of relationship angst in Dissonance because of complicated reasons (involving Del’s actions with multiple versions of Simon >.>) and I kind of wanted to knock heads together at times.
  • While I overall really loved the plot of Dissonance, there were a couple of times in the middle where I felt like I hadn’t made much progress, so I would have liked it to have been a bit more compact. One or two scenes could really have been cut here or there ya know?


Dissonance does a wonderful job of dealing with the interesting sci-fi topic of parallel worlds and believable builds a multiverse that follows very strict and specific rules. All of my favorite aspects of storytelling were strongly present in Dissonance (world-building and plot twists being the main ones >.>) and the amount of sobbing towards the end best conveys how attached I got to all of these wonderful characters. I can already anticipate Dissonance being the next big sci-fi YA series and I can’t wait!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I wish there was a little less of the romance, but there was a lot that I did like about the story. I love sci-fi aspect. It is rare to find a YA book so slanted towards science!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Forgotten Fridays: Anna and the French KissMy Profile

    • Science! Agreed :D Yeah, I think I’ve just become immune to YA romance because it is so constant so I just tune out a bit these days when it comes to the kissing ;-)

  2. Like you said: soooo many wonderful things have been said about this one but that didn’t make it any less exciting for me to read your thoughts on it and how much you enjoyed it too :D I have to say that I’d gotten very excited about this one when the cover released but then…I sort of forgot about it until all the positive reviews started coming out D: By then it was too late to request a review copy! D’oh! Anyways I’ll definitely be buying a copy all the same. Unique world-building, family dynamics,plots twists and feels?! Sign me up :D Glad you loved this one Anya ^^
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Storm SirenMy Profile

  3. Nice review! I was excited about this book when I first heard about it, then on the fence for a while because of the romance thing, but I think it’s going near the top of my to-buy list now. It sounds like it has a whole lotta awesomeness I don’t want to miss out on!

  4. Interesing! And everytime I read a review that mentions an excess of angst *sigh* why oh why? I’ve read plenty of books where they could just cut those parts out and improved my experience with the book immensely. Oh well …. Doesn’t sound like it was too big of a deal in this one. Way more strengths that weaknesses.
    Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…The Martian by Andy WeirMy Profile

    • Haha, it seems like a requirement in YA these days doesn’t it?

      Definitely way more strengths than weaknesses, books like this are tricky to come up with weaknesses sometimes ;-)

  5. You are so fabulously organized (sorry I had taken a peek at your “upcoming reviews” widget and noticed you had all these books lined up and reviewed already just waiting to go live and it just chaps me that I’m so NOT that organized – flying by the seat of my pants every week pretty much.

    Glad you enjoyed this one so much – I’ll have to consider snatching it up if it shows up on bookoutlet.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Hounded by Kevin HearneMy Profile

    • Aw thanks!! I’m able to read a little bit faster than reviews are published, so I try to always have a buffer in case I suddenly can’t read for a week or two

      Oo I think you’d really like this one though, hopefully you grab a copy! I need to buy it still, I’ve been avoiding the bookstore >.>

  6. You and Christina have infected me with your excitement about this book. Now I am looking for a hole in my schedule to fit it in. :)
    Dragana recently posted…Book Review: The Jewel by Amy EwingMy Profile

  7. I haven’t gotten to read this one yet, but I really want to, especially after your review! Were you sad at the end because it was over or because something bad happened? Oh, I hope it’s a happy book!

    • Uhhhh, how to answer this adequately… some crazy stuff happens that made me go O.O and process for a bit and really really want book two to find out what that stuff at the end is going to mean ;-)

  8. I’m really glad you liked it! Dissonance also caught my eye, but I haven’t been able to get my hands on it. I really like the idea of parallel worlds, but haven’t read any books on them yet.
    Valerie recently posted…Review: EonaMy Profile

    • As far as parallel worlds go, I think this might be my favorite story about them and I’ve read a few over the past year haha

  9. Okay, I skimmed the review because I want to go in as blind as possible when I read this one, but I’m SO EXCITED that you loved it! That makes me pretty sure I’m going to love it too, since I consider you pretty well versed in all things sci-fi ;)
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…ARC Review: Sway by Kat SpearsMy Profile

    • Mwahaha, just call me queen of the sci-fi ;-). Actually don’t, so much pressure D: But seriously, it’s great and I completely understand wanting to go in blind, go go go!

  10. I think I might have to read this now. I’ve been loving the cover and I remember reading the description a while back, but I can’t remember if it was on my wishlist. Now to wait and see if my library is going to get a copy.

  11. Adelynne Chang says:

    Yay! I guess you’ve convinced me to finish the book. :D I originally DNFed this because the romance angst was really tiring, but it looks like it gets better as the book goes on. And it seems that the romance will get better! :D

  12. I do agree with your flaws. It’s definitely LONG. I mean, it mostly didn’t feel long, but it probably could have been trimmed a bit without too much damage.

    Also, for some reason, I don’t mind Simon and Del, probably because of the cool way the universes were colliding, but they’re admittedly not the best ship in the world.

    Still. Must know what happens next!
    Christina Franke recently posted…Review: Sinner by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

    • On the plus side, if I buy a physical copy I will have a great self-defense weapon too! ;-)

      I was definitely willing to give Simon and Del leeway on how fast they fell for each other given the confusion of who was feeling what where haha. Some day I will find a couple that I can ship, some day!

  13. OOoh nice review! I was literally just thinking to myself that I might pick this up soon! Really, I was planning on attending a multi-author signing and Erica’s one of them and since I have the author I want to see’s books, I thought I might buy Erica’s as my “line ticket” number! Definitely sounds like an intriguing read! Great review!
    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted…Review–The Glass Casket by McCormick TemplemanMy Profile

  14. Okay, now I’m really, REALLY looking forward to this one! Family relationships and awesome world building? Yes! We’ll see about the romance. No sympathy for silly teenage love here! ;)
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Discussion: Indie/Self-Published ReadsMy Profile

    • Yeah, the teenage love will probably annoy you but the world is soooooooooo cool! Just skip over the gushy sections ;-)

  15. Honestly, I was quite surprised by how much I wound up enjoying DISSONANCE! While it certainly wasn’t a perfect book (I’m really not a fan of the romance), I thought the world-building, and how music was integrated, was incredibly well-done. I’ll admit I was a little confused sometimes, but overall, it was a really engaging read! I’m actually curious to see what’ll happen next to Del and her family and friends.
    Alexa S. recently posted…Alexa & Judith’s Epic Summer Read-Along || Friendships (The Online Kind)My Profile

    • Haha, I’m finding that my feelings about YA romances have shifted a lot, maybe I’ve just become so used to them that I don’t even notice if I like them much? Omg after that ending I’m dying to find out more!!!


  1. […] going on in the multiverse and hopefully save those she loves on the way. If you haven’t read book one, Dissonance, yet, I highly recommend you stop here and check out my review since there are major spoilers below […]

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