by Marisha Pessl (2006).
This might go on record as my favorite book read in 2007. I plowed through its 500+ pages in three days, sneaking in time to read during lunch, when I should have been asleep, even while I was at work.
There are few things I love more than a good mystery, with a wise-beyond-her-years girl detective ferreting out clues and piecing together theories (see Veronica Mars, seasons 1 and 2). Add to that copious literary and film references, a sometimes hysterical send-up of academia, and tiny mentions of towns I've been to (or been near), and you have a book I'm practically guaranteed to love.
It's funny to me that I keep finding books with these elements, reading and loving them (see King Dork, Frank Portman; Him Her Him Again The End of Him, Patricia Marx). Is there something in the water right now?
Anyway, I fully recommend this book, and I can't wait to see what Pessl comes out with next.
Number of books I've read from Blue's "Required Reading" list: 8 (out of 36)
Percentage of references I understood: 85 (rough estimate)
Date of Bookslut interview with Marisha Pessl, which contains a few spoilers, so be careful: September 2006
Official book website's coolness points: 10 (out of 10)