Friday, December 14, 2018

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

In October, I joined John Green's online book club, called Life's Library. The inaugural book for Life's Library is If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson. I've been wanting to read a novel by Jacqueline Woodson, so this book is timely!!

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson is a young adult novel that was published 20 years ago in 1998. It's a retelling of Romeo & Juliet set in modern day New York City... Take two teenagers; Jeremiah is black and Ellie is white and Jewish, as they meet and fall in love. It touches on the entire interracial aspect of romantic relationships.

I loved If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson and how it unfolds... The chapters alternate between Jeremiah and Ellie's points of view. The writing is solid and I can see why Jacqueline Woodson has received such high accolades and numerous awards. The characters are well developed and likable.

If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson was written recently, not 20 years ago! If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson touches on issues and themes that are still very relevant today.

The following is a plot summary for If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson from Amazon:
A lyrical story of star-crossed love perfect for readers of The Hate U Give, by National Ambassador for Children’s Literature Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
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 moment their eyes lock, and after that they know they fit together--even though she's Jewish and he's black. Their worlds are so different, but to them that's not what matters. Too bad the rest of the world has to get in their way.

Jacqueline Woodson's work has been called “moving and resonant” (Wall Street Journal) and “gorgeous” (Vanity Fair). Now celebrating its twentieth anniversary, and including a new preface by the author, If You Come Softly is a powerful story of interracial love that leaves readers wondering "why" and "if only . . ."
I am giving If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!


  1. I am so happy for you that you found a book to love. Apparently it is as timeless as the Shakespeare it is based on.

    1. Thank you! If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson was a quick read that can be easily be finished in a day.

  2. Oooh a goodie and an oldie. Thanks and Happy New Year