Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “soft in the middle” as Want to Read:
soft in the middle
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

soft in the middle

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  143 reviews
"there are so many words I've left unsaid
so instead of going another year or five or ten
in brutal, crushing silence
don't waste this opportunity
don't be scared when the full weight of my heart
tests the strength of your hands
I'm trusting you with something I barely trust myself with
this knowing
this telling
this momentous uprooting
I'm here
I am
I am right here in these words"

A d
Paperback, 153 pages
Published September 30th 2017 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about soft in the middle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about soft in the middle

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  544 ratings  ·  143 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of soft in the middle
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

This gave me a hearty queer-feels cry wow
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I identify with so much of what Shelby has put down on paper. I think that recognizing yourself in someone else's words is a beautiful thing. ...more
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
August 2020 update I loved it even more upon a reread. These poems hit different when you're in a completely different place in life.

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Original review posted on my blog : Word Wonders

Soft in the Middle owns my heart and soul and and I owe it (and Shelby by extension) SO MUCH. I read this collection at a time in my life where I was heartbroken, miserable, and had hit my lowest of lows. I picked it off my shelf on a whim because I needed something soft and the title promises
I'm worthy of being a witness to beauty
the stars shine for me too

This collection got me so soft. Damn.

I read it in one sitting, with a blanket around me, feeling comfortable and ready to dive into something deep and meaningful. That's exactly what I got. I don't know exactly how to describe how I felt, but I was hooked from the first page, the first line.
It's a pretty poetry collection about loving your body, your wounds, your own heart and feelings. It's about queer love, self love, all kind of
may ➹
this is my first 2-star in months and I’m... really sad about it? I know that everyone’s experiences and stories are different, but I just kept feeling like I had read most of the poems before

I think this has some great messages about being fat and being queer, and there are some really beautiful lines, but it just didn’t resonate with me as a whole

some poems were super short, which I personally don’t like, some poems confused me, and overall the poems were just all over the place for me

maybe I’
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I've always loved poetry, especially poetry that has these so called "Trigger warnings" Soft in the middle, is a collection of poetry about women, love and heartbreak and the bigger woman. This is where I must mention that beautiful cover. It is gorgeous, and I suppose it is something you wouldn't expect on the cover of a book. We need to change that.

Although I enjoyed some of these poems, many of them I just couldn't relate to. This collection reminded me of Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur, which
Shan( Shans_Shelves) 💜
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5/5 Stars

I'm just trying to figure out how to remain soft in a world that only knows how to be hard

I was expecting more from this poetry collection and I must admit I'm a little disappointed. Not a lot resonated with me. This wasn't my first Shelby Eileen's poetry collection, but here I didn't find anything particularly nice in the writing style, for the most part it felt quite dull to me.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This absolutely broke me. I'm.. I don't know what to do except go in and read it all over again. Maybe take notes, maybe make art. Let it wash all over me. I won't be able to say any coherent things about this (yet?) except that an incredible thing that happened was that even if I had the feeling that a poem was maybe not for me or about me, there were almost always a couple of lines that did resonate with me. Like I could see myself everywhere, even if I didn't have to? I don't know.

Available a
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
WHOEVER made me think that love and sex were inevitable

did more damage than

whoever made me think that being fat would always stand in the way of being beautiful

did more damage than

whoever made me think that loving myself was selfish and unbecoming

did more damage than

whoever made me think thats as a girl i could only have feelings for boys

did more damage than

whoever made me think that my gender was as simple as this. or that.

did more damage than

whoever made me think that it was more impor
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful collection of poems about self-love & self-hate, emotional abuse, heartbreak, body image, and loving girls 💕
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
"it really doesn’t matter if I lose a few pounds
or 10 or 20 or 30
what is 30 pounds of ice off a glacier?
when my mother says, “I think you’ve lost weight”
I don’t let it feel like a compliment anymore
because no matter what I lose
I’ll never lose enough
and if I lose enough
I’ll have lost everything"

It was at this point I sobbed.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
wow. so many of these were so powerful and emotional and I truly just /felt/ them inside.
I liked some poems, but I didn't resonate with most of them or the writing. ...more
Mary ♥
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.3/5 stars

words are the best version of me
words love me
words build me
words wreck me
words work wonderfully when I can't find my voice
words are all we have

This is such a soft, heartfelt poetry and prose collection about soft girls, fat girls, queer girls, girls who like to play with words, who open their heart to the sky and let their feelings all pour out of their soul like rain. This is words carved out of emotions, out of thoughts and experiences. I really, really liked many of the poems in
Clare Snow
Bring me my scalpel,
I have no need of sutures.
My words are so sharp.

seriously, word
association does not
make free verse, does it?

nor does one sentence
feeling lonesome. white space - good
for graphic design.

but tell me more
about those paragraphs
that shit me so.

and i've heard of this
new thing called punctuation.
it's really helpful;

especially when
your poem changes from she to
I, in the (soft) middle

And confuses the Hell outta me.

also, if you shun
capitals except for "I"
and "God," i ask why?

Well, someti
McKayla DeBonis
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone needs this collection!!

All I can say is, WOW.
This collection is so painfully beautiful, it spoke to me so much, I’m just so in love with everything SITM has to offer!
Margo Angélique
This book! You ever have one of those moments where everything is a bit overwhelming and exhausting and then you see something you never knew you needed but it was right at that moment? That's this book! I highlighted so many passages in this book, this has become one of my favorites overnight. Omg, I can't wait to read more of Shelby Eileen's work, it's magnificent. ...more
Nicole Field
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, f-f
Okay, I no longer need to write a poetry collection of my own, because if I was to write one, these would have been the exact words I would have used.

I love love loved this collection from beginning to end. My fingers got sore from highlighting every line, from thoughts on body size, to gender, to love of women, to loneliness and self rejection. It was difficult not to quote the entire thing.

Like much of the modern poetry I enjoy reading, this had a lot of free verse, interspersed occasionally
Chasia Lloyd
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful and raw

Poetry will always full holes I didn't know I had. Shelby Eileen is a new favorite. This volume is about romantic longing and self-love, long distances and fat girls. What a gorgeous book.
No rating.

I couldn't connect and I didn't care. While I appreciate this poetry collection for talking about all of those important things, I didn't feel anything.

Poetry might not be my thing or I'm not in a mood to read poetry. I might revisit this collection later.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes you put a book down and then years later you come back to it at just the right time. magic.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first collection of poetry that I've ever been able to relate to. Shelby has such a way with words and is able to bring them together beautifully. ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
TW: Negative body image, sex, emotional abuse, blood

Such a brilliant hidden gem of a poetry collection!
Deals with themes of; love, relationships, LGBTQ+, body image, heartbreak.
#ownvoices (ace and fat rep)

"You don't stare too long into a window when there's only darkness there."

"I have all but become my words
even the ones I don't speak
even the ones that aren't true
that's what happens when you think too much."

"Someone else forgot that words are sharp
and they cut
and it stings."
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's safe to say I loved this. Some of these poems were so incredibly relatable!

I picked it up intending to read a few poems but I ended up reading everything in one sitting. I marked my favourite phrases as well, which I don't usually do but seemed like a nice way to personalize my copy.
reading this poetry collection and seeing so many integral parts of my identity put into gorgeous poems was an emotional experience, and i can’t thank shelby enough for her sheer honesty within this collection. it truly contained some of the most soothing poems i’ve read, from those addressing self-love, to those that talked about asexuality, and i can’t wait to read more of their work. i have no doubt that shelby will only continue to amaze and soothe many people as time goes by.

*4.5 out of 5
Alicia Cook
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Brave collection that will no doubt resonate with many young women. I applaud the author for sharing in such an honest, raw way. It will help others, especially young girls still growing up and becoming who they are. Beautiful cover to boot.
Sophia Hanson
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This little book of poetry was a blossom, round and soft and sweet in my hands. I bought it on my Kindle, but I may need to order a paperback just so I can put it on my shelves and thumb through it from time to time.

Soft in the Middle is a story of love in all its forms. Self love, platonic love, romantic love, etc. The funny thing about love is that we can read about it over and over and never tire of hearing about it. I think this is because we all experience love in different ways. Anyway, S
Tiffany Mckenzie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • My Dearest Hurricane: Love and Things that Looked like It
  • Things I Learned in the Night
  • She Was The Storm
  • There Is Beauty In the Bleeding
  • Small Ghost
  • Letting Go Is an Acquired Taste
  • Swim
  • the bitter end
  • Bright Minds Empty Souls
  • shot glass confessional
  • The Dogs I Have Kissed
  • I Am More Than My Nightmares
  • Burn The Fairy Tales
  • Euphoria
  • Magic with Skin On
  • Losing Myself Brought Me Here
  • Poems from the Attic
  • I Am Not Your Final Girl
See similar books…

Related Articles

This June, as we observe LGBTQ Pride—the annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning communities—we...
207 likes · 74 comments
“you are a bouquet crafted by artisans you are a garden inspired by Eden not one leaf is set by way of accident not one petal curves by way of chance” 3 likes
“I think that touching you might be like touching a painting a little forbidden unquestionably satisfying” 3 likes
More quotes…