I received this book at no cost from the publisherby Ashley Woodfolk
Published by Delacorte Press Format: ARC
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.
ASHLEY WOODFOLK (@AshWrites) has loved reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and currently works in children’s book publishing. She writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment where she lives with her cute husband and her cuter dog. The Beauty That Remains is her debut novel.
The Beauty That Remains ripped my heart out and then reconstructed it musically. Told in three points of view and with a cast of several diverse characters that each centers around a loss. What combines the stories is the connection that social media can foster. For all of the evil that has been said about social media, there are situations that can create solace and support. The fact that what you post online is somewhat permanent can become important to those who remain after you are gone. I am glad that Woodfolk finally connected the dots about how people are memorialized online and can provide something for those that are grieving. Oh and that music really can bring people together.
Probably the best thing that Woodfolk succeeded in this story is that she seamlessly blended a cast of characters that are diverse and well rounded. These characters were all very believable and I could imagine this story unfolding right where I live. Autumn, a shy, adopted Asian, is crushed by guilt that she wasn’t with her best friend, Tavia, and might have prevented the car accident that killed her. She tries to remedy that guilt by writing Tavia heartfelt email notes.
Shay and Sasha, black identical twin are separated when Sasha dies from leukemia and Shay is left with survivor’s guilt which she tries to assuage by running and making out with Jerome at concerts. She sees her sister in every mirror. Logan has survivor’s guilt down to a science when his boyfriend kills himself and to me, he seems to blame himself. He was once a joyous musician who could play a love song with such feeling but now only feel emptiness and dread. He tries to fill up that emptiness with alcohol. The story is sort of like the movie Crash where all three are unrelated but somehow are related through music. Parents: best for high school teens since there are mentions of suicide, drugs. alcohol, language, death and sexual orientation.