Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, is a captivating fictional mystery novel with a misleading name. The story starts out on a dark note with a yearning to belong and the questioning of the possibility of independence as an adolescent. Blue Van Meer being raised by a father who hopelessly attempts to form her into his image, finds herself lost in life without any sense of community. The middle-aged professor operates out of fear by playing God in order to control his daughter’s destiny. What he ends up creating is a young adult who desperately trying to find her place in the world, seeks friends in an elitist club that has been established by the goddess-like film history teacher, Hannah. This club has an undeniable cult esque which will question the mind of the reader. What makes Hannah so inspiring? Why is she such a prominent figure in these young adult’s lives?
Unlike any other book, Special Topics in Calamity Physics has an implemented reference guide to stimulate the mind of the reader. This novel is more than just a mystery, it is a confrontation of the pertinence of respectable figures in an adolescent’s life; as well as the realization that no matter how ingenious one is, no one person is smart enough to grow up alone.
This What-Are-You-Reading-Wednesday post was written by Chase Leyden. Chase is a junior at Covenant Christian High School and is spending two weeks as an intern with the Indiana Humanities Council.