Next up we have Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide. Her book is Dissonance.
’m currently reading recently read DISSONANCE by Erica O’Rourke (which was the first book I’ve read from her and BELIEVE YOU ME, I will be picking up more!) and I am just fascinated by the concept of pairing up time travel and music. The book IS titled DISSONANCE so those of you with basic music knowledge may spot that as a familiar term right off the bat.
In high school, I was a HUGE choir nerd and I honestly loved everything about it. I had always loved music but wasn’t able to take any lessons growing up. My parents probably knew me a little too well and knew I wouldn’t stick to music lessons because if I can’t pick something up right off the bat, I tend to put it aside. I almost played in band in elementary school on my mom’s old clarinet, but it just would have cost too much money to repair on top of paying for lessons. No room in our house for a piano and… well, my options pretty much ran out. But freshman year of high school, I chose choir as an elective because I enjoyed singing, but mostly because my sister had and she really enjoyed it (and had a great teacher). Little did I know how big choir would turn out to be and how much it shaped my high school experience.
I promise, there’s a point to the personal history story… So my senior year of high school, I took Music Theory which is an awesome class for music nerds, by the way. In DISSONANCE, Del and Simon have a music theory class together and so that was a great personal connection for me since that was one of my favorite classes and it also brought back a ton of memories. I thought music was such a perfect way to help describe how the alternate universes works — I may not be a music pro, but I have just enough knowledge and extremely basic theory to really make that connection as well as understand the references and comparisons.
Even if you don’t have any music theory knowledge, it’s a pretty awesome comparison to make. The two concepts really just FIT together and I loved art and science combining to make one awesome book. For those of you who haven’t read it yet (and I recommend picking it up!), very basically the concept is that every time someone in the “Key World” (the world as we know it) ends up making one decision in place of another, an alternate world forms where the opposite choice was made. Del, as a “Walker” (someone who can walk between alternate worlds), is training to maintain the integrity and perfection of a fully functioning Key World. The different worlds have different pitches (this is where the music comes in) so worlds that are more unstable sound more dissonant, eventually causing a headache and worse if a walker stays in an unstable world too long (think about hearing a clashing of notes or completely awful sounds for hours on end).
Let’s be honest. I have no science knowledge whatsoever. I wasn’t a bad science student, but we had a really hard chem teacher at my high school so I didn’t really want to deal with that and if you didn’t do chem, you couldn’t do physics (boo hoo, right?) so I opted for an easier class since when would I use that in real life? Anyway… Books bogged down in extremely technical scientific concepts are often hard to understand or keep straight so this was a reason I felt like DISSONANCE totally just worked. A little bit of music theory HELPS, but I’m sure we know more about music than we do about technical science so I felt like the average audience would just be able to understand the functions of the alternate worlds much better. The music-science connections are constantly popping up in the book and it felt like just such or organic way to describe everything that was going on. Everything really just seemed to FIT and I really applaud Erica O’Rourke’s decision to meld the two together!
All of the possibilities in the book can’t help but make me wonder what I would be doing in a parallel universe… And really, I try not to think of it because some of those opportunities could be so awesome! I could still be doing some things I really loved… But I could also end up a whole lot worse. When it comes down to it, I’m pretty dang happy with my life, so even if this is somehow real, let’s just pretend it really is all fiction and regret nothing!
*personal pictures belong to Brittany