The Beauty That Remains

The Beauty That Remains

Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death wants to tear them apart.Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.But when tragedy strikes each...

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Title:The Beauty That Remains
Author:Ashley Woodfolk
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Beauty That Remains Reviews

  • Rachel Strolle

    What a gorgeous, gorgeous book

    Perfect for those who love novels by Adam Silvera, Jeff Zentner, or Nina LaCour.

  • Delphine Lurin

    I received an ARC copy of The Beauty that Remains in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to NetGalley, as well as the Delacorte Press for this advanced copy which is expected to be released on March 06, 2018.

    The Beauty that Remains is Ashley Woodfolk‘s debut novel, believe it or not. It is sure to be one of the greatest books of 2018 and that’s saying a lot given that we’ve barely walked into February. This is all that a contemporary reader looks for – LGBT awareness, suicide, depression,

    I received an ARC copy of The Beauty that Remains in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to NetGalley, as well as the Delacorte Press for this advanced copy which is expected to be released on March 06, 2018.

    The Beauty that Remains is Ashley Woodfolk‘s debut novel, believe it or not. It is sure to be one of the greatest books of 2018 and that’s saying a lot given that we’ve barely walked into February. This is all that a contemporary reader looks for – LGBT awareness, suicide, depression, diversity. I’m still in awe over how deep this book has got to me. The expression and heartbreaking grief of this novel is breathtaking, as ironic as that may sound. Pain, love and struggle after loss spreads the lives of a group of teenagers who, initially seem only similarly by age and loss of a loved one, but it’s this love and loss that bring them together at the end. That, and of course, some good ‘ole rock and roll…

    Autumn, an adopted Korean-American teenager, sends her best friend, Octavia, almost every single day telling her how much she misses her and what is going on in her life and mind. This would all be just find and readers are probably wondering where I’m’ going with this. Well, problem is, Octavia is dead. She died just little while ago in a car crash. And this is the only way Autumn knows how to cope with her overwhelming grief. She feels that no one, not even Octavia’s brother’s pain, measures up to her own.

    Shay and Sasha, black identical twins are no longer, as Sasha is taken away by leukemia, leaving Shay ‘twinless’. Now Shay finds her sister in her own reflection everyday and struggles to separate who she is from who her sister was. She finds short bursts of comfort in running and kissing Jerome at concerts. She feels herself fading into a dimness where as, just like Autumn, she feels that no one can understand how she feels or help her get through this period.

    Logan is a peppy and sparky musician with a love for the guys. With the suicide of his ex boyfriend, Bram, that sparkle in his eyes that once lit up every show is gone. It is replaced by an alcoholic and faded depressed teenager. A boy filled with regrets, anger, unanswered questions and unexpressed feelings. He never got the chance to tell Bram sorry for having told him that he hopes Bram “dies alone.” He never got to make it up to him. And now ? His grades are slipping. He’s in danger of losing his diploma. He’s even responsible for the breakup of his band, Unraveling Lovely.

    Each of these narrators lives are separate but together. Autumn tries to hold it together but breaks. The only thing that ever bring her back to life and helps her to move on without Tavia is the love and support her sister Willow, her parents, and Octavia’s brother as well as Autumn’s crush, Dante are willing to give her. However it is not until Autumnn is ready that any gestures of love from others has any effect. It is she that has to stop sending Tavia emails she knows Tavia will never receive. She has to stop blaming herself and others for her best friend’s death. And Shay also tries to hold it together but breaks. She has panic attacks in unexpected moments. She tries to set herself straight without help but falls down even deeper. It is not until she is “interventioned” by her friends, takes her mom’s advise and joins a support group, and lets her mom back into her life that she can finally move forward. Logan also tries to hold it together but breaks. He doesn’t tell anyone about his feelings of regret. He stays away from Bram’m mom and has a secret hatred for Bram’s ex girlfriend, Yara. Instead, he watches and watches again all of Bram’s vlogs, feeding into his sadness. Somehow, everything he tries to keep away from him is what gives him the strength in the end to pull through.

    Autumn, Shay and Logan are separate in their struggles but together in their grief. As the story progresses the stories begin to come together and overlap. Whether it be by romance, by interest, or directly, each character’s life and grief is related by music. I loved this about the stores; music serving as an outlet to mend the character’s hearts, bringing them all together in the end.

    The real problem I had was the writing style. The sentence we short and seemed a bit choppy and out of place at times. In places where I would have expected some heavy description or evocative imagery was just flat and banal. I totally get that the writer was trying to leave the language simple and easy to comprehend, as the stories were each complicated in their own right. However, I really felt as though a bit too much was sacrificed for the cause. Also, I didn’t like the way each chapter would end and then bounce to another narrator.

    There doesn’t seem to be much holding all three narrators together. As a result, I couldn’t really get what one story had to do with the other until more than halfway through the book. The story itself moved and captivated me in every way possible, so far that I give it 5 stars. However, the non comprehensive and overly simplistic writing annoyed me a bit, so far that reason I’m giving The Beauty that Remains 4 stars, still an excellent rating for a new release that is sure to become a classic in the coming age with all the relevant issues it tackles – race, sexuality, and of course, my personal favorite, mental illness.

  • Dianne

    Dark, edgy and filled with emotional turmoil and the heavy feeling of loss,

    by Ashley Woodfolk tells the tale of a group of teens individually dealing with the loss of a loved one either through illness, suicide or a deadly accident. These are their stories, their reflections on the past, and their attempts to heal and give up the ghosts of guilt that haunt them. In the end, these seemingly individual struggles will find their healing through music and a band that, in a s

    Dark, edgy and filled with emotional turmoil and the heavy feeling of loss,

    by Ashley Woodfolk tells the tale of a group of teens individually dealing with the loss of a loved one either through illness, suicide or a deadly accident. These are their stories, their reflections on the past, and their attempts to heal and give up the ghosts of guilt that haunt them. In the end, these seemingly individual struggles will find their healing through music and a band that, in a sense also died.

    Ashley Woodfolk has given realism and life to her tale by not shying away from social issues that often carry stigmas, suicide, depression and LGBT awareness in an age group where hormones rage and emotional maturity has not been reached. Guilt also is a heavy them throughout this story. There is guilt of words said in moments of hurt and anger, guilt for surviving and guilt for not having done something, believing events would have played out differently.

    Three deaths, the survivors left behind in pain and overwhelming grief, unable to move on as they rehash events, isolating themselves from both receiving and giving support.

    Well written, heart wrenching and emotionally draining throughout, Ashley Woodfolk tells young adult readers it is okay to “feel”, yet unhealthy to not move forward. Certainly a book that will resonate with any reader who has loved and lost without finding a black and white road to closure, because just maybe, there is none, but life and love will go on as those lost will always be a part of those who survived.

    Written in an edgy and slightly disjointed way, the atmosphere created seems to mirror the emotional turmoil being lived.

    I received a complimentary ARC edition from Random House Children's/Delacorte Press!

    Publisher: Delacorte Press (March 6, 2018)

    Publication Date: March 6, 2018

    Genre: YA Literature & Fiction

    Print Length: 336 pages

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  • Warda

    So good. So so good!

    Beautifully written story that follows three characters who are dealing with a loss of a loved one.

    The type of story that takes a seat in your heart.

    Three amazingly diverse and well developed characters with a distinct voice that you'll find a home in.

    Gosh, it was good. It felt fulfilling to read, to follow these characters on their journey of grief and what it does to you soul and the ways manifests in.

    And

    So good. So so good!

    Beautifully written story that follows three characters who are dealing with a loss of a loved one.

    The type of story that takes a seat in your heart.

    Three amazingly diverse and well developed characters with a distinct voice that you'll find a home in.

    Gosh, it was good. It felt fulfilling to read, to follow these characters on their journey of grief and what it does to you soul and the ways manifests in.

    And as sad as it was to read, I felt whole and comforted by the end of it and just full of love for love and people and the connections human beings make.

    I'm on a high. I loved it wholeheartedly.

  • alice (arctic books)

    3.5 stars.

    This was a really solid read! The writing and plot really captured me on the first page, so much so that I finished this book in two sittings total. The writing is incredible, and I loved the slow-moving plot and bittersweet nostalgia. I enjoyed reading about the three main characters' struggles after the deaths of their loved ones, and I also appreciate the diversity that was so flawlessly included within these characters. Autumn is adopted and Korean, Logan is gay, and there are als

    3.5 stars.

    This was a really solid read! The writing and plot really captured me on the first page, so much so that I finished this book in two sittings total. The writing is incredible, and I loved the slow-moving plot and bittersweet nostalgia. I enjoyed reading about the three main characters' struggles after the deaths of their loved ones, and I also appreciate the diversity that was so flawlessly included within these characters. Autumn is adopted and Korean, Logan is gay, and there are also so many other secondary characters that were from different diverse backgrounds as well. I liked the different experiences that Autumn, Logan, and Shay went through, in terms of grief as well as romance.

    My only reservation I have is that the three voices sounded so so so similar that I had to go back and check who was talking because I couldn't differentiate between each of the characters' minds. Especially because characters start appearing across all three POVs so there was a lot of overlap. However, I do want to point out that I liked how the three characters seem separated and their experiences seem distinct, but as the novel progresses, they come together to cope with the deaths of their loved ones.

    Thank you to Netgalley and Delacorte for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Emily May

    is a really solid debut from an author I will be looking out for in the future. I feel like the book was

    over the three different perspectives, but the strong writing and diverse characters show a lot of promise.

    It is hard to write a good book about grief. First, you must convince the reader of the importance of the relationship between the protagonist(s) and the deceased; make them care abo

    is a really solid debut from an author I will be looking out for in the future. I feel like the book was

    over the three different perspectives, but the strong writing and diverse characters show a lot of promise.

    It is hard to write a good book about grief. First, you must convince the reader of the importance of the relationship between the protagonist(s) and the deceased; make them care about a fictional dead person as much as the characters supposedly do. Then you must also, usually, create a compelling story arc out of this grief. What will happen next? Where do the characters go from here? What are we reading for? Books about grief risk becoming "concept books", in that the concept is "this character is sad" but a story doesn't grow out of it.

    I think this second point is where the book struggled a little.

    follows three diverse teenagers as they cope with their individual grief. Korean-American Autumn has lost her best friend, Tavia, in an accident. Black identical twins Shay and Sasha have been torn apart by the end to Sasha's long battle with leukemia. And white Logan develops a drinking problem when his ex-boyfriend and first love commits suicide.

    All three narrators have individual struggles, but these start to come together and overlap as the story progresses. Each is linked, in some way, by music, and Logan's old band called Unraveling Lovely.

    The author puts a lot of emotion into her characters, especially in the beginning when painting in their backstory and relationship to those who have died. Woodfolk explores what it means to lose a twin - that one person who is so closely tied to you and has been by your side all your life - and what it's like to feel like you could have prevented the death of an ex if only... if only.

    It's a timely story, as each narrator uses digital technology in a different way to deal with their grief. Logan watches Bram's vlogs, Autumn sends online messages to Tavia, and Shay turns to blogging about music. About a third of the way in, however, I felt like their emotions, the "concept" of their grief had been explored exhaustively, and that the story grew a little tiresome and repetitive.

    Once we had established the hows and whys of the characters' grief, the book stalls, trying to extend these emotions into a family drama and a romance. I struggled with Autumn's story arc the most. It was far less compelling to me than Shay's and Logan's stories, the latter of which reminded me of Adam Silvera's amazing

    . Autumn's love story with Dante, Tavia's brother, really bored me and was my least favourite part of the book.

    A tough subject to tackle and not an instant favourite but, as mentioned above, I am very intrigued to see where this author goes next.

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  • ✨    jamieson   ✨

    I only added this to my TBR because Alisha Wainwright narrates one third of this audiobook and I'm super gay for her. (haha jokes I'm gay in general but SHE REALLY HAS A BEAUTIFUL VOICE)

    So I generally DON'T

    I only added this to my TBR because Alisha Wainwright narrates one third of this audiobook and I'm super gay for her. (haha jokes I'm gay in general but SHE REALLY HAS A BEAUTIFUL VOICE)

    So I generally DON'T go for books about grief? I just .. don't want to be sad? And I fully believe they can be done SO WELL and have so much impact but lots of the time I just don't feel like them. That being said, this book was surprisingly addictive to me. I was surprised by how often I was reaching for this over other books despite it's content. Ashley Woodfolk definitely managed to get me invested in the characters and their development and the trajectory of their grief as they slowly come to terms with whats happened and that's a damn good feat.

    follows three different teenagers who are all connected through music, and especially the band

    to which they are all connected.

    🍂

    is a gay boy who's ex-boyfriend and first love Bram has committed suicide. Logan has developed alcoholism and doesn't know how to cope with the loss, especially since he feels partly responsible. Logan is the lead singer of Unravelling Lovely but fell out with the band after Bram died

    🍂

    is a black girl who's identical twin Sasha has just lost her long battle with Leukaemia. Shay doesn't know how to relate to her mum and what to do about the music blog her and Sasha shared. Shay is a fan of Unravelling Lovely and friends with the band members.

    🍂

    is Korean-American and is devastated after her best friend Tavia died in a car accident. Autumn feels guilty because she was secretly dating Tavia's brother and was with him the night she died. Tavia's brother, Dante, is one of the members of Unravelling Lovely.

    I was definitely rooting for every single character and my need to know what happened to them next is what drove my interest. Shay was my favourite character to follow and Autumn my least favourite (she was so bland compared to Logan and Shay?) but I still enjoyed all of them overall. I liked that each was a very unique character and I love that this book had a strong focus on their hobbies, especially music.

    This book did a good job at explaining the backstories of the characters and why their grief was especially palpable but I think that quickly wore off. While I was initially really sad, the grief aspect became a little bit repetitive, especially in Autumn and Logan's chapters. This book wasn't as emotionally impactful as you would have wanted in a book specifically about grief, but it actually kind of worked in this books favour since it meant I wasn't too sad to see what would happen next.

    Logan's ex-boyfriend Bram is bisexual and

    . Bram cheats on both Logan and his new girlfriend which

    . Also, Logan remarks how annoyed he is that "Bram isn't even totally gay" which is a really harmful thing to say about bisexual people since bisexual people are constantly fighting for their validity within the queer community. Logan also says this

    I found this line to be both sexist and also biphobic. The implication that a bi person can be swayed from their relationships is harmful, and also the anger directed at bi boys for dating women. Although Logan later becomes friends with the cheerleader, the biphobia itself in any of these examples is never challenged and I found it upsetting to read and I'm still unsettled by it now. I think that this trope, which is really prevalent and quite harmful needed to be more directly challenged on page. I would NOT recommend this book to bisexual people for the bi rep specifically, but I also want to note this IS ownvoices for black rep so by no means do I think people

    read it.

    ADD ON: I discussed this book and the bi representation with the author, and I want to make a note that Bram is intended to be both bisexual and also polyam, and him falling in love with multiple people wasn't the same as cheating. I personally didn't pick up on this aspect, but I'm putting this note in here for others information <3

    Overall this is one of those books I

    and mostly liked but that I wouldn't ever reread. I don't have LOTS of strong feelings toward it, but I would totally read another book by this author and actually I would love a spin-off about Shay or Logan.

    trigger warnings: suicide, biphobia, drug use, grief, death, car accidents, leukaemia, physical violence

  • Lola  Reviewer

    Books that deal with grief are hit-or-miss for me.

    I always find them important, because how could anyone not, but I am only able to enjoy them if I end up caring considerably for the dead characters and/or the characters who are grieving themselves.

    This book contains three alternative points of view: two girls and one boy. All three characters—Autumn, Logan and Shay—have lost someone they loved, whether it be a boyfriend, friend or family member.

    The latter also died under various tragic circum

    Books that deal with grief are hit-or-miss for me.

    I always find them important, because how could anyone not, but I am only able to enjoy them if I end up caring considerably for the dead characters and/or the characters who are grieving themselves.

    This book contains three alternative points of view: two girls and one boy. All three characters—Autumn, Logan and Shay—have lost someone they loved, whether it be a boyfriend, friend or family member.

    The latter also died under various tragic circumstances. One loved one died from an illness, another in a car accident, and the third committed suicide. This means that the grieving process for each of the characters is different.

    Unfortunately, it takes a while for the characters to have even a very limited connection to one another other than the fact that they have all lost someone they cared about deeply. And of what I know, they never interact with one another (I admit I skipped some uneventful parts).

    It reads well, but you have to really be interested to begin with, seeing that it’s not a surprising novel. It’s pleasant, insomuch as the writing is good, the characters are diverse and have distinct personalities and the atmosphere is mostly a whimsical sort of calm.

    But I don’t see the point of having three characters if you’re not going to make them interact with one another in a meaningful way. Why not write three separate books that each contain one of these three characters instead? I was expecting the characters to meet and help each other out, but that’s not how it works in this story.

    I think this could have been something. ‘‘Could have,’’ what sad words.

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  • Sana

    I've heard there are gay, black and latino characters in this book, i'm already crying.

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