Look at Me
by Jennifer Egan
Charlotte, a thoroughly unpleasant Manhattan model, is back visiting in her small, detested Illinois hometown when she is involved in a catastrophic car accident. Plastic surgery following the wreck leaves her face unscarred but completely unrecognizable. How does a woman who has gotten by her entire life on appearances deal with having her identity taken in an instant?
A mystery man named Z, a tortured private investigator, a plain teenage girl also named Charlotte, a genius/weirdo who is obsessed with the Industrial Revolution and a shady internet project all contribute to that answer in this hard to categorize and equally hard to put down book. Hip and timely, this is a mystery, an edge-of-your-seat thriller, and an engrossing, ironic look at contemporary American culture all at once.