Wow wow wow!
This is what I'm here for. The first book from NPR's Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf that I enjoyed. When I started I worried it was going to be too much. But then I got into the characters and the story and it's one of those books you can't stop reading (which leads to you almost crying on desk at work).
It's reminiscent of EL Konigsburg's Silent to the Bone. The book would lull me into thinking I knew where it was going yet still managed to surprise me several times. If I have time, I might have to check out The Wednesday Wars to see if it's as good.
I wish I could find a list of all the books referenced (usually obliquely) in the book. I think I guessed most of them, but it would be nice to have confirmation.