I always worry when reading a review of YOU, MAYBE because readers tend to have pretty strong, not always positive reactions to it. So when I saw this review posted by a facebook friend on my page, I braced myself. I was blown back anyway, utterly unprepared. I love this kid and the power of her reaction to this book. What a reader!
I kept feeling like she reminded me of somebody, and then it hit me -- Tom, from John Steinbeck's EAST OF EDEN -- in this, one of my favorite descriptions of character in all of literature (in so few words, you know so much about these two men and how different they are, without either being good or bad -- both readers, even -- but in describing how they read, in an incredibly economy of words, 3 lines, you know SO MUCH):
Samuel rode lightly on top of a book and he balanced happily among the ideas the way a man rides white rapids in a canoe. But Tom got into a book, crawled and groveled between the covers, tunneled like a mole among the thoughts, and came up with the book all over his face and hands.
I have always kind of had a secret crush on both Samuel and Tom, and have wondered which is more like me. I think most passionate readers I know are more like Samuel. But today, I got reviewed by a girl who reads the way Tom reads.
Here's her blog, the first entry she ever wrote, and she comes out guns blazing, with the book all over her face and hands: