Dissonance (Dissonance #1) – Erica O’Rourke

Dissonance (Dissonance #1) – Erica O’RourkeTitle: Dissonance (Dissonance #1) by Erica O'Rourke
Publishing Info: August 14, 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Alternate Reality, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: September 10, 2014
Related Posts: Harmonic (Dissonance #1.5), Resonance (Dissonance #2)

    Delancey Sullivan knows for sure that there is more than one universe. Many more. Because every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world spins off 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. Del knows all of this because she's a Walker, someone who can navigate between the worlds, and whose job is to keep the dimensions in harmony.
But Del's decisions have consequences too. And when she secretly starts to investigate other dissonant worlds she's intrigued by the echo versions of Simon Lane, a guy who won't give her the time of day in the main world, but whose alternate selves are uniquely interested. But falling for Simon draws Del closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide -- a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.


WOW. I totally fell in love with DISSONANCE. I was hoping that this would be a book that I would fall in love with and I’m SO happy that I did. There were just so many “Brittany” things about it (based in the Chicagoland area, parallel universes, music, and of course, awesome romances) and they all worked so well together to create one amazing book. DISSONANCE is the first book from Erica O’Rourke that I’ve read so I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into when I started. I had a review copy from Edelweiss but the fact that Erica O’Rourke was going to be at the event with Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard really pushed me to start it and I’m SO glad that I did because even halfway through I was in love, bought a physical copy, and had Erica sign it for me!

I’ve really been enjoying books with parallel universes lately but sometimes the science of it all can be a bit overwhelming. What I loved about DISSONANCE was the pairing of science and music. In the book, the Walkers (people who “walk” from universe to universe) are able to identify different worlds (and the problems within them) by certain musical pitches. A world may sound off or dissonant (ahhh, the title!) if there’s a large error within the world. I won’t get into the details as to how all of that works because it’s explained so well in the book, but essentially this establishes the music tie-in with Walkers almost always having perfect pitch and the easiest way to describe things is often with a musical term. I’ve never played any instruments but I was a huge choir nerd in high school and college and took a music theory class so the fact that I was able to identify so many terms and concepts that I’d learned about in music theory had me really geeking out over the book. Combine that with the science (well, made-up science, of course (OR IS IT) but science nonetheless), and it was just the perfect amount of nerding out for me.

So enough fangirling about all of the world building (no, but really — LITERALLY building worlds! So cool). The rest of the book was fantastic as well. I really loved the main character Del and connected with her a lot. I may not have chanced as many rebellious acts and school-wise, I was probably more like her sister Addison, but I felt like she was such an interesting main character to get to know and a great one to witness as she figures out what’s going on with her life as these events unfold. The whole family dynamic was great, actually. It was wonderful to see two parents who were present (albeit busy with work for a lot of the time) and a grandfather who’s still in the picture as well. The family wasn’t always perfect, but they worked through their differences and I really liked watching all of those interactions between the two girls and their parents/grandfather.

The romance was fantastic as well! It was so interesting to see Del and Simon’s interactions and exactly what transpires between them. Del ends up meeting Simon in other worlds and the more she interacts with him, the more she sees different sides of his personality. Since each world is a representation of a different part of him, it was really interesting to see different sides of Simon in different ways. I won’t give away exactly what happens between the two of them and how it affects the main story, but this was definitely something that I loved witnessing and I adored how the two of them ended up connecting.

On top of all of this, the plotting is just fantastic. This book has some TWISTS, you guys. Some you could see developing and were really exciting to watch as they unfolded and others were totally surprising and knocked me off my feet. I was just so impressed with really everything about this book and now I am DYING for book two! DISSONANCE was my first book by Erica O’Rourke but you can bet it won’t be the last!


“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!



Del // Character Obsessions: Walking, music, family (though it doesn’t always seem like it), Simon.
I really got along with Del. We may not be exactly alike in how we act, but I think we have some common principles in common. Even though she’s got a bit more of a rebellious streak than I do, I really liked how she interacted with her friends and family and also how those relationships grew in this book. She also grew up some herself and I was able to see real changes based on what she went through! I just really liked her a lot and felt like she was a really great main character.
Simon // Character Obsessions: Basketball (or other extra curricular activities), his mom, keeping up appearances.
Simon was a really interesting character. Sometimes I really don’t like when a series starts with one POV and then switches or splits, but I would love to get to know more about Simon from his POV. (Weird to ask for a novella, but I would love to see one from him.) I don’t know why, but I just really want to know so much more about him! I loved his role in this book and how it went beyond just a love interest. VERY cool. 


Kept Me Hooked On: Musical aspects! I knew the book was called DISSONANCE (obviously) but I didn’t realize exactly how big music was in this book. I LOVED the way it was incorporated!
Left Me Wanting More: Answerrrrs. OMG how can I possibly wait for book two of this series! This is one I will need the SECOND it is available to me!

Addiction Rating

I had expected to enjoy DISSONANCE but I had no idea I’d fall in love. I did see a few just so-so reviews for it and I feel like they may be a case of just not the right match and I would honestly feel out a person’s taste before recommending because I do want the right person to fall in love with it! I think time travel/parallel universe fans will enjoy this one and may be a nice surprise for music aficionados as well!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE DISSONANCE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        tandem          all our yesterdays

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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8 thoughts on “Dissonance (Dissonance #1) – Erica O’Rourke

  1. Danielle @ Love at First Page

    This definitely sounds like a cool book! I was a little concerned about a love triangle popping up in the next book, but so far I like what I’m hearing about the romance. I had music major friends in college who always said music theory was the hardest class of theirs – I’ll be interested to see if I can keep up with the language haha. Great review, girl!

  2. Pam@YA Escape from Reality

    I loved this book too!! Such an inventive and creative parallel world book, I loved Del, she’s a great heroine. And Simon and Del, I loved how their relationship progressed. At first you think Simon’s just this charming jock, but then you find out his story. I also liked that family played such a big part of this book. And yes, so many twists…cannot wait for book 2!!!!

  3. Morgan @ Gone with the Words

    I’ve read a few positive reviews for Dissonance but yours has really convinced me! It sounds amazing! I loved All Our Yesterdays and have Tandem on my shelf even though I haven’t read it yet. Sounds like I need to buy Dissonance sooner rather than later, or put it on my Christmas list at the very least 🙂

  4. Teen Underground

    Wow! I’m impressed. My initial impression from reading the synopsis was that the creation of so many alternate universes was going to make this story (and the world) plain-old confusing and would prove unwieldy in the plotting, so I’m so glad to see that’s not the case. I’ll definitely check this one out thanks to your glowing review!

  5. Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

    Definitely reading this one! I too love parallel worlds and I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book so far. I wonder if I’ll be able to easily recall my music lessons as a kid. I played two instruments but I stopped by the time I got to High School so it was quite some time ago. Great review!


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