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If You Come Softly
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If You Come Softly

(If You Come Softly #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  8,318 ratings  ·  1,354 reviews
A heartbreaking contemporary romance from a three-time Newbery Honor winning author

Jeremiah feels good inside his own skin. That is, when he's in his own Brooklyn neighborhood. But now he's going to be attending a fancy prep school in Manhattan, and black teenage boys don't exactly fit in there. So it's a surprise when he meets Ellie the first week of school. In one frozen
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 7th 2010 by Speak (first published September 28th 1998)
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Barbaraleah Read the beginning of the book and you'll see that the book begins with an allusion to the ending. To be honest, Maria, I'd have preferred if the auth…moreRead the beginning of the book and you'll see that the book begins with an allusion to the ending. To be honest, Maria, I'd have preferred if the author didn't do that.(less)

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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,318 ratings  ·  1,354 reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
That ending was so ABRUPT & HEARTBREAKING. ...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
*4.5 stars*
brb crying because of this book
monica kim
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-loved
This was a re-read of the new audiobook. I originally read this over a decade ago and honestly didn’t remember a lot plot-wise other than it destroyed my pre-teen heart and also that it made me think of race in a way that I hadn’t before. Now, as an adult, it still totally destroyed me and left me a puddle of tears. For a story written 20 years ago, the racism faced by Jeremiah is still all too real and common today.
Kristina Horner
For the longest time, I was thinking "this is such a sweet book, but what's the plot?"

And then I got to the end. Oh.. oh no.

This was a book that ripped my heart out, and I can't believe it was written 20 years ago. It's still so, so relevant today. It's hard to say I "love" a book that's so devastating and sad, but it was really powerful and I'll be thinking about it for a long time.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I met Jacqueline Woodson at the 2015 LA Times Festival of Books (I ushered her author speaking engagement) and was so impressed by her that I had to purchase some of her books, this being one of them. She autographed this with the perfect inscription: "To Diane With Love". Not only did that show her genuineness, but that is also exactly what this book is all about.

Ellie, white, Jewish; meets Jerimiah, ("Miah"), black, in high school, both 15 years old, by literally running into each other. Their
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: perfect for middle/lower high school (girls probably; might appeal to boys)
Recommended to Greta by: sophia sarigianides
Shelves: young-adult
if you come softly
as the wind within the tress
you may hear what i hear
see what sorrow sees...

and if you come i will be silent
nor speak harsh words to you
i will not ask you why, now.
or how, or what you do.

we shall sit here softly
beneath two different years
and the rich earth between us
shall drink our tears.

bi-racial city romance.
lyrical, simple, sweet, and as such, heartbreaking.

Erica Brown
Apr 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reading-comp
I’m so underwhelmed and disappointed :(. I honestly don’t really know what to say.

If You Come Softly is about Ellie, a white Jewish teen, who falls in love with Jeremiah, who is black. Unfortunately, there are a lot of consequences for the two of them together as a couple.

It sounds like a pretty decent premise? Sort of a Romeo and Juliet vibe to it (which I hate that play with a burning passion). But I had high hopes for this book, but there were just so many issues that made it unenjoyable fo
Lauren Fanella
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jacqueline Woodson never fails to amaze me. This book was only 180 pages and I felt so attached to the two main characters. She’s able to evoke such emotion. So elegant and so heartbreaking. This book left me in tears.
Melissa ~ Missy (FrayedBooks)
It's crazy how a book published in 1998 is still relevant in 2018, 20 years later. This book doesn't feel that dated - maybe the lack of cell phones or the use of a house phone makes it a little dated - but the theme is still relevant in today's world. A black boy dating a white, Jewish girl - something frowned upon by society. Maybe in todays New York City (where the story takes place) an interracial couple wouldn't get weird glances, but in other parts of the country, its still relevant even i ...more
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
Actual rating: 4.5 stars

*wipes away tears* IT'S FINE. I'M FINE. This book destroyed all of my one feeling. It was so soft and full of love all throughout and then the ending destroyed!! The writing is amazing, the characters got a strong grip on my heart and the family dynamics were brilliant.
This book was written 20 years ago but it's still so relevant to today's society!
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite parts of the book is the cover. It is bright, colorful, and you feel the joy that that the love has between them. I really liked the book which was a surprise to me. It was written by Jacqueline Woodson, celebrating it 20th Anniversary. This book is a powerful story of interracial love that leaves readers wondering why and if. I liked it very much. And it touched me on many areas in that area.

If You Come Softly is a love story. The novel tells of two young people, Miah and El
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story has been done before: a forbidden romance between two young people. Society won't accept their love and only a tragedy can bring everyone together. Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. It is a plot that has become cliche, but there is something special about If You Come Softly.

The book is about Elisha, a white Jewish girl, and Miah, an African-American boy, both living in New York City. For them, it is love at first sight. They click instantly and share everything with eachother, eve
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
all the stars!!! this was so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. wow!
It's fine I'm fine that ending didn't come as a shocker I didn't go to bed crying or anything like that. 💔
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is just so touching and sad.
Usually when he read about death, it's always about the after, people even authors forget about the before, we forget that they love and lived.

This black kid was shot but it wasnt about the loss, it was about the life he lived, the love he had, who he gave his heart and who he loved. It is nothing but beautiful.

I need to read the second book.
✨ Kaira ✨
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: made-me-cry
beautiful yet heartbreaking.
˗ˏˋ janet ˊˎ˗
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diverse-ya
the writing is so beautiful and the story is too. i didn’t see that ending coming . my heart hurts
Hélène Louise
(chronique en français ci-dessous)

A poignant story, melancholic and sad, but important.

A very short story but with such a good writing that much is said and felt without many words - just the right ones.

4 stars only because I can't thoroughly enjoy such a heartbreaking story.

(I received this book via my Life's Library subscription)


Voilà bien un livre qui ne m'aurait pas naturellement tentée en VF, entre le titre, la couverture (assez bateau je trouve) et la tranche âge indiquée 9 -1
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Ellie, a white Jewish girl and Miah, a mixed race boy meet and fall in love at their prep school. Race complicates their relationship, not between the two, but the reactions of those around them.

Of the different reactions to Ellie and Miah’s relationship, Ellie’s lesbian sister’s bothered me the most. Anne had experienced prejudice due for her same sex partnership, yet she judged Ellie’s interracial relationship. Anne’s bias angered me and illustrated the point of White Feminism vs Intersectiona
The love at first sight was definitely a bit much, and I honestly wasn't compelled by the story. Like, this should have been a one-sitting book but I forgot about it for three days straight 🤷🏽‍♀️

I enjoyed the characters and the ending; the writing style was fine; but it just didn't stand out to me.
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this may have been written 20 years ago, but it could have been published just yesterday.
literally an actual work of art that left me with so many little feels.

I think the greatest part of this story is the simplicity--you don't need 300 pages to understand the struggles of interracial relationships and young love.

definitely fell in love. thank you, jacqueline woodson.
Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
It seems like no one reads history; if you did, you would know that Jewish people were originally black (and some still are), so I don't get what's the problem with being with someone of color?!
Laura (bbliophile)
This book is absolutely incredible and I love it a lot. This is, hands down, one of the most well written books I've read this year.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2019
this broke my heart, i am glad i listened to the audiobook it was beautiful
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-s-library
I read this as part of Life's Library (dftba) and it was really good! I think I'm a little out of the age demographic for this and part of the teenage puppy love were hard to relate to, but overall this is such a great look into privilege and racism and love. I'm thinking of picking up the companion novel.
Jul 15, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended by Justine Larbalestier who wrote "Liar" in her recommendations for books "like" Liar. Um, I don't know what planet anyone who saw any similarities between these two books is from, beyond both being set in NYC. Seriously, that's all I can come up with, other than the race of one of the characters.

If You Come Softly is the most trite, simplistic love story about the love between a Jewish girl and a black boy - that perfect star crossed love that they both feel the moment
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What do I do after reading a book that left me emotionally wrecked? Read another book that has also left me emotionally wrecked. Good job, Joss.

For such a short book it packs punch. So so very beautiful.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been really lucky in the books I am choosing lately in that I have read some really great books the last 2 days. I saw this on a booktubers video (I saw it on a lot of people's videos) and they made me want to read it plus it was pretty short. This little book pack a punch and had me in tears at the end.

I read a book because it sounds good not because there is diversity. If there happens to be a diverse element then great but if not that's fine too. This book had a diverse element to it
Rose  Heartfilia
Okay, so I don't know where to start with how to describe how I feel. The starting of this book and the meeting at the beginning between Miah and Ellie is a romance I would read a thousand pages on and be okay with. I don't like to admit it but I really like love stories and even if they are sappy. You don't hear me complaining.

I think everyone should read this, only to understand how it works, society. It might be written 20 years ago but that doesn't mean it changed. Maybe a little and maybe
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How a book can be both beautiful and unbearable, precious and powerful all at once, I don't know, but this book is exactly that. It is one of those absolute necessary stories, so immediately special right from the first page, so sincere, so pure, so full of HEART, but with an ending so devastating that 'devastating' doesn't even sum it up. I loved Ellie and Miah so much. I know I'm going to be thinking about them, and this book, for a long, long time, but also most particularly this moment here: ...more
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What's the Name o...: Jewish girl and African American boy romance [s] 5 30 Feb 07, 2015 07:58AM  

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