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soft in the middle

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  400 ratings  ·  117 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
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  400 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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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.
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’
Jo (A follower of wizards)
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.
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
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 that and I just wanted poetry I could see myself in and I hoped this would be it. And to be completely honest, it made me cry my eye
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 💕
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
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."
Laura (bbliophile)
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I loved this so so so much!! Shelby is incredibly talented and I'd recommend this to anyone. It's perfect.

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
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.
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
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-ebook
*3.5 stars*

I really, really enjoyed this poetry collection.
Charlotte Anne Hamilton
[[4.5 STARS]]

okay, omg this collection of poetry was one of the best I have read. I could relate to SO MUCH in it. Normally when I read poetry, there’s a few things I can’t relate to because hey, most of them are about lost love and personal struggles that I personally haven’t been through... but this? Every poem hit home for me. It was glorious!
Olivia Chanel's Galaxy of Books
Actual rating: 3.5 stars. I liked the collection, especially when it had universe references, but it did not impress me as much as I thought it would.
M. Hollis
I've been working with Shelby in the last revisions for this collection and it's been a delight :) If you like beautiful poems about loving girls add this to your tbr.
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Good poets are magicians. They put words together about experiences they have in a way that affects a wide audience. Poets strike the soul in a way that most novelists cannot. Shelby is one of these magicians, and she is a damn good one. This poetry collection is amazing. It is strong and filled with truth and heartbreak and amazing messages about body positivity and the absolute beauty of girls. 

I'm not going to lie. I cried. Multiple times. I related to a lot of the poems, but even the ones I
McKenna Kasian
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelby Eileen’s debut poetry book “Soft in the Middle” is not only captivating, but beautifully crafted and written. With often spine-chilling storytelling, she writes of her struggles with mental illness, emotional abuse, and her ever-changing relationship with sex. Shelby’s word are truthful and awe-inspiring, and on nearly every page, I found a piece of myself. I believe there is truly something for everyone in this book, and that it is a must-read for anyone struggling with their own self-im ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this collection of poems. She wrote about sex too in a manner that was tasteful, not overly flowery. Which I really appreciated as a sex repulsed asexual. I really enjoyed it all and I think I will re-read it eventually! And keep an eye on Shelby's upcoming books!
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