Monday, July 28, 2008

Aberrations by Penelope Pzrekop

ISBN: 978-1-934572-03-0
Publisher: Emerald Book Co.
Paperback: 336 pages
Genre: Fiction
First Line: My father is a liar.
One Word Review: Poignant

Angel Duet is a young narcoleptic woman who is in search of the truth. As questions about her mother's death go unanswered, Angel decides to find out for herself what really happened all those years ago. At it's heart, I think Aberrations is a story of Angel's journey to find herself. I hate to use the phrase 'coming of age', but it does seem rather appropriate here.

I was really surprised by this book. I thought it would be depressing - which it sort of was, but it was also lovely and sweet in very unexpected ways. Given the subject matter, it was also a surprisingly easy and quick read. The plot was paced really well, and it wasn't bogged down with unneccesary detail (which seemed like it would've been easy to do). The characters were all really well-writen. I particularly enjoyed Carla - Angel's father's girlfriend. I'm not even sure if I was supposed to like her, but for some reason, I felt a lot of sympathy for her. My one complaint, and this is such a little thing that it hardly bears mentioning, was the dialect used throughout the book. I know the story was supposed to take place in the south, and these people were supposed to have southern accents, but the use of the word 'thang' every time one said thing was annoying. As someone who's lived in the south most of my life, and has a bit of a twang, I found it too much to think that everyone spoke that way. That said, if that's the biggest gripe I have you have to know overall the book was phenomenal. Don't let the blurb for the book fool you - this is way more than a tale about narcolepsy.

If you'd like to read a sample chapter of the book, you can find it here.


Anonymous said...

I love your blog. Great book reviews!

bookfool said...

I have got to get this book read! Its been right near the top for quite a while, but then my ER book came in and it got bumped down again. Sounds good though!!

Meghan said...

It surprised me too! I was a little wary of reading it on hearing the subject matter, but it transcends that to become absolutely wonderful. Nice review. =)

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

In addition to the 'thang,' the constant 'cain't' bothered me as well.

Alea said...

I haven't read this yet but I've very excited! My mother says thang sometimes, it drives me crazy! I always say that "thang" is not a word! I guess she did sort of grow up in the south, but please, it's annoying!

Anonymous said...

I can't remember the dialect even registering with me when I read this. Of course, my in-laws and several people I talk with on a daily basis do speak like that. It's funny how you either do or don't pick up on things.

Traci said...

What bothered me most about it was that it was constant. Every time any semblance of thing was used, 'thang' was substituted. Even in the case of Somethang, which sounds completely false to me. Somethin' would've seemed more appropriate. It was like watching a movie where the lead actor is from Boston, but the character he's playing is from Savannah - many times they overdo it to compensate, and it just comes off all wrong. Like I said, this was my one gripe, so not such a big deal in the whole scheme of thangs.

Penelope Przekop said...

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm wondering if I should revise my use of dialect in book two.

Believe it or not, over the ten years that I wrote Aberrations, I took it all out and put it all back in several times because I couldn't decide. If you can imagine, that was quite time consumming.

To read my work without the accent, feel free to visit my blog, Aberration Nation. You can get to it via my site:

Traci said...


Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you don't take the dialect comment as a bad review. I loved the book. It was just something that was a little distracting occasionally. I wouldn't remove all of the southern phrasing, just maybe not have it with so prevalent every character. But, I'm a reader, not a writer, so take my opinion only for what it's worth. And, know that you've definitely won a fan in me.

Penelope Przekop said...

Thanks Traci! Don't worry. I found your review to be highly positive. I loved it!

The weird thing is that when I first started writing novels nearly 20 years ago, the characters seemed so much more real to me when I used the dialect. The conversations I imagined in my head involved people talking with an accent because that's how I talked.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't sure this book would appeal to me, but I've read so many reviews that point out various positive things (or "thangs" :) ) about it; I'll add it to my wish list.

I enjoyed the comment conversation; thanks to Penelope Pzrekop for stopping by!

Kathleen said...

Traci, great review. The southern twang was the only thing that bothered me too :) Otherwise I loved it.

avisannschild said...

Just wanted to let you know that I mentioned your review in my review of this book. (Click here to see my review.) Unfortunately, I didn't like the book as much as everyone else seems to have!