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Aberrations by Penelope Przekop - Book Review

Aberrations is an unusual novel, I suspect many people might lay it aside after reading the premise, or even the first chapter, and this is why I’m reluctant to provide a synopsis of a story about a narcoleptic girl bent on hiding herself from life. To tell the reader the premise of Aberrations is to diminish what is special about it.

The core theme of the novel is the universal desire to define oneself. In protagonist Angel’s case, narcolepsy provides a handy excuse of avoidance. But grow she must and through drug use, ill-fated romances, sexual promiscuity and lies (told both to ourselves and to others), Angel does indeed grow.

I didn’t think I was going to like Aberrations. The first chapter was a disaster and I found Angel’s pessimistic personality off-putting, but once other characters were on the scene my interest was roused. The cast is a hodge-podge of the needy. There’s also that lie, the one Angel’s father told surrounding the mystery of her mother’s death, which kept me wondering. And once I knew the lie, about two-thirds of the ways in, I still kept reading to find out if Angel would ever start living or let the lie destroy her.

Aberrations is recommended for mature young adult readers, readers interested in realistic coming-of-age tales, and –of course- those interested in the topic of narcolepsy. Although vague transitions and a difficult protagonist make Aberrations tougher to read than it needs to be, it is definitely a story worth knowing. Make sure you re-read the definition and newspaper clippings at the front and end of the novel. Both will provide added insight upon completion of the novel.

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