Review: Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

Posted August 4, 2014 in Review / 6 Comments

DissonanceDissonance (Dissonance #1)
By Erica O’Rourke
Published July 22nd, 2014
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
496 pages
Young Adult | Urban Fantasy | Science Fiction | Romance
Source: Received from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an unbiased review (Thank You!)



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About the book:

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.


Wow, I had no idea what to think when I picked up this story.  Well, I knew I would end up confused at times.  I ALWAYS have a tough time with time travel stories and alternate/parallel worlds.  I usually let the facts wash over me and nod my head like I understand.  It’s how I got through college so it’s served me well.  I think that skill came in handy with Dissonance, Erica O’Rourke’s newest world.  But through it all, I really, REALLY enjoyed reading this book and ended up loving this story!!

Delancey “Del” Sullivan is the only one in her family of “Walkers” named after a train station in New York (everyone else is named after something in Chicago), she’s absolutely stands out as a prodigy of the family, having shown talents as early as four years old.  But being talented doesn’t mean life is easy for her because her older sister, Addie, is PERFECT, as in by the book, rules, and manual perfect.  So when Del makes a mistake, it’s like the end of the world has come crashing down and, “why can’t you be like your sister?”

Mom and Dad are super busy working 12 hour days for the Consort, leaders of all the Walkers.  So Del has issues with authority and being told what to do by absentee parents.  Which leads to Del “Walking”, a lot, on her own.  Just as her grandfather has been teaching her since she was a tot.

Already you’re probably thinking, “Gee whiz, you’ve thrown some world-specific terms out at me and this is only a review!”

Don’t worry!  Okay, I did at first… I paid real close attention to the rules of walking, terms, the definitions at the beginning of each chapter, etc.  But then about the second chapter, I just let go and let the world flow.  If it’s an important enough concept to the plot, Ms. O’Rourke will reiterate.  You’ll get it – don’t worry.  Now, if you’re a complete airhead, don’t understand algebra, or you can’t get out of your neighborhood without GPS turn-by-turn navigation maybe this book isn’t for you.

… but you’ll miss a great story.

Del has had a crush on Simon Lane for a few years.  But Del doesn’t think Simon would ever notice her.  Walkers are supposed to stay un-noticeable, in the background.  The crux of the love story is this: if Del and Simon “hooked up” in an echo world, would Simon have ever have noticed her in the “Key” (real) world otherwise?  What a conundrum for teenagers, huh?  Turns out there’s a lot more going on than Del ever realized.

So, why only the four stars? 

This is a looooong story that I personally think could have been tightened up to about 400 pages.  I lose interest in long books, that’s why I read a lot of YA books.  I often think that teens are turned off by the thick books, as well.  Believe it or not, they look for thin, quick books so they can satisfy a Summer Reading Challenge or an assignment for school.  I know, crazy!  NOOOO, authors should NOT sacrifice a piece of personal art for the audience!!!  I just think superfluous stuff not essential to plot should go.  Wow, I’m getting in deeper and deeper…  I better crawl out while I can!

Eliot, the typical best boy friend.  Need I say anymore? 

And why, oh why can’t any of the YA books I’m picking up lately NOT end on a pseudo cliff hanger?  Dissonance is no different.  There’s closure to the story line but there’s the typical YA cliffhanger that begs you to want to read the next book…  that Ms. O’Rourke is currently working on per her blog.  UGH… 

But I still loved this book 😀




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Erica O'Rourke

About the author:

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 Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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6 responses to “Review: Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

    • K

      That’s not such a horrible idea. Can you say, “cheap Kindle buy!” close to when the new one comes out? I’m fairly sure that’ll happen 😉

    • K

      I had NO clue how to classify this book so I relied on everyone’s Goodreads shelves a bit 🙁 The sci-fi element is pretty cool – she can see the world as MUSIC and when it’s off key. When there’s a branch in decision someone makes, she can step through the crack in the decision and see where the other decision went. THAT was so cool. I did love the musical element to the book… err, I kind of left that out of my review. HUGE OOPS!