The Magicians by Lev Grossman
I've come across quite a few reviews of Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" before reading it, but the recommendation that got my attention was a colleague telling me that it was a "Harry Potter for adults." He was certainly right about that, but should have mentioned the many nods to Narnia throughout as well. While "The Magicians" is all about magic and fantastic worlds, strip away all the fantasy and you get a tale that describes life for most young adults finding their way through the world and stumbling on the trials that lead to adulthood. A fantastic novel for fans of fantasy as well as anyone who enjoys reliving the embarrassment, agonies, and defeats of youth.