I am 120 pages into Marisha Pessl's 514-page "Special Topics in Calamity Physics", so I'm obviously not in any position to offer a review. What I can say is that I haven't been this knocked out by anyone's prose since - and I can't believe I'm saying this - DFW's "Infinite Jest". I've fallen in love with many books since IJ, and I've obsessively collected books by certain authors (Jonathan Lethem comes to mind), but, I mean, GODDAMN.
I did some minor research yesterday afternoon and it turns out that there was a little bit of a blogger backlash when Ms. Pessl got picked up by Viking; she was yet another absurdly pretty 28-year-old white girl who came from money who scored a lucrative book deal, how wonderful. I guess that can be annoying, but for me, I'm not sure I can believe that anyone can be 28 years old and be this fucking brilliant - especially considering that she also did the illustrations, which are also remarkable.
I was IMing with a friend yesterday about books, and how fiction could be extremely simplisticly categorized into 3 categories - character-driven, story-driven, and idea-driven. Obviously there's a great deal of overlap, but when I think about my favorite books a lot of them fall in the "idea" category. Even more than that, though, I find that what really sucks me into a book is the author's use of language. If they can craft a sexy sentence, I'm absolutely hooked. Regarding the first bit, I am as yet unable to determine what category STiCP falls into; but I can say that I've been reading each sentence in this book at least twice. I'm not sure I've ever read anything with the sort of carefree descriptive flair that permeates every word. I could hunt down some examples for you but I'd end up retyping the entire book.
In short: WOW.