The Beauty That Remains

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

Shay, Autumn, and Logan are grieving the deaths of a sister, a best-friend, and an ex-boyfriend.

The Beauty That Remains is a novel that explores the different manifestations of grief. It follows the perspectives of these three characters, who at first seem unrelated, but it's in rekindling their connection that healing starts to become possible.

Ashley Woodfolk crafted a really solid debut. I  liked how all three of the main characters are so different from one another and yet they have a connection that dates from before the book's beginning. To me that signified the importance of understanding, empathy, and reaching out.
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This one was a very raw, realistic, book that focused on the process on grieving. It’s a known fact that everyone grieves in their own way, and this book definitely shows quite a few of these ways. It was one of the most realistic, deep, painful reads I’ve ever read. There were quite a few tears shed throughout this book.

I loved that there were three points of view all dealing with grief, from different tragedies. The character development was perfection, I felt like I knew each of the characters on a very raw personal level. All of the characters are dealing with different losses, one the loss of a twin, one the loss of an ex-boyfriend, and one a best friend. Either way they all lost someone that they love, and handle these losses so differently. I will say I wasn’t a huge fan of the way their lives intersected, it almost seemed rushed at points.

The writing style in this book absolutely makes me want to read more by this author. It was written with so much emotion I could actually feel it. The music references were wonderful and was a great aspect. If you are looking for a book that is real and will most likely make you shed tears, I highly recommend picking this one up. Also if you are a big fan of books with music elements I can see you enjoying it.
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Some of the best, most diverse characters we've ever seen in a YA. We LOVED how characters broke stereotypes, and the author didn't shy away from tough subjects. Bravo!
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Teens will relate to the multi-character narration as it deals with love, family, friendship, grief, and moving on from tragedy.
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Beautifully written, deeply powerful book about how different people handle grief. I would recommend this book for grade 9 and up.
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This is sad, as in emotional. Suicide, grief, life, from multiple points of view all, come together to tell this story. The problem is it has become disjointed for me. There's more than one person grieving over more than one person. The connection I wanted to feel for one or more characters didn't kick in for me. 
 
My copy came from Net Galley. My thoughts and opinions are my own. This review is left of my own free volition.
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Clearly I am not meant to read books with multiple perspectives. Especially when all of those perspectives sound like the same voice.
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Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to read The Beauty that Remains. I found this book very intriguing, albeit a little dark, but teenagers like dark.
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Why DNF? I enjoyed the first chapter a lot but as the story went on I lost interest.

Like: It is representative of grief in the modern age.
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This is a story told by 3 POVs. Each person has lost someone very important in their lives. This book tells how they each deal with the aftermath of loss in their own ways, whether it’s good or bad. And it shows how sometimes grief can connect people, how you can make something good come from something bad, how you can see the beauty that remains. Music brings the three together in their loss but in separate ways. Very well written book. Definitely would reccomend. And I’ll be on the look out for more books from this author.
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I had a little trouble getting into Ashley Woodfolk's The Beauty That Remains as I wasn't sure I liked each of the main characters in the book, nor their lifestyles and just wasn't sure I wanted to get to know them in all the chapters that would follow. But I hung in there and the more I read, the more meaningful the characters became and the more I wanted to know. The book basically follows up after the deaths of three young people who were part of a group of teens involved in the creation/production of music. Three people who were closest to those who had died are given alternate chapters in the book to express how their lives were changing and the difficult process of grief. The story, naturally, was painful I am not sure I've ever read about so many tears in any other story.  One of those who had died left behind an identical twin, another, a sibling less than a year older. Siblings are especially hard to lose---- identical twins like losing an arm or a leg. Life changes drastically and forever.
        I would recommend this book to anyone who has lost a friend or sibling. I would recommend the book to teachers and parents and just about anyone who has ever know a person grieving the death of someone close to them. This book does weave hope into the last few chapters and I was a little sad when the book ended... not because it didn't end well (it did end well enough) but because I found I had come to care about the characters and wanted to know how their lives continued to develop as time went on.
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The Beauty That Remains (Hardcover) 
by Ashley Woodfolk
Probably one of the most moving books i have read for young adults in a long time. This book had me in tears, and nearly sobbing. The story follows three groups of friends after sudden teenage deaths. One teen dies of cancer, one of a car accident and one of suicide. How these affect those closest to them and their families is eye opening. Having dealt with the last one i can see the similarities. The book also has a multiracial view point, as each group of characters have ethnicity and cultural differences. It may be something that should be read in high school to help kids deal with loss, and understand the ramifications of their own behaviors. Beautifully told.
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The Beauty That Remains is--as you might guess from the title--is a rather beautiful book. It follows three distinct POVs: Autumn, whose best friend died in a car accident; Logan, whose ex-boyfriend died by suicide; and Shay, whose twin sister died after a battle with cancer. These are all different and distinct perspectives; Autumn is quiet and wracked with guilt; Logan is angry and turning to alcohol; and Shay is dealing with increasing anxiety.

And, of course, the stories begin to intertwine in a satisfying way, surrounding an important, now-defunct band of the local music scene. I loved how music influenced all of the characters, whether it was listening, viewing, managing, singing, creating, reviewing...it's very much the world I'm in right now and so I loved the atmosphere Woodfolk created.

I really liked the inclusion of the social media of the dead characters at the beginning of each chapter. As someone who has experienced how social media has reacted to the deaths of friends and family, it really resonated, as did the various other inclusions of social media. These kids are YouTubers, bloggers...that's the world we live in.

Shay was maybe my favorite character; her anxiety was so relatable, and I loved how her friends stepped up to help her out. Logan worried me at first he was so troubled and had some really negative perspectives, but everything ended up being addressed in this therapy and along his journey. Autumn I didn't grow as attached to, probably because she was more internal. That said, the various relationships--family, friends, and romantic--and how those changed over the course of the story was really well done.

This is a quieter, very character-driven book, but I found it very compelling as the characters grow and the threads come together. By the end, it appropriately felt like a healing process.
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In The Beauty that Remains Autumn, Shay and Logan, teens who are loosely connected by their interest in an Indie band known as Unraveling Lovely, have all lost a loved one.  Autumn's best friend Tavia, who is Autumn's boyfriend Dante's sister, died in a car accident.  Shay's twin sister Sasha died after a long battle with leukemia, and Logan's ex-boyfriend Bram committed suicide. They are all struggling in unhealthy ways.  Autumn, who is blaming herself for opting out of the party from which Tavia was driving, is lashing out a everyone around her, including Dante, leaving her without a support system.  Shay, whose family doesn't really know how to cope without focusing on her dying sister, is having panic attacks and skipping school.  Logan, the lead singer in Unraveling Lovely, derails the band when he turns to alcohol to assuage his pain.  The self- and life-defining nature of grief is examined, as these characters learn that things change after someone dies, but they must focus on the beauty that remains.  The story, which is told in alternating voices, involves three empathetic teens about whom readers will care deeply, as their separate lives ultimately converge in this exploration of loss.
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A beautifully written, heart wrenching story of love and loss that pulls at the heartstrings.
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The Beauty That Remains is a heartbreaking portrayal of loss, grief, and coping. It relates the stories of Autumn, Logan, and Shay, as they are left trying to pick up the shattered pieces of their hearts with the loss of their best friend, ex-boyfriend, and twin sister.

This book is told in alternating point of views and each character has their own way of coping with the loss of their loved one. Autumn deals with anger and guilt, for not being there with her best friend when the car accident happened. Logan carries grief and guilt for wishing his ex-boyfriend to "die alone" six months before he is found dead in their school gym. And Shay feels lonely and empty after being left "twinless" as her twin sister loses her battle against Leukemia.

The Beauty That Remains is not a light read. It starts heavy as you can feel the sense of loss and anguish of the characters, as well as their downward spiral to depression and emptiness. Each point of view is incredibly heartbreaking, yet I liked reading about how they slowly started to deal with the harsh reality because as much as this book is about losing someone we love, it is also about finding strength in those we have around us. It teaches that it is okay to rely on friends and family, and perhaps also in those we never thought we could find comfort in.

One of my favorite aspects of The Beauty That Remains is that, in a way, it's a simple storyline. There isn't a big, complicated conflict to solve other than an emotional journey with Autumn, Logan, and Shay. I appreciated being able to focus with each character's grief as they dealt with panic attacks, anger, confusion, depression, plus other coping mechanisms.

The cast of characters in this book is beautifully diverse and I loved how their race or sexual orientation is not an issue. For a second I thought it would be one of the plot conflicts, but it thankfully didn't go that way. I was particularly thrilled to find two of the characters to be Hispanics, like me!

Music is also a big part of this book and while I was reading I often found myself wishing I could listen to Unraveling Lovely, one of the bands mentioned. It is this band that links all three characters together, and it somehow made me think that if I could listen to their songs, my heart would also heal with theirs. It is of course impossible, but it didn't stop me to listen to some music as soon as I was done to lift my soul!

However, one thing that I wish this book had done differently was weaving its storyline a bit better towards the end. It felt rushed and I would have loved for the main characters to interact more with each other. Their quick apologies and condolences were not enough as they reunited for the first time in the whole book. Other than that this book was great!

Final Verdict:

With a wonderful diverse cast and a gut-wrenching look at loss and moving on, The Beauty That Remains leaves a gaping whole that only time will be able to heal. Highly recommended!

Trigger warning: Death, Panic Attacks, Suicide, Drug Use
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This book was okay. I wasn’t clutching my chest nor was I bored to tears. I’d say it is a plausible and relatable depiction of grief that would affect a sibling, a former significant other and a best friend. I found the thread that connected all of them to be very thin and given a bit more attention could have been more impactful. I did like having three different POV and felt that the switching between them motivated me to continue reading.  The substance abuse though... I get that it’s a coping mechanism for grief but it’s not the ONLY one. It might be the most accessible to characters of this age, but can we be a little less transparent? And if you’re going to use it, let it be organic to the character.

I don’t think I would recommend this.
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Don’t you love the cover of THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS by Ashley Woodfolk (March 6; Random House; SLJ: Grade 9 up)? The story is also multi-faceted, being told from three perspectives by racially diverse characters: Autumn, Shay, and Logan each of whom have lost someone they loved (a best friend to a car crash, a twin to leukemia and a boyfriend to apparent suicide). They, too, need to rebuild and reform their lives and get beyond the shocking situations, the panic attacks and the self-medicating with alcohol. Debut author Woodfolk weaves a darker and very emotional tale as these three try to cope with grief, saying at one point, "Lying is the new language we speak. It's the only way we can talk at all." Gradually, though, they begin to rely on new friendships and a shared interest in music. THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS received a starred review from School Library Journal.
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This book was truly breathtaking. From the writing to the story, it is one that will remain with me forever. I loved the themes of grief, love and acceptance in the novel
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