The Beauty That Remains

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

This book told three separate haunting stories of loss, yet wove them together with the common thread of music. I loved the creative way each character connected with the deceased-via different social media. At times, it was hard to follow the storylines until I realized that in some way, all three dead teens and their friends' paths were destined to cross in a most unique way. Excellent writing...bringing these characters and their pain to life on the pages. It's a book that I know many of my students will enjoy as much as I did.
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Autumn, Shay and Logan share a love of music, but when the band they all love implodes, mostly because of Logan, it will be death that brings them all back together again. Autumn has lost her best friend, Tovia, Shay lost her sister Sasha and Logan’s ex-boyfriend Bram is dead. As they all navigate their grief in their own ways, with no light at the end of the tunnel, and all of them wondering how differently things could have panned out if only. Can they come out the other side of their grief or will it consume them completely?

The Beauty That Remains is one of those books that surprises you with how emotional but lovely it is. Going in, I didn’t know how heavy it was in regards to the deaths that occur, nor was I aware that all three narrators had lost someone, in different ways, so it was a deeper read than I was expecting. However it was also a beautiful, lyrical read. I’m not a big noticer of author’s writing - I don’t notice poetic sentences or flowery language, etc, but I liked the writing in The Beauty That Remains; I loved the very real, very harsh look into grief. 

The Beauty That Remains has three narrators - Shay, Autumn and Logan. Through some random twist of fate not only have all three lost people they loved, but they all had dealings with the same band, which was a nice thread? I liked the way it brought them together, I should say. I related to Autumn the most, having lost her best friend she’s trying to muddle through, helping Tovia’s brother Dante, who Autumn is also in this will-they-won’t-they relationship that was more likely will-they the night Tovia died and there’s a lot of guilt and grief there. Shay also really spoke to me, having lost her sister (which is unimaginable for me - my sister may very well do my head in most of the time, but damn if I can’t be without her) and then Logan, who I just wanted to squish in a big hug. All their stories were just so heartbreaking, and I understood why Shay ran away from her problems, when Autumn kept messaging Tovia, why Logan drowned his sorrows in a bottle and bad decisions with boys. Grief does weird things to you, you just have to work through it, one way or another.

One thing I feel like I need to point out is how diverse The Beauty That Remains Is. Autumn is Korean; Shay and her family are black; Logan is gay. It’s just filled to the brim and I loved it. I love reading about different cultures and different people to me. This is Ashley Woodfolk’s debut novel yet it reads like an accomplished writer, who’s written loads of books, it’s so perfect in every way. It hits you really hard, but to see the characters grow lights something up inside of you. It’s worth being there for all their bad moments, when you get to the end. It made me feel so many things and I teared up so many times. The Beauty That Remains is an incredible thought-provoking, diverse read and I thoroughly recommend it.
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4.5 stars.
Beautifully written.  Loved the way the stories weaved together to create a rich tapestry.  A very powerful and emotional story.  Highly recommend this one.
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Sad yet hopeful, heart wrenching yet uplifting, it is hard to believe that The Beauty That Remains is a debut. Autumn, Shay, and Logan have all lost someone they loved deeply. All three are damaged and unsure how to begin again. Through music and friendship, they each search for the promise that their lives can be happy again one day. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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