Reasons why Joe leaps off the page for me:
* First, his physical description of course: messy brown curls, green eyes, very tall. In the book they say he looks like a gypsy, no a rock star, no a pirate! Heathcliff even maybe, then again, no maybe not.
* He's a musical genius, playing all sorts of instruments but especially clarinet, guitar and trumpet. He writes songs too, special songs for people he loves.
* He is constantly smiling! Jack-o-lantern happy they say! Bright and brilliant, all the time.
* He is concerned and sincere.
* He moves slowly, he becomes friends first, if you know what I mean.
* He's lived a bunch in Paris, so he sort of has the French thing going on too.
* He "gets" Lennie, with all her traumatic past.
* He "gets" her strange eccentric family too.
* Mostly I love this guy because he is real. Very real.
You need to read this book and meet him.
Look! I actually found a celebrity to match the image of Joe in my head!
I don't even know who this guy is... Adrian Grenier they tell me.
If only he was holding a guitar!
Oh wait, here's one!