Reviews for If You Come Softly, by Jacqueline Woodson

ashleylin1130's review against another edition

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4.0

I wish i had read this book 15 years ago in high school.
Growing up my family was poor, but still so surrounded by our white privilege that as a young teen I didnt even conceive that racial injustice was still happening in the united states. Seemed like something only in the history books. Only in the past.

I, unfortunately, did not learn how wrong that was until college. And even then, did not begin to start thinking deeply and critically about it until graduate school. That is a privlege and a luxury so many don't have. So many just like Jeremiah who, at 15, knows exactly why he does not run through white neighborhoods.

I hope this book, after 20 years, and too many true stories just like it, has found itself in the hands of more teens like I had been. 15. White. Privileged. And in need of a wake up call.

aerorach's review

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emotional lighthearted sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

klfgasaway's review against another edition

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5.0

This is one of those books that reads so timelessly. It could set at any time. The characters are original and thoughtful and gave Woodson to tell a story that touches your soul. This was an extremely quick and quiet read for me. Sometimes books practically scream a story or a view at you. Woodson sings it to you with beautiful prose that you don’t come across very often with heavy topics. I love everything about how this was written.

readingintheflx's review against another edition

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5.0

I finished this in 2 hours and absolutely sobbed at the ending. This play off Romeo and Juliet is a fast, perfect read.

tanaynicole's review

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challenging emotional inspiring lighthearted sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

abbytennant's review

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challenging emotional sad fast-paced

lauraorourke's review against another edition

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4.0

I read this book because it was Life Library book club’s first pick! I had never heard of it before and it probably would not have ever come across my path, so it was a nice treat.

While reading this book I discovered how cynical I am about young love. I have a hard to connecting with that concept because I am removed from it now and apparently can’t bring myself back there. So the star-crossed lovers aspect didn’t really pull me in as much as I imagine it would for anyone who doesn’t have a heart of stone.

This book is clearly timeless and has so many elements to make it a classic. A modern day Romeo and Juliet that take real life realities and brings it into sharp focus. It is a book that we need to read - a book that challenges assumptions and makes the reader recognize how little has changed in the 20 years since the book was first published. This book could have been written this past year.

hazellea86's review against another edition

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4.0

This was a quick read for me, but it was powerful. Definitely should be on everyone's reading list at least once.

abbyknud's review against another edition

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2.0

This book felt flat in every way. It’s set up to have the possibility of major conflict and tension, but then it has absolutely no conflict or tension. And it is definitely not a Romeo and Juliet retelling.
The whole story feels like it’s just the perspectives of two people who happen to come into contact. They aren’t necessarily compatible in any particular way, and the whole thing is very much instalove. They’re both captivated by each other from the start and have almost no conflict between them. They both commit so easily.
I expected a lot more to happen regarding racism, but something that was supposed to be the forefront of the story was pushed completely to the back. Besides a few minor encounters, the issue of not telling Ellie’s parents, and some of Jeremiah’s background, it didn’t come up at all. This book definitely didn’t make any sort of groundbreaking statement about race. But it totally had the potential to.
I just really can’t get over how flat the romance was. There was just no tension or chemistry between Ellie and Miah. I didn’t care about the relationship at all. All the details about their individual lives were told through their individual narrations instead of through them learning about each other in their relationship, which is where a lot of the problems come from. They have nothing interesting to talk about while they’re together because we’ve already heard about their problems separately.
It’s probably be because this book was written 23 years ago, but it just felt so simplistic for a YA. I still read YA even though I’ve aged out of being the same age as the characters, and so far this is the only book that has left me feeling alienated. It just feels so innocent. It reads like a middle grade novel with 15 year old protagonists. There was just something so off about it.
Also, the ending felt like a cheap attempt to make the story memorable, but I was totally unfazed by it. I really didn’t care what happened to either of them.

1siobhan's review against another edition

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5.0

What if Romeo was black and Juliet was white and they went to the same Private School in New York? I have joined John Green's book club (because I just can't help it): Life's library. This was the first read and it was utterly beautiful, heartbreaking and for a twenty year old book almost terrifyingly up to date. If you like YA, read this book.