By: Melanie | January 20, 2015 | (67) Comments

Review: Dissonance by Erica O’RourkeDissonance by Erica O'Rourke
Series: Dissonance, #1
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia
Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 484
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

To make the cake batter, throw in an incredibly flawed and rule-breaking girl, and then mix it in with a strong sibling dynamic slowly then chuck it in the oven and bake it in a sci-fi backdrop. Serve the cake with a heavy dollop of bad romance and a sprinkle of headache ensuing info-dumps, and there you have it: Dissonance.

Delancey Sullivan is a Walker. It’s not that she’s special and skilled enough to become one, but because this ability runs in the family. Each time someone in the Key World (our world) makes a decision ; an alternate universe is created, which the Walkers refer to as an Echo. People like Del have the ability to sense these pivots they can travel to these Echoes. Their job is to maintain peace and harmony in these Echoes so nothing comes to interrupt with the Key World. Another thing about Walkers is that they all have perfect pitch. (AND MY GAWD AM I JEALOUS. I AM A MUSIC STUDENT AND DO YOU KNOW HOW BAD I WANT TO HAVE PERFECT PITCH?!) Anyway, it helps them detect the discord in an Echo world among other things, which I think is insanely awesome. How often do you get sci-fi that incorporates music as a key element?

There is a strong sibling presence in Dissonance. Del’s sister, Addie, is known as the rule-follower, the star student, and the perfect child. She’s brilliant at everything she does and hates it when things aren’t going perfectly. Then you have Del, who is practically the opposite. Del skips class, breaks every single rule in the book and has an attitude. Total. Badass. While I did have issues with Del at the start of the novel, she soon clicked with me for how flawed and realistic she was. As for the sister relationship, Addie and Del were evidently the representations of the North and South Poles at the start of the novel. They also happen to be just as cold to one and another and just as far apart. While the two didn’t end up being attached at the hip by the end of the novel, it’s evident that the frost has started to melt between the two of them. I can see further growth between the two in the future installments, for sure.

My sole criticism for this novel lies in how huge this novel is. It’s not that I hate fat books, but more often than not, it’s a clear indicator how much shaving off this book could have used. There were many paragraphs (sometimes even pages) that I just skimmed briefly because they felt utterly irrelevant. I did enjoy the even and well built up pace of the novel, but some parts of it really didn’t require being here. That said, skimming this book isn’t a fabulous idea either because the info-dumping is a total pain in the ass. Words were thrown around and for a while, I was damn confused. I skipped a paragraph and then I was like “Gah! WHAT THE HELL IS AN ECHO? WHAT IS A BREAK? WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?!” Okay not as dramatic but you get my gist.

I know that several reviewers probably all brought this up but the romance clearly wasn’t O’Rourke’s strong point. Honestly, I kind of wish it never even existed because it just made me want to skim and skim and skim. IT WAS THAT BAD, OKAY? Basically, Del keeps bumping into Simon in Echoes but in the Key World, Simon never bothers to even remember her name. Suddenly, after like 1/3 of the book, he decides to start noticing Del and well, terrible romance ensues. I mean, there were cute moments, but not for one moment was I sold on it because of how unrealistically it unravelled and Simon is so bland.

Furthermore, while this book had a great pace, it never seemed to be going anywhere. It’s like the book was running around corners but it took 4 right turns and ended up back nowhere; completely lost. The plot is utterly lacking, for I don’t feel like this book has a true complication. Sure, Simon is shady, and Del must past her test but other than that, there wasn’t much of a plot at all.

Dissonance did have its imperfections, but despite that, Del’s refreshing personality, Addie and Del’s sibling arc and the world building were all highlights here. I found O’Rourke’s newest to be rather entertaining, and I’ll definitely needing to read book 2.

~Thank you Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me this copy!~

3 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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67 Responses to Review: Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

  1. Hilary says:

    The only word I can think of when I read the blurb is: COOLWOWTHATSNEATHOWDIDSHECOMEUPWITHTHAT

    Because the premise sounds very intriguing but I’m sad to hear that there’s little development in the romance department and the lack of plot. While there are some brilliant books out there that also don’t have a ‘plot’ I think the author might have missed an opportunity here especially when she has created these worlds.

    Great review Mel! I hope I can pick this up someday
    Hilary recently posted…Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

  2. I’ve always had a hunch that this is not the book for me and it’s nothing against the author or anything, just an overall feeling about me and the premise, it’s cool sounding, but I doubt my kind of thing, which is a shame, because it sounds like this was overall kinda good. Great review Mel, and good luck getting the second installment 🙂
    Amanda @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – Books We’d Like To Finally ReadMy Profile

  3. This book does sound interesting but I’m not sure I would want to pick it up. Romance in books is usually very important to me and when it’s done badly, it bothers me to no end. Plus, I don’t know how I feel about the alternate universe thing, it sounds like a little much and would have to be done really well for me to enjoy. Great review! 🙂
    Karin @schakarin recently posted…Movie Review: The Spectacular NowMy Profile

  4. SKIMMING ROMANCES IS NOT A GOOD SIGN. That’s pretty much what I did for The Body Electric because, man, that romance was dullsville. Also, how hard is it to remember someone’s name? NOT THAT FRICKEN HARD
    Allie @ Little Birdie recently posted…NaNo, From After the Finish Line {The Birdie Writes}My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, it’s really not. They were just so boring <.< Haha that might've been an exaggeration on my part but yeah, the same gist, he never notices her and then boom, suddenly he does like whaaaaa

  5. I have this book on my shelf just waiting on my to read it. I’ve been kinda hesitant since I’m not 100% sure that I’ll love it, but I’m going to give it a go…eventually 🙂 great review!
    Christy @ Novel Ink recently posted…Trivia Tuesday (8)My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Ooh I am curious to hear your thoughts! Thanks, love <33

    • Genevieve says:

      … “Maybe they’re 3% AA for a reason, never been there, wouldn’t knw–“————–o—–.-Nah, not really a good indicator. My current state of residence has a similarly low level of blackness and we went with Obama over Clinton. Some places, racial concerns trump political interests; others they don’t.

  6. I have this one and I’m kind of disappointed to hear about the romance. Firstly, I’m not the biggest fan of sci fi because they are not always well done, especially in YA. So I always need that romance to help me enjoy it. Looks like that’s not the case with this book. Plus, long irrelevant passages? NOPE. Not doing it!
    Great review, Mel!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : A Cold Legacy by Megan ShepherdMy Profile

  7. I think this is the first time I love a review so much. This book is going on my tbr for sure. I definitely understand when you say you have to skim through pages. I don’t judge on that because it has happened to me a couple of times and that usually takes off my interest for a while. But your review is great so I’m buying this book as soon as I can.
    Genesis @ GenGen’s Book Blog recently posted…Review: Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn FisherMy Profile

  8. The refreshing characterization does sound nice
    Brandi Breathes Books recently posted…Review: Cut Me Free by J.R. JohanssonMy Profile

  9. When I read the summary of this book I actually found it quite unique and with the whole romance aspect thrown in it was giving me a good PNR vibe, but if the romance was bad and the execution was bland, 🙁 not the book for me. The sibling aspect sounds lovely, and its great that the characters, especially Del, are strong, but gah, I need a romance right now.
    Madiha@Symphony of Words recently posted…Review: Dangerous Girls by Abigail HaasMy Profile

  10. I really enjoyed this one overall Melanie, but I agree the romance was the weakest part. I was not on board with it for majority of the book, and would have preferred it not be there at all honestly. Which is really saying something because I’m ALL about romance in my books:) Still, I’m curious to see where things go in the next book!
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…The Mime Order Blog Tour: Review + GiveawayMy Profile

  11. This book sure has some good and bad qualities and skimming paragraphs because of the word use, has me at a bit of a conundrum whether or not to read this book. Although the plotline certainly has potential it’s such a shame that it didn’t follow through in her written prose and character romances so much. When it comes to Science-Fiction and Dystopia, they really have to be on point for me to really enjoy. I can be quite picky with them. LOL. Great honest review though, Mel! 🙂
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book recently posted…ARC REVIEW – CONSPIRACY GIRL by Sarah AldersonMy Profile

  12. I think I’m going to skip this one for now. 🙂
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…From Page to Screen: WhiplashMy Profile

  13. Naban says:

    I’ve always felt like this wouldn’t be the book for me, and that hasn’t changed. It’s still great to know the premise was good, but seems it required a better execution. It’s still great to know there were some good aspects like the characters but gah, I don’t know if the good will overweigh the bad.

    Great review as always!
    Naban recently posted…Typos in BooksMy Profile

  14. Too bad this book didn’t quite come up to par. I still might try it, though, because that blurb. It has pulled me in and now I must read it because how does someone even come up with that, much less write it?
    Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: My Blogging WishlistMy Profile

  15. I ended up absolutely loving this book. The synopsis was the most LAUREN thing of all time and she would have had to completely butcher it for me to not enjoy it, I think! haha. Regardless, I agree that some parts were info-dumpy and the romance was kind of off.
    Lauren at Bookmark Lit recently posted…Top Ten Tuesdays #25: Books that Evoked Strong Feelings (Freebie)My Profile

  16. Kat Stark says:

    Well I think I’ll pass on this one. The only thing that sounds relatively awesome is the sibling aspect, which I can applaud because it’s rare to see those.

  17. Ohhh, a romance that makes you want to skim is not good, not good at all. Neither is info dumping. Sounds like it would have benefited from some more editing. Which is a pity as the concept is great. I love parallel universes though so I’m sure that I’ll still pick it up sometime. And it’s a good sign that even with all the issues you had that you still want to read book 2.
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…Book Review : Books, Blogs, & Reality by Ryan RingbloomMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeh, it really isn’t <.< I do think editing it more to cut off a few scenes would be a good idea. Yeah, the book ends with a cliffie, and it's pretty decent so far so I must continue!

  18. Hmm… I think it sounds great, but would get frustarated with the extraneous and unnecessary parts. I will put this on my maybe list. What was your final rating?
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Tell Me Something Tuesday #86: Audiobooks Do You Listen or Not?My Profile

  19. Kelly says:

    Your euphemism now has me wanting cake. At 6:00am. I have no cake. NO CAKE! Clearly I can’t visit you midnighterians until decent hours where I can actually purchase cake. NO CAKE.

    But even with it being the size of a house brick, this one sounds like something I’d enjoy. I like a mild blended science fiction, it actually reminds me a little of The Game by Eve Silver for some reason. Urgh, the romance sounds terrible. I don’t know why authors always feel they need it, it sounds like this one could have done without it.

    Awesome review Mel <3
    Kelly recently posted…Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth SummerMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Hahaha, I did that on purpose to make you hungry MWAHAHAHAH. ALSO: WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING UP SO EARLY? I only woke up at 9:30 lol. Thank you lovely 🙂

  20. Maddy E says:

    This sounds suspiciously similar to Pivot Point. Though it sounds like Dissonance explores the world building a bit differently and more in depth. So that should be fun. And PERFECT PITCH? Here I am, commenting while I wait for my flute lesson, and MY GOD would having perfect pitch be useful.
    Maddy E recently posted…Guest Review: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBrideMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Huh yeah to think of it it’s kinda like Pivot Point but it’s actually not really at all. Yes, the perfect pitch had me there for a while WANT. I WANT.

  21. Can I has perfect pitch too? 😉 I don’t usually worry about fat books. I’ve read enough where I get lost in it and wonder how I read 400 pages so quickly. However, skimming is not a good thing and I hate books that need to be edited down quite a bit. Still, with it leaving you wanting the next book puts me on the fence. I may wait to see what you say about the next book before I put it on the wishlist.
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Blog Tour: The Originals by Julie PlecMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I think having perfect pitch should be something that everyone can get *is totally not biased here* Eh, I’m not a huge fan of fat books because they tend to just have too many pointless scenes in my experience 😐

  22. I haven’t read this one yet… I am glad to hear about some of the things that this book doesn’t do that great because I’ve seen mostly glowing reviews and I think my expectations were a little high before. Kind of a shame that the plot struggles with direction, but I’m excited to meet Del and it’s a good sign that you will read the sequel! Thanks for the great review!
    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert recently posted…Top Ten Character Mash Ups!My Profile

  23. Which reminds me that I have yet to read the ARC that S & S Canada sent me. Ugh. It truly is a door stopper though. Which is probably the reason why I’ve yet to read it.
    Joy (joyousreads) recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday [#13]: 2014 MissesMy Profile

  24. Valerie says:

    I’ve also been wanting to read it because WALKERS and DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS or whatever but yeah this book is just SO LONG. And I don’t know. I feel like I would also just skim it all 😛 So I might pass on this book for now. AWESOME REVIEW MEL
    Valerie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #40My Profile

  25. Lexa Cain says:

    I wasn’t sucked in by the premise because it’s not that original. (There’s TV’s “Sliders,” and put “parallel universe YA” in Amazon and up pop a ton of books like Gone, His Dark Materials, Unraveling, Tandem, Parallel, Split Second, etc.) It’s done so much some agents ask for it like it’s a genre. I’m surprised S&S published it. Too bad about the info-dumps. Those suck all the fun out of a book. Did you rate this one?
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: Down Time & FreebiesMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Hmm I’ve read Split Second, Parallel and Tandem and the only thing that’s similar with the is that they’re all parallel universe related books but I think the concept is so much more different. Sorry about no rating! I forgot to add it in, but it’s added now and I gave it 3 stars

  26. Betsy P. says:

    Love your review! I hate info dumping as well so I think I’ll pass on this one. And wow 484 pages that’s a lot to me…I mean I can read big books but if the romance is going nowhere and the plot is nonexistent then I’d just DNF it.
    Betsy P. recently posted…Emissary (Legends of the Realm # 1) by Thomas LockeMy Profile

  27. Hmm…I’m not sure what to think about this one Mel. I love the sound of the world-building and the wonderful sibling relationships, but the fact that this was so long when it could have been that much shorter makes me a bit suspicious. That’s one of my pet-peeves in books, which is primarily why I’m so hesitant in deciding whether or not I should read it. Thanks for sharing though, and for the lovely, informative review! <3
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…SoulprintMy Profile

  28. Alreem says:

    first i hear about this book, sound really good, I will add it to my TBR, Lovely Review 🙂
    Alreem recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (12)My Profile

  29. Eeek it’s so annoying when you pick up a massive book and discover most of the text within is made for skimming, with unimportant parts to it. At least Del has a refreshing personality, right? Great review Mel, I’ll be reading this soon 😀
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis Review: Story of Redemption & ForgivenessMy Profile

  30. I absolutely loved Dissonance when I read it last year, Melanie! I loved the fact that music was a big part of the plot, and I thought the parallel worlds were extremely well done – no time-space continuum faults – and that the sibling rivalry was quite realistic, even if it did go very far.
    And your cover is different form mine – I love it!
    I hope you’ll enjoy the 2nd book in this series more, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Great review, too, because I get why you couldn’t give it more than three stars, although I loved it myself, so well done.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Teaser Tuesday #41 – BurnedMy Profile

  31. Wattle says:

    Am I the only one that sees a young Courtney Cox in that cover? That is literally all I can think when I look at it. Randomly. So random. It might also be because I am tired and my eyes are playing tricks.

    Sometimes having a good plot can be overrated but this sounds like it kind of needed one :/ I do love a book where I go ‘damn that was awesome *pause* even if nothing really happened’ but it’s even better when it’s ‘damn that was awesome and the plottiness!’ Not a real word, but you get my gist.

    Great review Mel 🙂 I’m going to pop this on my maybe list!
    Wattle recently posted…Book Review: Emma by Alexander McCall SmithMy Profile

  32. I was quite a fan of the sibling arc, because I think that siblings in books are often just there to be annoying or they are BFFs with the main character (which I have never really seen in real life, so I am not a huge fan of the use of a sibling as a BFF, unless it’s a twin.) I could tell that while Addie and Del had their problems, they still cared about each other, and I liked that this was built upon over the course of the novel. I wonder if Addie will still be Miss Perfect in the sequel, or if she will finally be a little rebellious and see he corrupt Council (I think it’s Council – but whatever it was) for who they really are. WHICH IS CORRUPT. I CAN SEE IT A MILE AWAY.

    I can’t believe you skimmed parts, Mel, HAHA XD I swear this is not the kind of book you can skim. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the terms that were given, but I think the general multiverse theory was explained pretty well. Which I appreciated. More often than not these dimensiony/time travelly books are completely over my head.

    Yeah, I wasn’t 100% sold on Simon, either. Especially since he was all: DO MY BIDDING OR I WON’T GO OUT WITH YOU ANY MORE. Which I could understand to an extent, but Del told him the dangers and everything but nooooooooo. T.T And his sudden attention towards her was kind of out of the blue but he’s a special snowflake who knows what his Echoes are doing so I guess when the totally more interesting Band World Simon was making out with Del, he thought he was having some kind of boy fantasy or whatnot.

    I’m glad you liked it, despite the problems you had with it. 😀 I will definitely be reading the sequel, too!
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  33. I have to admit, I have been avoiding this one based on the size. Is that bad? I guess I have been afraid of what you said- that I’d end up having to skim a lot, or feel bored. Quite honestly, I don’t like really long books in general, no matter how much I love a story. Add in a lot of extraneous information and a lackluster romance… and I am not really that excited to get to this one. Thanks for the great review though, I am glad to know this ahead of time! I am sure I will read it someday, just not today 😉
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Mini Review/Discussion: All the Bright Places by Jennifer NivenMy Profile

  34. God, it feels like I am skimming pages in a lot of books recently. They aren’t bad, just not great either. I HATE info-dumps though. Don’t think I will read this one.
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  35. I find the multiverse theory so SO interesting, so this book sounds totally up my alley! 😀 The info dumps though. :/ BUT THE MULTIVERSE! Definitely going to keep my eyes out for it. Great review, Mel!
    Ana @ Read Me Away recently posted…Review 138: The Geography of You and Me (Jennifer E. Smith)My Profile

  36. Kirsty-Marie says:

    Noooooooooooooooooooooo. Such a bad recipe, the cake will burn. At least the music aspect is unique, the only one I’ve read is The Gathering Dark by Christine Johnson. I’d probably like Del too, but Addie would probably get on my nerves, the same with the info-dump, no. Bad info-dumping. And not even a good romance to distract you? To be honest, the romance does sound rather blah, and yeah, unrealistic. I did really want to read it, but now I’m indecisive. 🙁
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: I Was HereMy Profile

  37. Lyn Kaye says:

    The romance really did kill my enthusiasm for this novel. My favorite part was tying in music and life (I adore music!) I did like the concepts of the novel, but it was just a bit overdone. I am hoping for some improvements in the next one.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: The Fiery HeartMy Profile

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