The Beauty That Remains

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

Okay. Just finished this book. Amazing. Not my usual cup of tea, but I fell into the hype trap and let me tell you, the hype is more than worth it. This book is heart wrenching and beautiful. I’m in love Ashley Woodfolk’s style and clarity. She captures human emotion with such brutal honesty that I can’t even put it into words. 

We start with a funeral. From page 1 you’re tossed into an avalanche of sorrow and guilt and missed opportunities. We’ve all been there. Ashley captures those feelings and proceeds to remove your heart. I’m not one to get emotional with books, but this one...it gets you right in the feels and doesn’t let you go. Ever. 

110% recommend this to anyone who loves having their heart ripped open.
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4.5/5 Stars

Why is it that I'm always drawn to books that rend my heart into pieces? Honestly though, The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk is an exquisitely nuanced story of life and death through the eyes of three teenagers. It captures the myriad ways loss impacts each individual while also delving into the craziness of high school life. With so much heart on the page, I'll focus on five reasons this book is a must read.

Top 5 Reasons Beauty Still Remains
1. This book's take on loss, grief, and everything that comes with it is incredible. It deals with holding emotions inside, raging against the world, blaming oneself, overwhelming anxiety, seeking help and so much more. Each person handles grief differently and Woodfolk captures that perfectly.
2. An emotional story doesn't work if the reader cannot feel for the characters. Thankfully all three had distinct traits, (Autumn, the reserved artist, Logan, the intense singer-songwriter, and Shay, the passionate music aficionado), that anyone could see themselves on the page.
3. Diversity! Autumn is an adopted Korean American, Logan is gay, Shay is black and it doesn't stop there.
4. I loved that music was what connected all of theses stories together in both big and small ways.  That is what music does after all. Plus the Unraveling Lovely is an epic band name!
5. Woodfolk's writing was spectacular, presenting a heartfelt narrative with three unique perspectives that delivered on tough topics. Kudos for a killer debut!

Overall The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk is a gripping story of grief that leaves a lasting impression. The author weaves a complex narrative of interconnecting characters and emotions with ease and creates a vivid picture of life and loss. Autumn, Shay, and Logan were wonderful characters to follow and centering the story around music was a brilliant choice. I absolutely recommend this one!
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This book was beautiful. I loved it. Books that deal with such a heavy subject can sometimes be too much but the connectiveness of this really pulled through for me.
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ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. The beauty that remains is heartbreaking, of course, since the three main characters are grieving the loss of someone very dear to them, but there is also a lot of hope in the ways they deal, the people they lean on and how music helps them cope.
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Shay, Logan, and Autumn share a group of friends that are united for their love of indie rock and the band Unraveling Lovely . When they all simultaneously lose someone they love, the group falls apart as grief affects them all in completely different ways. Shay suffers from panic attacks after she loses her twin sister Sasha. Logan is obsessed with watching his ex-boyfriend Bram's videos and alcohol, and Autumn continues to confide in her best friend Tavia via email while she isolates herself from her friends and family. As their grief and guilt continue to weigh them down, they struggle to fight their way out of the darkness and the one thing that brought them all together may be the only thing that can save them.

This standout debut novel from Ashley Woodfolk is amazing. This is a well-written story with real characters that you can relate to and empathize with. If you're looking for plot twists and a thrilling climax, this may not be the story for you. But if you want an authentic, absorbing and worthwhile read about loss and grief, then look no further because The Beauty That Remains is the book for you.
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WARNING: Grief, Depression, Suicide

Shay, Autumn and Logan have lost someone they love; Shay, her twin to Leukemia, Autumn, her bestfriend to an accident and Logan, his ex-boyfriend to an overdose.

In hindsight, I should've known better than to read this book. Given my ongoing battle with against depression, this isn't the right book for me but when I'm done reading I wasn't regretful at all. I'm fine so I think that's a good thing. Yes, I was left very emotional with the characters, not so much with Autumn though. I kinda feel her POV a little lacking. But Logan and Shay, I felt so much. How can one move on after losing someone? And how can someone get through the grief when it's also tinted with regret because these three have all the reasons to be regretful for the deaths of their loved ones. And that's what make this book so emotional. This book really talked deep to me I cried more than I expected. I think the author succeeded on making each character's voice really distinguishable that reading their POVs felt more emotional.
Though I really liked each of the three character's stories , I don't think I liked it that much how they were connected. I didn't really dislike it but there wasn't special about it either. It's like reading three separate stories in a trilogy that can be read as standalones. But it still great how the author weaved their stories together.

Overall, I encourage everyone to read this. It was well-written and the characters voices are truly unique and interesting to read. :) But again, I'm warning you with triggers.
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MY THOUGHTS:
This is the first book I have read that is solely about loss, and those affected by it. I really enjoyed it. I lost my brother this past June, so I related to these characters greatly. All 3 characters were likable in their own ways, but I do wish there was more overlapping. I don’t see the point in having 3 different point of views when they don’t overlap until the last couple chapters. Besides that, I did like this book.

PROS:
The Characters: The characters were definitely the strongest part of this novel. I loved everyone, including those that were lost. My favorite was definitely Logan, mostly because I related to his story the most. I loved the way we were shown different types of mourning, because everyone deals with loss in their own way. This novel definitely portrayed that.

The Subject Matter: This book touched upon some important topics, loss being the obvious one. Besides that it looked upon alcoholism, depression, anxiety, drunk driving, and suicide among others. Not only was all of this included, it didn’t feel forced. It wasn’t there for the sake of being there, it was present to further the story.

The Diversity: All 3 main characters were a minority: A black girl, an Asian girl, and a gay boy. Ashley didn’t stop there, though. Even the side characters were diverse.

The Music: Another main plot point was the underlying theme of music. Another way all the characters were related, besides losing someone close to them, was their involvement with a band titled Undying Lovely. It was a cool addition to the story, and I feel it helped further the plot.

CONS:
Multiple POV’s: Let me say this first. I did enjoy all the POV’s within this novel. My issue lies with the point… All three of these characters could have had their own story without affecting the others. I wish there was more overlap between their story lines, but this wasn’t really a major issue. It didn’t necessarily negatively impact my reading.
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Delacorte Press and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of The Beauty That Remains.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Autumn, Logan, and Shay are the ones that are left behind.  Each lost someone special to them and each is finding their life empty now.  Tavi will always be Autumn's best friend, despite dying in a car accident.  Sasha will always be Shay's twin sister, although she recently died from complications due to leukemia.  Logan will always regret his last words to Bram, especially because of what happens afterwards.  Will the three that are left living be able to find some comfort and solace in others?

The three stories intersect through music, but there is too much that happens individually to make The Beauty That Remains a cohesive novel.  The reader gets pulled in too many directions with three narrators telling the stories of the three different people that they loved.  The author took too long to join the distinct plot lines, making the book too disjointed.  The Beauty That Remains includes socially relevant topics such as suicide, death, and illness, so teenage readers might be able to connect to one or more of the characters.  The book has a good premise, but I was disappointed in how the stories were presented.  For these reasons, I would be hesitant to recommend The Beauty That Remains.
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We follow the story of Autumn, Shay and Logan in this debut novel of Ashley Woodfolk. The three of them have recently lost someone important in their lives. Autumn lost her best friend to car accident, Shay lost her twin sister to leukemia, and Logan lost his ex-boyfriend to suicide. Each of them has their own way of dealing with their loss and grief. But until when they can accept the fact that they cannot bring back the lives of their loved ones no matter how hard they try?

Can we all just take a minute to aprreciate how gorgeous this cover is? It was actually what drew me in to get the e-arc. I love everything about it. Definitely one of my favorite book covers of all time.

Now let us talk about the book. I really enjoyed reading this book and appreciate the diversity in the cast of characters. They are all unique and relatable especially to those who have experinced (or experiencing) the same situations they’re going through.

I liked that music plays a huge part in their lives and it also connects them together. Music heals! This book also tackles on different relevant issues such as mental health, suicide, drugs, and death.

I love reading books with more than one perspective because I get to know more of the characters and what’s going on in their heads. This book has three different perspectives! I totally enjoyed reading their thoughts but most of the time it was hard for me to identify their voices, especially Autumn and Shay. And it somehow affected the way I wanted to connect with the characters. I also struggled keeping up with the names of the secondary (and tertiary) characters because there were a lot of them.

The pacing felt slow but the writing is beautiful and simple. The words flow easily which makes this book a fast-read. I hope that makes sense. The used of social media as part of the characters’ coping mechanism was pretty interesting, in my opinion. We get to see the advantages and disadvantages of it, of course.

This book is emotional and heartbreaking from the very beginning which was totally okay for me but it became a little exhausting. It also felt a little repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading books that will make me cry and some of the scenes in this book made me teary-eyed but I didn’t invest too much with the characters. At some point, I got annoyed to this one character because I felt that she is just being selfish.

It took awhile before the stories/characters to overlap which was quite odd since they’ve known each other already. They have just quite parted ways. I was still trying to guess how or when it will happen around 70% of the book. There is romance in the story but I didn’t really care about it at all. Also, the mention of Unraveling Lovely (Logan’s ex-band) and their music in almost every chapter was quite tiresome.

Overall, The Beauty That Remains is a heart-warming, very moving and powerful novel. It reminds us the importance of acceptance and closure.
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This book was beautiful and touching. It is relatable and emotional. Loved it.
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I thought this book was kind of dry. It's about three different characters who are all grieving different loses but supposedly uses music to cope with their loss - or so the description says. I didn't really see that at all. There was talk about how they all used to go to this music hall and listen to bands play but it was more of the prime hang out spot for the teens in that area. I was hoping to see some magic realism, or deep connections made by the characters, but none of that happened. I'd say this might a good book for someone who suffered a loss at this age and is struggling to move on. Each of the three deaths were different from the other - cancer, accident, and drug overdose. Each character struggled to move on differently too - one was having panic attacks, another was breaking into their dad's liquor cabinet, and another is dealing with overwhelming guilt and feels she is partly to blame for her best friend's death. Those who have suffered a loss at this age may be able to find themselves in this book. For me however, I saw their raw grief, but I felt like there wasn't this moment where the characters realized they needed each other to help move on, or there wasn't a big forgiveness moment or anything. I just don't think this book was worth the hype.
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Cover art often has a way of drawing me to a book that I might have overlooked. That's the case in The Beauty That Remains. This is a debut novel from Ashley Woodfolk. It's a tender look at death and those left behind.

Autumn, Shay, and Logan have all suffered a tremendous loss. Autumn's best friend died in a car crash. Shay's sister passed away after a long battle with leukemia. Logan's ex-boyfriend is also dead following an overdose. The three know each other through music. The three are all coping as they try to come to terms with painful losses. 

Autumn blames herself. Shay misses her sister desperately. Logan is just as lost and shuts everyone out. It's music that brought them together once, and it's music that may be the thing that draws them back into the world of the living.

Connections between characters in The Beauty That Remains may not be tight, but the emotions are powerful. It's a deal where they live in the same town and attend the same school. They are linked through a local band. The three deaths are independent of each other and affect everyone in different ways. I loved how they were tied together but not closely. It gave each character a chance to grieve separately, come to terms with the tragic events in each case, and find themselves again.

I loved the way the story is presented. You have Shay's chapters. You have Autumn's messages to her deceased friend because closing the social media accounts is too much for her to think about. Logan turns to bad habits as he copes. Each story is emotional and draws you in. There were times I felt things dragged a bit, but the emotional pull never lessened. It's a bit of a tear jerker and very heartfelt.
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The Beauty That Remains is a debut novel of Ashley Woodfolk. This book focuses on how three teenagers suffers from grief and how music helps them deal with it. It’s written in three-point of views: Autumn who loss her bestfriend; Logan who loss his ex-boyfriend; and Shay who loss her twin sister.

Autumn is an adopted Korean-American who constantly send messages to her bestfriend even though she’s aware that it won’t be read. Logan write songs and was a lead singer of Unraveling Lovely. He resorts to alcohol when his ex-boyfriend died, couldn’t write songs and fails school; Shay loves music, attends different shows and post reviews about Independent bands, but, she develops panic attacks when her twin sister died.

Honestly, I’m having a hard time writing a review for this book because I think it’s a heavy topic. Losing someone you love is really painful and it’s hard to accept. The Beauty That Remains opened my eyes on how people feel, think or do when they are suffering from grief. It widens my perspective about acceptance and moving forward.

What I like about this book is how three narrators show their willingness to move forward, to face the truth that their loved one died, to reconnect with people surrounding them and to use music to help them deal with grief. Moreover, secondary characters has a great impact to me. Without them, those three wouldn’t be aware of what they are doing unconsciously. Family and friends are really great help to deal grief. I’m hurting every time Autumn, Logan and Shay do things every time they remember their loved ones, can’t let go and can’t move forward. I understand that it’s really hard but people around them worries about them because they are losing it… slowly.

Further, I love how diverse The Beauty That Remains is. Aside from the fact that it has characters representing different race, it also dealt with panic attacks, depression, and therapy techniques.

Although some parts are predictable, still, there are parts that shocked me.

I also love how Autumn, Logan and Shay got connected through music and how important Unraveling Lovely to them. They always listen to Unraveling Lovely’s music every time they feel that the world eats them, they remember their loved ones and they can’t hold on.

The Beauty That Remains is a page-turner, sad but beautifully written (this book really touches my heart). I couldn’t stop reading that most of the time, I’m crying because I couldn’t take what I’m reading, but, it sends us a message that we should not lose our hope and faith that life still beautiful even though we lose someone we love.
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You guys… this book is so sad, but also VERY beautiful! I have to admit I found myself thinking of the people I’ve lost and I thought of a lot of situations that made me feel connected to the characters, and yeah… it wasn’t the best emotional experience but I just couldn’t stop reading because the writing is so damn beautiful!

The story is told in three different point of views, where each character has to deal with the loss of a loved one. Through the story you will see the following POVs;

Autumn – lost her best friend
Logan – lost his ex-boyfriend
Shay – lost her twin sister

This is 100% a character driven story. We never stop learning about the characters, their struggles, their losses… to the point where you WILL be attached to them. I have to admit, the ONE thing the story could have improved is that all three POVs sounded similar. Each character deals with different things, but overall, the voices through the story had the same “tone”. The story revolves a lot about grief, loss, and how the characters deal with it, and sometimes I kept forgetting which POV I was reading because the tone felt similar.

Regardless of that, the characters deal with their losses in very different ways and this is something that makes the story interesting. We have Autumn who blames herself for the death of her friend, while Logan recurs to alcohol, and lastly, Shay who is experiencing panic attacks.

Music plays a big part through the story; it’s what brings all the characters together! We see how grief has made the characters struggle with their creation process (from writing music to even just enjoying it) and how music can help heal certain wounds. The story isn’t perfect. The ending isn’t perfect, but I have to admit that it is damn accurate!

Losing people is never easy, and we deal with grief differently, but I saw a little bit of myself in some of these characters and I think that a lot of people will see themselves too. If you’re looking for a book that will give you “all the feels”, then you definitely must pick this one!

Overall Rating: 4.5 stars

Trigger warning for suicide, alcoholism, anxiety / panic attacks.
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It's ambitious to tie together plots of characters grieving three entirely unrelated deaths, but Woodfolk pulls it off. We are presented with three distinct events. They're linked by connections to a band rather than any links in the deaths. The characters grieve in a variety of ways but they are all struggling. They fail to relate to their families and peers. Their grief threatens to destroy their lives. They're absolutely deconstructing. Their grief is hard to watch but compelling nonetheless.
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I have so many feels about THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS. I'm still processing my thoughts and while I'll try my best to write them out as a review, I know I will not do the story justice. The focus of the story is on Logan, Autumn, and Shay. While all three experience a loss of someone very close to them, Woodfolk beautifully manages to give them each a distinct voice and weaves their stories together naturally without it feeling contrived. There isn't a right or wrong way to grieve. There is only going through it. 

While they each navigated their grief Logan, Autumn, and Shay also had a connection to a popular local band. I really enjoyed this side of the story. That is what ultimately brought them together. They just had to find their own way there. 

Well done. Looking forward to seeing what Ashley Woodfolk has in store for us in her next release.
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*eARC kindly provided by Random House Children's via NetGalley*

This book was SO GOOD, guys. It’s told in three points of view. Autumn, who lost her best friend. Logan, who lost his ex-boyfriend. And Shay, who lost her twin sister. Three characters going through their own stages of grief, in very similar and different ways. But the multi-POV didn’t *quite* work for me because I ended up caring about Shay the most, and hardest, of the three. I just found myself relating a lot to her thought processes and personality. But I did like Autumn a lot, too. The only one that I felt sort of meh about was Logan? He wasn’t a bad character by any means, and I understood how he mourned. But there was something about him I didn’t care for. Yet, all three of them had distinct voices, which is difficult to do in 1st person. And I enjoyed seeing their journeys. While not always making the best choices, they did what they could to survive in a world without their people. But they weren’t alone.


I’m completely surrounded by them in the best group hug I’ve ever been a part of, and we’re all ugly crying--big, gulping sobs.

I still want my sister desperately. I think I always will. And though the weight of this kind of love won’t replace her, it might just make it so that I’m a little closer to okay.


By far, my favorite part of this book were the relationships between the three main characters and their closest friends and family. It takes a village to heal, it really does. I loved how realistic everything felt too. The anger and mistakes made, the pulling away and shutting people out. Logan, Autumn, and Shay weren’t perfect. Far from it. They didn’t know how to always grieve in a way that didn’t hurt others or make them feel so alone. But they had tribes of people. Parents and siblings, friends and lovers. People who would stage an intervention to get them help; people who would tell them over and over again that it’s okay not to be okay. They were safe spaces for the MCs to mourn without feeling like they had to perform or act a certain way. I loved so many of them, but especially Shay’s friends Rohan, Deedee, Callie, and Jerome. I think Logan was the only one who didn’t really have a group, but he had people who cared about him and who just wanted him to be okay too.

This book was, at its heart, about grief and what it does to you, about the soul-shattering kind of pain that can render you breathless at any point in time, no matter how long it’s been. It was also about friendship, and love. That kind of love that may shake and stir, but that will always stay true, and the moments when you find your people. And it was about music. While seemingly random, the three teenagers are connected by a broken-up band called Unraveling Lovely. And their stories unfold to a point that made me so happy, because it was like every group, every minor character in Logan’s, Autumn’s, and Shay’s lives, became one big tribe together. It was so emotional and lovely!

The Beauty That Remains was a strong debut, and I’m very much looking forward to future Ashley Woodfolk stories!
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Holy shit. Tears and more tears! I mean, goddamn this book wrecked me. I revisited the loss of my mother and the process of grieving for her and I absolutely feel more at peace about all of that for having lived this book. It was just an exercise in reading through tears, truly. I don’t know that I have ever felt my heart squeeze so profoundly while reading either...again and again and again. I had so many moments of clarity, too, about grief and how it will never stop, but will, instead, transform and change. This was not an easy read, but I loved every moment of it. Every. Single. Moment.
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The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk follows three kids who are grieving for lost friends.  Autumn's best friend, Tavia, just died in a car crash, and she's in mute shock.  Logan's ex-boyfriend, Bram, killed himself a month ago, and he's distracting himself so he won't have to deal with his conflicting emotions.  Shay's identical twin sister, Sasha, died three months ago from leukemia, and now she's having panic attacks.  They are all dealing with their grief differently, but their sadness and pain bleed from these pages.  The three teens are connected by one band whose lyrics they all blast to help them deal with what's going on around them.  This story will make you cry (a lot) but it's worth it and the message it gives to kids is powerful.  Overall, this is a great read and a reminder that there is still beauty within the sadness.
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The Beauty That Remains is a timeless, important, sad but assuring novel about family, friends, love and loss.

This book literally made me cry on the first chapter. WHAT IS IT WITH AUTHORS MAKING ME EMOTIONAL AS EARLY AS THE FIRST CHAPTER??? When I’m not even attached yet with the characters.

I think this book has a good writing style, but it became, at one point, kind of slow for me. At first, I really loved how easy it was to read. It seemed like the words are just flowing through like a river and I couldn’t stop reading it. But then, when I’m at least 50% into the book, I felt like I haven’t reached the climax of the story yet; although there were already mysteries and other situations that kept me curious and interested.

The innovation in each chapter [social media posts] was actually cool for me because they were like small glimpses into the lives of the dead characters. I also love how it has multiple characters’ points of view, and what’s best is that they’re like just talking to me like I am their best friend. Because of this, I felt so connected with each character which is awesome because… attachments with fictional characters are good? 😂

Another thing I like about this book is how the main characters are so different yet so alike in so many ways. Like for example, they all have different opinions and personalities but they all lost someone they really really loved. [I WISH I COULD SAY MORE BUT I WANT TO KEEP THIS REVIEW AS NON-SPOILERY AS IT COULD BE.]

But really, WHAT I LOVE THE MOST ABOUT THIS BOOK IS ITS DIVERSITY. I love how a lot of people have been represented in this book: people of color, people struggling with mental health issues, people coping with their problems through alcohol or drugs, members of the LGBTQ+ community, vloggers (!!!), artists, musicians, and everyone in between. Emphasis on vloggers because this is the first novel I’ve read that has a representative from the vlogging community because the blogging community are more represented.

While reading this book, I couldn’t help but wish that I’ve read it when I was still studying… and depressed. It feels so good reading a story that you could totally relate to. I believe that anyone who reads this book can relate to it, in one way or another, whether you’ve lost someone you loved or not.
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