Book Review: Dissonance

Published by: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: July 22, 2014 
Genre: YA speculative
496 pages
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher

The summary of this book hooked me with mention of walking into parallel worlds. This kind of speculative fiction has tickled my imagination for years; I think that it’s common for teens to be interested in this stuff as well, as they explore their relationship with the world around them. After having finished my reading, I am still intrigued by some of the theories explored in the book.

The premise is that every choice we make creates alternate realities where the other choice was made. These alternate worlds can only be accessed by people carrying a certain genetic marker. These people are called Walkers. They are able to reach into portals between worlds, hear the frequencies of those worlds, and handle the individual threads of those worlds to manipulate how they affect the fabric of the universe as a whole. Because of their exceptional hearing, they are also excellent musicians. The lore in the book is pretty fantastic.

The main character is a girl named Delancey, Del for short. Del is a hard-headed rule breaker. She has the classically absent YA parents, as well as an older sister is a perfect princess type. The unique addition to her family is her grandfather, an elderly walker who is known to be in the early stages of dementia. Del and her grandfather have long shared a special bond, and the pair are close throughout the book.

Del, who is accustomed to being fairly invisible in this world, finds herself struggling to balance her relationships with her male best friend and her love interest, as well as her loyalty to her family with her gut feeling about what is right. All of this is pretty universal to teens, and I love it all as ways for the reader to identify with the main character.

Dissonance is one of my favorite reads of 2014 so far. The sci fi elements, the romance, and the take-charge main character add up to an excellent read that I highly recommend.


Delancey 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.


  1. I <3 Simon and Schuster! I think they are great publishers and make awesome choices. You should check out Sophie McKenzie's books by them too. This sounds like an interesting idea, what with the Walkers going between dimensions. I am going to add it to my TBR!

    Check out my book review:

  2. I can't wait for this one! Not only is that cover GORGEOUS but the premise sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts <3

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jackie! Going to check out your blog.

  3. This one sounds very interesting.

    1. I really liked it. Let me know if you decide to check it out!

  4. She's an awesome author! Loved her supernatural series.

    I love alternate universes, and she seems to have given a scientific twist to it, so we understand what's going on, but also has a contemporary feel with what the character goes through in different lives.

    Lovely review :)


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