Cover Image: The Beauty That Remains

The Beauty That Remains

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Member Reviews

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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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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