ARC Review: Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

Dissonance (Dissonance, #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release Date: July 22nd 2014
Publishing House: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: 496
Source: ARC from Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS

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.



So, it’s been a while since I read this one. I actually read it last year, since I was excited when I got the eARC and just dived right into it without considering the fact that the publish date was nine months later–so please do forgive me if I make a few fact-related errors in my review.

Dissonance had a very powerful concept. I was so intrigued by the world Erica created and wanted to keep learning about it. Clearly a lot of research went into the world and its technicalities.

That being said, the world was interesting and all, but there were a lot of technical terms that could be confusing for some. These terms are explained, but the explanations used deep words and messy thought constructions that I had trouble really getting a good grasp on what was what in Delancy’s world. Why yes, there were a ton of info-dumps concerning all the terminologies related to the parallel universes.

Now, I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters. It could have been the only-okay writing, but I didn’t feel what the characters felt, nor did I want to. I was kind of just… detached to all the characters. I appreciated Del’s kind of confident attitude and how she has this rebellious teen thing going on. We just didn’t “click”, sadly. And there were times when her confidence exploded and turned into arrogance.

Simon was pretty boring. I really didn’t care for him, or the insta-love he and Del shared. This is one of those books where the romance kind of ruins its potential. Well, not really ruins, per se. It just lessened the book’s credibility in my eyes. I think I would have liked the novel a bit more without the romance.

Another thing I had issues with was how the events leading up to Simon & Del’s relationship were all so convenient and rushed. Everywhere Del would go, Simon would be there. This is one of the things that I notice a lot in YA romances that make me roll my eyes the most. Doesn’t it get on your nerves?

Let’s not forget that this book is humongous. At almost 500 pages, I’ll admit that I did skip some paragraphs while reading. A lot of scenes felt like fillers and could have been cut out, really. This story could’ve been squeezed into around 400 pages or so. I would’ve been more into it if I didn’t keep thinking that I still had a lot more pages with a lot more info dumps to go, thank you very much.

Rating Report
Overall: 2.2


Potato Question - Dissonance

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Aimee is a sixteen year old bookworm from the Phillipines! She reads any book that catches her attention, but she mostly reads YA. She's into graphic design, writing and sleeping. You can find her at Deadly Darlings, The Book Geek, Goodreads and on Twitter.

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  1. says

    When I was in high school, I broke up with a boy. My best friend who was supposed to BE my friend, sided with him. It was too awkward because I broke up with him because he was a cheat. And in the end, I found out, she likes him!

    Anyway, it sucks that this book didn’t work out for you. I can feel your pain. Being unable to connect to any characters makes a book a disaster in my book.
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Review 182 : Graceling by Kristine CashoreMy Profile

  2. says

    You know, I strongly agree that some romance ruins the whole book. Especially if it isn’t done well. Books can survive without romance, you know. (me to authors. =))))

    The book cover is so gorgeous, too bad it disappointed you :( You really can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Awesome review, Aimee!!
    Paula M. @ Her Book Thoughts! recently posted…ARC REVIEW: The Fever by Megan Abbott a.k.a where everyone talks about their viginities.My Profile

  3. says

    Okay, you have every right to call me an idiot but you said it, not me! Simon and Del! teheehheee Simon & Schuster and Del Rey! HAhahahah! SO THEY ARE A THING?
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  4. says

    Ouch and another one bites the dust. I loved this cover ever since I have seen it for the first time and the blurb promised so much. I’m really glad that the whole world- building was good and really taken care of, but there is no way I’d understand half of it probably. I mean English not being my native language and all that. Besides that the characters don’t sound really interesting either. It’s hard to enjoy the book when you don’t connect with the either story or characters, so yeah I totally understand. Great review, Aimee :)
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#102)My Profile

  5. says

    Awe i’m so sorry this one just didn’t work for you Aimee! I ended up reading it a few days ago and really loved it. I was just able to make sense of the terminology and everything that was going on and just fell in love with the world. The book was very long but i was able to love it, still!
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  6. says

    Bummer that the book felt waaay too long and parts of it felt like they could be cut out… And the whole putting romance into a book just because… I don’t like that a t all!
    Sorry to hear that the book really didn’t work out for you Aimee!
    Thanks for your very honest review!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #49!!My Profile

  7. says

    Sounds like it was really awful… pity because I was really looking forward to this one. I get what you’re saying insta-love is annoying enough there’s no need for the protagonists to meet EVERYWHERE, it kind of ruins the story for me as well. :) I know it’s YA but can’t it be a little less predictable? I think I’m going to skip this because after reading your review it doesn’t sound like my kind of read at all and there are so many books out there I’ve still haven’t read.
    Great review. :)
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  8. says

    Aw it sounds disappointing. And I loved the really pretty cover. I’m still going to give it a chance and hope that the characters click with me, and maybe I appreciate the detail? Idk I’ve been wanting this one for a while. Thanks for the review!
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  9. says

    I have no problem with long books but only if I don’t actually feel that the book is long. When I start to get bored and disconnected…that’s when my book ADD kicks in so I might not have the patience for this one. I love the cover and the premise but insta-love is a really no-no for me so I will probably pass on this one. Great review Aimee! :)
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  10. says

    lol! What’s the point of an explanation if it’s a tricky, confusing one? O.o Sorry the emotional connection wasn’t there. No for the romance then? Heh. I’m usually allllll about the romance and all over the ships and couples. Me loves. Though I agree that sometimes it can be a tad too much, especially when it’s insta-love. Haha! I totally get what you mean by “Everywhere Del would go, Simon would be there.” This is exactly the case with Before You (which I’m reading right now). Sorry you wasn’t a fan, but at least you didn’t hate it, yeah? :D Great review, cupcake!
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  11. laila bc says

    Well it’s too bad this didn’t go well for you and to think I find the premise of the story interesting. I actually like the idea of being able to go to different dimensions I day dream about it a lot. But if this one failed on the execution of the idea then I think I will have to pass this.
    On the other hand books with no romance I can’t remember anymore…I’m always the romance kind of gal. Thanks for this review anyway :)

  12. says

    I’ve been keen on this one just for the cover. But you read it 9 months ago?? Woah, eager beaver. ;) Weeell, I actually think a whole lot of books would go down better if there was no romance. Or at least HAVE the romance, but then make them realise they’re actually un-right for each other? Gosh, I’m such a raincloud! I do like the romance in the Partials series and I haven’t read the 3rd one, but I kind of think Kira doesn’t need either of her boyfriend options. She’s a lot awesomer and more capable on her own.
    Okay, I’m done. *slinks back into grumpy cat corner*
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  13. says

    WHY! The gorgeous cover lures you in, then it’s such a let down. I don’t know why some books have a romance aspect at all, do authors think we won’t bother reading it? One of the best series I’ve read is the Furnace series, which doesn’t have any romance at all, not even a little swooning. It works. If the author had of tried to work it in, it really would have killed it. Why do they push the romance when it’s not working? Awesome review, will be skipping this one.
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  14. says

    Aimee – There are SOO many books where I have questioned the role of the romance in the book, and it’s always annoying when that happens. :( I’m sorry that this was such a “meh” read for you though! Between your inability to connect to the romance and the scenes put in just for the heck of it, this really sounds like a “meh” read; which is a shame because it has so much potential just from the summary!

    Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3 Thanks for sharing!
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  15. says

    This book almost reminds me of a textbook. (and is actually the size of one too) If there are so many technical terms and info dumps, where is the fun? All if there is no attachment to the characters it’s even harder to connect or care about the story. I can tell just from your review that this one would not be for me. Enjoyed the review though! I hope whatever you read next is better :)
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