Friday, August 15, 2014

Dissonance and TSTL Syndrome

Published:  July 22nd, 2014
Dissonance (Dissonance #1)
By: Erica O'Rourke
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13:  9781442460249

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 or 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 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 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 mutliverse.


     Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a nut for anything involving alternate universes or time travel.  Basically, anything that lets us explore the greatest mysteries in the universe, all beginning with the words: "What if?"  But I felt like that potential was wasted in this particular book.  I seem to be in the minority, with so many glowing reviews on this one floating around.  But I honestly found the world-building, mythology and technical terms to be really convoluted.  I may not be the most scientific person ever, but generally I can follow along in these types of books.  The way things were explained about the Walkers, the dissonance, the alternate worlds, etc. was kind of a mess.  I felt like at the end of the book I still didn't get exactly why Del was able to "cleave" worlds, or why the Council was after her and what all Simon had to do with it.  The connections were not clear between any of the key points of the conflict.  
     As for the characters, Del was an arrogant brat.  Yeah, her parents were pretty absent and her sister was a bitch.  But Del acts without thinking, has no thought for consequences and basically trys to elbow around them when they happen.  She's always pouting and sneaking out, walking through other worlds even when she's not supposed to.  Her crush on Simon seemed more like an obsession, as she uses more and more of her walks to find and hook up with alternate versions of Simon, under false pretenses.  There were a lot of filler scenes that seemed to lead nowhere, and really weren't necessary in the grand scheme of things.  I found myself flipping through pages and skipping a lot, mostly out of sheer boredom.  This book was about two-hundred pages too long, and those pages did nothing for the plot.  They gave no clarity, development or resolution.  It needed a lot more editing, that unfortunately it didn't receive.  
     The love triangle between Del, Simon and Del's friend Eliot was disgusting to me.  She's totally leading on Eliot and using him the entire book, until he calls her on it, all under the excuse that she "didn't know" he had feelings for her.  If that's true, Del's even stupider than I thought she was (better than cruel, I guess).  The outright lack of reasoning capability on the part of the protagonist and the lack of direction in the plot (which led up to a big reveal that made even LESS sense to me personally), leaves this one as a do-not-recommend for me.  Not a fan, and I feel like I wasted my time.  It only gets the rating it does because I got through it and it had potential, even if it was unrealized.

VERDICT:  2/5  Stars

**I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie.  No favors or money were exchanged for this review.  This book's was published on July 22nd, 2014.**

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