The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

Happy Monday, right? Right?? If not, I’m here to make it better with The Beauty That Remains.

 

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Title: The Beauty That Remains {352 pgs.}

Genre: YA

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Summary:

Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death wants to tear them apart.

Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Despite the odds, one band’s music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.

Review:

First, that cover. That. Cover. It’s so ridiculously beautiful and perfect for this story.  Since I was lucky enough to receive my ARC from NetGalley, I haven’t yet held this gorgeousness in my hands, so I’m imagining that it’s going to make me gasp.

Second, this is one of those intricately delicate stories with many characters that are all somehow connected. I honestly had to make a chart to keep everyone straight, and by the end of the novel, my notebook page was a mess of lines and descriptions, but I loved seeing how everyone was related. Yes, it is all through music, but it’s also through tragedy and what remains after that.

Autumn and Tavia were best friends until the end, the kind of friends where one could say opposites definitely attract. Autumn seemed content being in Tavia’s shadow, because Tavia seemed to make sure that Autumn never stayed there for long. But after Tavia dies unexpectedly, Autumn has to deal with the guilt that weighs her down, the guilt that takes over her life and derails a budding relationship with Dante, Tavia’s brother.

Shay lost her best friend and her twin sister, Sasha. Shay had to watch her sister deteroriate and know that there was nothing she could do about it. After her sister’s death, Shay picks up her life and tries to move on…but she doesn’t try very hard. She’s stuck in a life that she doesn’t understand, and she doesn’t seem to want to understand it.

Logan is still dealing with the loss of his ex-boyfriend Bram, and it’s affecting the way he writes music and also with the way he deals with his guilt. Bram was a vlogger, so Logan can watch him any time he wants, even though he knows it’s not helping. When Yara, the girl that Bram left Logan for, steps into Logan’s life, Logan is the last person to believe that he could become friends with his ex-boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.

Like I said, there’s a lot of characters. There’s even more that I didn’t name in this review, but they’re just as important. They all bring their own flavor to Autumn, Shay, and Logan’s stories. They make everything more real, creating a 3D world within the pages. Not only are these characters there for the three narrators, but they also have their own problems and trials that they’re going through, because a tragedy is like a ripple in a pond: no one in the water is left unaffected.

The Beauty That Remains is exactly as the title promises: there is beauty in living life after tragedy. The three narrators travel their own paths to find this out, and it’s interesting to watch them slowly meander their way toward each other. They are hurt, they are angry, and they don’t know how to deal with these feelings that pound in their chest day after day. But they know that they want to feel something else, that they need to because life cannot be like this.

You’re going to cry. You’re going to cry A LOT. I was beginning to blubber in the first chapter, so take that for what it’s worth. But you’re also going to laugh. You’re going to smile. A LOT A LOT. Ashley Woodfolk wrote a beautifully sweet story about young people going through the kind of tragedy that many of us go through in our lives, but the way they deal with their respective tragedies is brave and wonderful. I can’t imagine being as strong as these characters at my age, let alone at sixteen or seventeen.

The Beauty That Remains is perfect. Just literally perfect. Be like me and grab it before work, even though you’re not supposed to buy any more books because you’re moving and you don’t have any bookshelves set up and you’ll have nowhere to put new books.

It’s never stopped me before.

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