The Beauty That Remains

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk.

Autumn, Shay, and Logan are both promising musicians in HS, all with hopeful futures.  But their lives are torn to shreds when they all experience deaths of people that they love, or loved.  Through one band, and the music that they love, they will be able to find peace, and hopefully, each other.

Ok, YA books about death are so important.  And this covers different types of death, illness, accidents, violence and suicide.  Teens will experience these things, tragedy does not consider age.  And I appreciated how diverse the characters are.  From WOC to LGBTQ, we cover a broad range of social issues that are so important.

Having said that, this book was also a stark reminder that I am too old for some of these YA books just because I got exhausted with the constant drama.  I'm not saying that the drama isn't important.  When you are a teen experiencing the hardest things you've ever gone through, drama is significant.  But, I'm just not the desired audience, so it didn't quite illicit the response that I believe it was meant to.
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This was such a beautiful book. The writing was great, the characters had beautiful stories, and the flow of it all was impeccable. I've been handselling this like crazy!
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I loved this book! The full review will be posted soon at kaitgoodwin.com/books! Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to connect books to their readers!
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3.5 stars.

This story follows a group of seemingly unconnected teenagers as they deal with the grief of the death of someone they love. 

The writing style and concept of this book was unique and intruiging. However, the voice and authenticity of the characters seemed to fall a little flat for me. As a surviving sister, I wanted to love this book, and I should have loved this book. Instead, I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters. 

The story is told in three alternating perspectives; Shay, Autumn, and Logan. In each of these three perspectives there are several other characters connected to them and their part of the story. In the end, you learn how all three storylines are connected. While the concept of this sounds intriguing, it ended up being a little chaotic and at times hard to follow. 

Additionally, the way each character handled their grief didn’t feel guinuine to me. The boys were all shown to grieve in different ways, which is normal and believable, but the two girls felt to be handling their grief in the same manner, which could be true but I felt the story could have benefited more with different perspectives to their healing process, too. 

Overall, the story good, but didn’t grip me the way that I had anticipated. With this being a debut novel, I would like to read her next book and see how she grows as a writer.
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Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book was so heavy and emotional but so good. The writing is great and the characters are so well developed. Grab the tissues.
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An incredibly beautiful book about grief and loss and the difficulty in moving on after a tragedy. Told in alternating points of view by several teens who have all lost someone close to them. Woodfolk examines the different ways people grieve lost loved ones and how to ultimately move on with your life. All the stories interconnect in a weave together seamlessly at the end.
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When I started this book I honestly didn’t know it was going to be this kind of story, but I have to say I ended up really loving it. It was tough, but overall it was really beautifully written book that dealt with the loss of a loved one.

I was completely blown away by how diverse this story was. There was a black main character, and adopted korean girl, a gay boy and spanish side characters, and let me tell you I loved all of them. It’s true that at the beginning I didn’t know much about each one, just the death of a closer person and how they are trying to cope or live with that, but as the story continued, I started connecting more and more with each single character.

Something I really loved about this book was how supportive the friendships were. That was almost my favourite part of the book, because I cannot tell you how much I adore to see healthy friends in YA contemporary books, so seeing side characters that were there for the protagonists was actually a really cool thing to read.

Also another thing I really liked seeing was how different their reactions to a death were, and how each tried a different thing to cope with that loss. I feel like not only they were really different characters, but also those deaths were completely different one from the other (one being a twin and the other a best friend), so seeing those characters react differently to a similar event made it more realistic to me, and also distinguished the characters from each other.

that broke my heart throughout the book. However it was all so beautifully written that it was a bittersweet aftertaste. I also really enjoyed the fact that some of those characters look for help, whether going to meeting or an actual shrink, which was such a great thing to read. I feel like in these type of stories that’s something I always want to see something like that happening.
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The Beauty That Remains intrigued me based on the description - as a high school librarian, I am always looking for diverse texts that will engage my students and stories that will be relevant to their lives. In spite of the laudatory reviews that this book garnered, I found it too similar to book that have been published recently. It was fairly predictable and the character archetypes were seemingly featured to lure in a diverse audience. I didn't find the story captivating, unfortunately, and hope that my students are more engaged than I was.
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Musings:

The Beauty That Remains was an emotionally tough read for me. It was heartbreaking, angry, hopeful, and uplifting. It was a storm of every single feeling grief brings. This novel made my soul ache.

What I Loved:

Diversity! Diversity! Diversity! This is a diverse book that no one should miss! Diverse in both poc and featuring an lgbt Mc it’s rich in telling a great story with diverse characters. (Let’s not forget the mental health reps!) #ownvoices

Grief that is helped to heal with music. I love that this story uses music as the thing that binds all the characters together and helps them find healing. It’s one of those things that is refreshing when often romantic relationships and other things are the usual things that are used for healing sadness or grief.

Each person’s grief was unique. The loss of the twin was very different from the loss of a lover which was also very different from the loss of a close friend. Every person had a different guilt and dealt with their emotions in their own way. Some of their stories were harder for me to read about Shay’s because it was breaking me. Logan because of his guilt and the fact that he was in love with a guy who caused him so much pain.

Everything rings true. This was such a difficult read because the story was so well written. The characters were living and breathing and hurting so deeply. It was all so vivid.

The relationships. Friendship, family, even the relationship between the crowd and the band were all shining points of this novel. Everything was brilliantly thought out.

Final thoughts:

I could go on forever about this book and I just want to share it with the world! The only warning I would give is for those going through grief of their own or dealing with depression to read with caution. It’s gorgeous and wonderful, but it cuts deep.
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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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