Tag Archives: Alternate Reality

Series Review: The Firebird Trilogy by Claudia Grey

I had been eyeing The Firebird Trilogy ever since I saw the cover for A THOUSAND PIECES ABOVE YOU and fell instantly in love! NO WAIT. I’ve actually been eyeing the trilogy ever since Claudia Grey gave a sneak peek of it at a signing for SPELLCASTER. (Seriously. I made a note of it.) Anyway, I finally got around to reading the books and decided to binge all three for a cohesive series read!

Reviews for each book/the series are a whole are generally spoiler-free for any major occurrences or twists but may contain info about plot points so I can properly discuss the plot. 

Series Review: The Firebird Trilogy by Claudia GreyTitle: A Thousand Pieces of You (The Firebird Trilogy #1) by Claudia Grey
Publishing Info: November 4, 2014 by HarperCollins
Source: Audible, Gift
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Alternate Reality, Parallel Universe
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 26, 2017

Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father's killer through multiple dimensions.

Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

This book had been on my TBR and on my shelves for a very long time (I mean, hello, one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen) and the concept was something that instantly drew me in. I finally grabbed the audio for this, wanting to read something more sci-fi and what better to pick up than an multi-dimension story?

The book started off abruptly for me. It kind of starts right in the action and things immediately start happening. I really wished Claudia Gray had taken the time to set up a little backstory before throwing readers into things because it permanently messed up my feelings towards some of the characters, without giving away any spoilers, and once that happens, it’s really hard for me to go back and “correct” that. The first impressions stuck with me and I didn’t even have time to learn a little backstory, but more importantly, see some character history and personality, before the action took off.

The concept was exactly what I was looking for! Hopping from dimension to dimension and travelling between worlds. I have to say, I was super impressed with the different universes that Claudia Gray created for these characters! Most books, when dealing with alternate universes, focus a lot on things that are very close to the life that we’re living now but a few major or minor things have been changed to have a significant impact on a character. Here, Gray set up worlds where the main characters have a whole lot more to figure out. From a world where technology has progressed much faster to a world where technology has progressed MUCH slower so that the world is essentially still in the dark ages. A world where Marguerite ends up in a place almost exactly like her home to a world where she lives in a different country and has an entirely different upbringing. It’s easy to create a setting for a book a tamper with it slightly to come up with an alternate universe. Claudia Gray really gets into the different possibilities and how anything minor can create a huge major difference!

I also really love the family aspect and how tightly knit this family is. There’s a great dynamic, the parents are loving and supportive (although I guess it depends in what universe, right?), and the graduate students that work with Marguerite’s parents have become a part of the family too.

What I didn’t love was the romance. It was set up a little awkwardly and there were some… things that happened that really turned me around right from the start. I won’t get into details because that heads into spoiler-ville but the set-up and execution of the romance felt really clunky to me and even heading straight on to the second book (which I’m reading now), I still can’t shake that feel because of how it was set up in book one. Again, with no backstory for these characters when the book started, I had no sense of who was supposed to be what to Marguerite, the history she had with them, her feelings for them, and why she should trust anyone. I just really needed that chapter or so in the beginning to introduce all of the characters. The book felt like it was the second book in the series, not the first, with the way that it started and threw the story and characters at me right away and that made things a little difficult. The book does offer flashbacks so readers are still able to see things from “before” but that didn’t really make up for what I was wanting in the very beginning.

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU didn’t exactly go how I had hoped but it was still an enjoyable read and I’m so impressed with the different worlds that Claudia Gray has built! I’m already in the second book because I’m interested in bingeing the whole series and I’m loving her creativity so far.

Series Review: The Firebird Trilogy by Claudia GreyTitle: Ten Thousand Skies Above You (The Firebird Trilogy #2) by Claudia Grey
Publishing Info: November 3, 2015 by HarperCollins
Source: Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Parallel Universe, Alternate Reality
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 29, 2017

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents' invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

I think I enjoyed this book better than the first! I liked having everything established and it was neat to see these concepts expanded even more. One thing I love about good fantasy/sci-fi writers is when they make the readers think they’ve gotten all of the reveals and then something totally new is revealed and it’s like a whole new world opening up!

I’m still not the biggest fan of the romance, but I don’t think I will be at this point. It’s kind of just there for me and I don’t love that it’s the main reason why Marguerite is doing what she’s doing, but I guess I also like that her guy isn’t someone she just met and that it’s someone who’s been in her life for a long time. There’s just something about it that still feels like instalove for some reason, and I think it’s the way it was all set up in the first book. I don’t have a problem with instalove when it’s executed well but I’ve just never been a fan of this relationship.

The further development of the multiverse is fascinating! We get to know the same characters but in different dimensions and how their lives are different, as well as how one dimension may be affecting another. Things dig way deeper in this book and the plot was even more fascinating!

I’m still not tooootally in love like I had hoped to be but these books are proving to be very enjoyable and I’m glad I’m reading them back-to-back-to-back so I’m able to soak everything in and not have a year in between each book!

Series Review: The Firebird Trilogy by Claudia GreyTitle: A Million Worlds With You (The Firebird Trilogy #3) by Claudia Grey
Publishing Info: November 1, 2016 by HarperCollins
Source: Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Parallel Universe, Alternate Reality
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: August 31, 2017

A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites…and only one can win.

I think this may have been the best book of the series for me! I really liked how everything came together and it was nice to follow the story having gotten to know these characters and really get into their histories. I really enjoyed the conclusion and that it included even deeper layers of these worlds and how they entwined with each other.

One thing I always have a hard time with in sci-fi books is how much science the reader should really be exposed to. We knew the Firebirds worked and that there was a lot of physics and science behind them, but I always found myself wanting to know just a bit more about the science behind it. I understand we don’t want to bog readers down with complicated explanations but I always feel that it adds to the world-building (at least personally, for me) and adds that sense of reality instead of just saying “we created these with science and the science works”. Obviously there’s no real technology like that (at least not that the public knows *cue conspiracy theory music*) but I was left wanting just a biiiiit more of an explanation of why the science made it work the way it did. There were descriptions of how the Firebirds worked but I wanted to know how the science made those functions possible. Maybe I’m going one step too far, haha.

Anyway, I found this book really enjoyable! The whole series was a very solid four-star read for me but I never quite fell head over heels for it, and I think that was because of the characters. They were all very good characters with depth (as noted in their different personalities in different dimensions), but I just never LOVED them. I did love all of the different universes and I’m still impressed with how much time and thought went into each one of them.

Listening via audio, I did find one discontinuity which wasn’t a big deal but it really bothered me for the brief moment that it existed and I needed to get it off my chest! If you want to check it out, head over to my Goodreads review and peek between the spoiler tags!

So TL;DR, this series was very fun in terms of concept and set-up! I didn’t totally love the characters — mostly the romance. I don’t know why but I never fully got on board! I think I liked Theo better, to be honest… I love the rakish rogues, what can I say? — but it was a super solid series and I loved the creativity and detail!

SERIES THOUGHTS

The Firebird Trilogy was really enjoyable! I thought it was a very solid series, all quite good with some great characters, excellent settings, and creative plotting. I really loved that the different universes Marguerite travels to aren’t just slight changes but large changes. It was different from the other alt-reality books I’ve read and it was quite fun to experience such alternate realities!

I was on the wrong side of the love triangle the whole time, so that was hard for me, but I did enjoy the characters to a certain extent. When you’re on the wrong side of a love triangle, it’s REALLY hard to fall into the “do anything for love” concept so that became slightly unrealistic for me but I tried to go with it.

I did want a little more detail with the science to better explain some things but I really enjoyed all of the dynamics between all of the characters and how the different worlds shaped them. I never quite fell in love with these books but they were all very, very good reads and I like the way everything wrapped up! It’s always nice to be able to recommend a series from start to finish.

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Addiction Rating
Read them!

These books were so interesting and Claudia Grey did a wonderful job with the different worlds. I’m really glad I finally read this series!!

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BOOKS LIKE THE FIREBIRD TRILOGY

(Click the cover to see my review!)

     

Once Upon a Kiss – Robin Palmer

Today’s review is a little something different to bring back some 80s nostalgia! Penguin Teen invited me to be a part of a really fun review campaign in which reviewers of ONCE UPON A KISS add a little 80s and 90s flair to their review posts! Naturally, I immediately said yes –because how much fun is that? — so today’s review will have a little extra blast from the past for you! Enjoy!


Once Upon a Kiss – Robin PalmerTitle: Once Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer
Publishing Info: January 5, 2016 by Penguin
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Alternate Reality, Time Travel
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 8, 2016

It's 1986 and sixteen-year-old Zoe Brenner's world revolves around Depeche Mode, Judd Nelson, exercise-obsessed parents, and her best friend Jonah. Then one day, in a freak Fun-Dip choking accident, Zoe falls unconscious, and awakes in the year 2016. So much has changed, and Zoe needs Jonah to help her make sense of it all. But in this life, Zoe is the most popular girl in school, and she soon realizes this Zoe doesn't associate with nerds like Jonah. As Zoe juggles new technology, attempts to hide her enthusiasm for poet blouses, and manages to keep her super jock boyfriend at bay, she tries to rekindle her friendship with Jonah and use her popularity for a good cause. Will she ever get back to 1986? And more importantly, does she want to?

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ONCE UPON A KISS was exactly what I thought it would be — adore, cute, and just a feel-good book! I’d say it’s 13 Going on 30 meets Mean Girls, except instead of simply moving forward into her own future like Jenna does in 13 Going on 30, Zoe Brenner ends up in an alternate present-day life where all of her friends and family are the same but 2016 is their reality instead of 1986. The concept was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed this new take on time travel and alternate realities where the two really end up blending!

I really enjoyed how ONCE UPON A KISS was a blend of contemporary with a little bit of science-fiction! I wouldn’t necessarily call it a time travel book but what happened to Zoe really did span the boundaries of time and also ended up skewing into an alternate reality where her life in 1986 got shifted to what life would be like at the same age, in the same house, with the same people but all in 2016. It was really fun to see how her entire life would have shifted if she was living the same teenage years in 2016 instead of 1986 and how her family was adjusted to that change as well!

The book was definitely adorable but at times actually a bit too cutesy for me. I really loved the switch from 1986 to 2016 and it’s always interesting and fun to see how the author adjusts each person’s life from the day to day routines in 1986 and how much different those same lives would be in 2016. It was highly entertaining to watch the same lifestyles adapt to modern day, especially Zoe’s parents and their work out videos! They were a bit silly and over the top sometimes but it was also hilarious to see the new name drops of celebrities that helped them endorse and participate in their work out routines!

I’ll admit that the use of modern-day jargon was a bit too much for me at times. I think I was more okay with it when they were being silly with overuse of 80s jargon because it amped up the 80s atmosphere (and hey, I was a baby in the 80s so I can’t tell you how many of these words were actually used and how often) but the 2016 catch phrases, abbreviations, and terms got to be a bit too much for me at times. People don’t really use that many buzz words in everyday speech (well, if they do, they’re not people I know) and the 2016 vocabulary felt a bit like overkill for me sometimes… BUT that also amps up the 2016 feel for Zoe and allows room for laughs as she tries to figure out what the heck these people are talking about! It was one of those moments where it was definitely cute but maybe went a bit too far for my personal taste.

Right off the bat, I was shipping Zoe with her best friend Jonah. If you know my reading tastes at all, you know that I adore best friend to romance relationships so even when I wasn’t sure if that was the idea of the book, I was already on board with it when the book first took off! I totally felt for Zoe when she ends up in 2016-life and a best friend who doesn’t even really know this new version of her. I thought the friendships and romances throughout the whole book were really well done! I enjoyed the romantic aspects of the book as well as the various friendships that Zoe both maintains and strives to acquire. She really worked hard to be a good person, include everyone that she could, and went out of her way to befriend others!

ONCE UPON A KISS was definitely a quick, fun, and light book! It bordered a bit more on the fluffy side for me but it was perfect timing because that was exactly what I needed! I wished there was a bit more to the plot development and I could have used a bit more possible explanation why Zoe was transported to the future and why her life there was different, but I did love the character development and how everything really varied from 1986 to 2016. I had a great time reading the book and it was definitely a delight!
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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

once upon a kiss gr updates

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Zoe // Character Obsessions: Everyone getting along, Jonah, getting back to the past. 
Zoe was a really fun character! She was just so enjoyable to get to know and I really loved how positive she was. She really took that whole “new world” thing as easily as she could and I always admired how much she really just wanted equality for everyone. I wish I had known more about why the switch from 1986 to 2016 happened but she seemed to adapt really well!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Alternate realities. I really liked this take on an alternate reality! Instead of a parallel universe or straight time travel, Zoe ended up being in 2016 instead of 1986 that was an alternate reality of her life and not just an alternate universe or possibly future.
Left Me Wanting More: Explanation. I think the thing I was really missing from the book was why Zoe was transported to 2016. I suppose there doesn’t have to be a reason but it’s always nice!

Addiction Rating
Try it

I wasn’t totally wowed but it was such a cute book. It was definitely on the lighter side for me but a fun take on an alternate reality and definitely adorable.

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BOOKS LIKE ONCE UPON A KISS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

BEFORE I FALL       LANDLINE


TOTALLY 90s!

In honor of ONCE UPON A KISS, I’m also sharing some of my favorite 90s nostalgia! Since I was barely born in the 80s (’87 baby!), all of my childhood memories are from the 90s so we’re bringing back some of the most awesome things from the decade!

Honestly, Buzzfeed summed up my 90s childhood pretty well with 45 Things From Your 90s Childhood You Probably Forgot About (YES to literally everything on this list) but there were so many trends at my school that didn’t make the list! Some of my other favorite things that were big when I was a kid were pogs, keychains for your backpack and/or purse (like, as many as you could possibly find. From Claire’s, of course), mood rings, and for some reason it was a thing to wear tall white socks (but I think that was just a thing at my school because I haven’t found other people who did this)! I also loved rocking my fake work boots, which for some reason was also a thing. Can’t forget that light green eye shadow and buying/gifting tons of lotion from Bath and Body Works!

    

Were you an 80s or a 90s kid? What were you favorite items/trends??

Harmonic (Dissonance #1.5) – Erica O’Rourke

Harmonic (Dissonance #1.5) – Erica O’RourkeTitle: Harmonic (Dissonance #1.5) by Erica O'Rourke
Publishing Info: March 17, 2015 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Amazon
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: March 20, 2015
Related Posts: Dissonance (Dissonance #1), Resonance (Dissonance #2)

     Del’s older sister can also walk between worlds, but her loyalties are uniquely tested in this original enovella set in the inventive world of Dissonance.
Addison Sullivan, Del’s older sister, has always been considered a model Walker—but her reputation within the Consort has been tainted by her grandfather’s betrayal and her sister’s recklessness. She is desperate to regain her position within the Consort and equally desperate to keep Del from spiraling out of control after losing the boy she loves.
The Consort offers Addie a chance to redeem herself: if she can track down the Free Walkers her grandfather knew twenty years ago, they’ll fast-track her apprenticeship and put her in charge of her own team. Addie asks a former classmate and crush, Laurel, a Consort historian, for help. As they work together, Addie’s feelings for Laurel resurface, but she’s too afraid to act. Same-sex relationships aren’t expressly forbidden by the Consort, but she fears that a relationship with Laurel would be viewed as yet another mark against her.
While she is fighting her feelings for Laurel, troubling details start emerging during their investigation…details that paint Addie’s family in a sinister light. Will she reveal what she’s learned to the Consort, or try to protect her family?
This enovella is set in the time between Dissonance and Resonance.
 

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I was SO, SO pleased when I read DISSONANCE last summer and totally fell in love with it. I was even more excited when I heard that there was a DISSONANCE novella coming out in March of 2015 and I quickly added HARMONIC to my TBR without hesitation.

HARMONIC is actually a fairly long novella — well, it’s actually a NOVELLA and not just a short. Lots of young adult books have had in-between stories and extras from other characters in the series but some are simply excerpts, some are very short stories, and some — like HARMONIC — are actually novellas, coming in at 100+ pages. Usually, the longer novellas are ones I shy away from (I like to read the extras as a quick, read-it-in-one-sitting filler or refresher) but I was all in and dying to read any more of the world of DISSONANCE that I could!

I loved that HARMONIC was from Addison’s point of view (Del’s sister). I really loved her character in DISSONANCE and it was wonderful to really get to know her better in HARMONIC. She’s a dedicated worker and HARMONIC really brings the reader into why she’s so focused on the job, what it’s cost her, and what she has to gain. It really allowed me to get to know Addie so much more and I love the opportunity to do this!

I also really enjoyed that HARMONIC wasn’t just filler or a little FYI of what’s happening in between DISSONANCE and its sequel, RESONANCE. This was a full and detailed story with action, suspense, romance, clues, answers, and shocking reveals. It was so much fun to read and it reminded me of all of those same things that I felt when I first read DISSONANCE and got me even more excited for RESONANCE.

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

Harmonic GR updates

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Addison // Character Obsessions: The job, her family, her reputation, her love life.
Was I that woefully ignorant to be surprised by a F/F romance in this book? Either it wasn’t brought up in DISSONANCE or I was way to focused on Del to realize that Addie was a lesbian? Either way, I really liked the romance in HARMONIC, even if I was somehow surprised by it. The two girls really had a nice balance and I really appreciated how Laurel started to bring out a different side of Addie and really bring that balance into her life and how Addie also did the same for Laurel. It was so great to learn more about Addie all-around and I was so glad she was the focus of this novella!

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Kept Me Hooked On: F/F romance. Oh how do I say this… I hope that this isn’t taken the wrong way, but I don’t usually read same-sex romances. It’s a personal preference and not because I don’t support them — I do. I appreciate reading romances in books because I swoon for that guy and fall in love with that character so I read romances to swoon along with the MC. It’s hard to put myself in that same situation with a same-sex romance because I can’t find myself falling for the love interest since that’s not my preference. I can’t say that I swooned in HARMONIC but I really did appreciate Addie & Laurel’s relationship a lot!
Left Me Wanting More: Del! Okay, I know this isn’t Del’s story but I did miss her in this book! (She’s there, just not the main focus.) I’m so excited to jump back into the main story line in RESONANCE though! I need to start that ASAP…

Addiction Rating
BUY IT!

This is was a great novella! I really loved it from start to finish and it was SO exciting and rich with plot!

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BOOKS LIKE HARMONIC

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        TANDEM   TIME BETWEEN US

Dissonance (Dissonance #1) – Erica O’Rourke

Dissonance (Dissonance #1) – Erica O’RourkeTitle: Dissonance (Dissonance #1) by Erica O'Rourke
Publishing Info: August 14, 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Alternate Reality, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 10, 2014
Related Posts: Harmonic (Dissonance #1.5), Resonance (Dissonance #2)

    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.

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WOW. I totally fell in love with DISSONANCE. I was hoping that this would be a book that I would fall in love with and I’m SO happy that I did. There were just so many “Brittany” things about it (based in the Chicagoland area, parallel universes, music, and of course, awesome romances) and they all worked so well together to create one amazing book. DISSONANCE is the first book from Erica O’Rourke that I’ve read so I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into when I started. I had a review copy from Edelweiss but the fact that Erica O’Rourke was going to be at the event with Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard really pushed me to start it and I’m SO glad that I did because even halfway through I was in love, bought a physical copy, and had Erica sign it for me!

I’ve really been enjoying books with parallel universes lately but sometimes the science of it all can be a bit overwhelming. What I loved about DISSONANCE was the pairing of science and music. In the book, the Walkers (people who “walk” from universe to universe) are able to identify different worlds (and the problems within them) by certain musical pitches. A world may sound off or dissonant (ahhh, the title!) if there’s a large error within the world. I won’t get into the details as to how all of that works because it’s explained so well in the book, but essentially this establishes the music tie-in with Walkers almost always having perfect pitch and the easiest way to describe things is often with a musical term. I’ve never played any instruments but I was a huge choir nerd in high school and college and took a music theory class so the fact that I was able to identify so many terms and concepts that I’d learned about in music theory had me really geeking out over the book. Combine that with the science (well, made-up science, of course (OR IS IT) but science nonetheless), and it was just the perfect amount of nerding out for me.

So enough fangirling about all of the world building (no, but really — LITERALLY building worlds! So cool). The rest of the book was fantastic as well. I really loved the main character Del and connected with her a lot. I may not have chanced as many rebellious acts and school-wise, I was probably more like her sister Addison, but I felt like she was such an interesting main character to get to know and a great one to witness as she figures out what’s going on with her life as these events unfold. The whole family dynamic was great, actually. It was wonderful to see two parents who were present (albeit busy with work for a lot of the time) and a grandfather who’s still in the picture as well. The family wasn’t always perfect, but they worked through their differences and I really liked watching all of those interactions between the two girls and their parents/grandfather.

The romance was fantastic as well! It was so interesting to see Del and Simon’s interactions and exactly what transpires between them. Del ends up meeting Simon in other worlds and the more she interacts with him, the more she sees different sides of his personality. Since each world is a representation of a different part of him, it was really interesting to see different sides of Simon in different ways. I won’t give away exactly what happens between the two of them and how it affects the main story, but this was definitely something that I loved witnessing and I adored how the two of them ended up connecting.

On top of all of this, the plotting is just fantastic. This book has some TWISTS, you guys. Some you could see developing and were really exciting to watch as they unfolded and others were totally surprising and knocked me off my feet. I was just so impressed with really everything about this book and now I am DYING for book two! DISSONANCE was my first book by Erica O’Rourke but you can bet it won’t be the last!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Del // Character Obsessions: Walking, music, family (though it doesn’t always seem like it), Simon.
I really got along with Del. We may not be exactly alike in how we act, but I think we have some common principles in common. Even though she’s got a bit more of a rebellious streak than I do, I really liked how she interacted with her friends and family and also how those relationships grew in this book. She also grew up some herself and I was able to see real changes based on what she went through! I just really liked her a lot and felt like she was a really great main character.
Simon // Character Obsessions: Basketball (or other extra curricular activities), his mom, keeping up appearances.
Simon was a really interesting character. Sometimes I really don’t like when a series starts with one POV and then switches or splits, but I would love to get to know more about Simon from his POV. (Weird to ask for a novella, but I would love to see one from him.) I don’t know why, but I just really want to know so much more about him! I loved his role in this book and how it went beyond just a love interest. VERY cool. 

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Kept Me Hooked On: Musical aspects! I knew the book was called DISSONANCE (obviously) but I didn’t realize exactly how big music was in this book. I LOVED the way it was incorporated!
Left Me Wanting More: Answerrrrs. OMG how can I possibly wait for book two of this series! This is one I will need the SECOND it is available to me!

Addiction Rating
BUY IT

I had expected to enjoy DISSONANCE but I had no idea I’d fall in love. I did see a few just so-so reviews for it and I feel like they may be a case of just not the right match and I would honestly feel out a person’s taste before recommending because I do want the right person to fall in love with it! I think time travel/parallel universe fans will enjoy this one and may be a nice surprise for music aficionados as well!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE DISSONANCE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        tandem          all our yesterdays