The language in this fresh, engaging piece is what propels it along. We keep turning pages because we begin to care what happens to Blue, and Hannah, the enigmatic teacher who proctors the creative group along the way. But for all the throw-away culture and kids-playing-at-adulthood, we have a deathly story underneath, in which Hannah loses her life and Blue's Dad disappears the minute Blue figures it (almost all the way) out.
Ms. Pessl amazes with her multitudinous references, her deadpan delivery, and the reality of the angst her characters feel. This is a debut you should definitely pick up, and a career we should definitely follow.