The Beauty That Remains by Ashley WoodfolkThe Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

The Beauty That Remains

byAshley Woodfolk

Hardcover | March 6, 2018

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about

Told from three diverse points of view, this story of life and love after loss is one Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, calls a "stunning, heart-wrenching look at grief that will stay with you long after you put it down."

We've lost everything...and found ourselves.

Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death might pull 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 has always turned to writing love songs when his real love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan is a guy who can't stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger who's 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.

"Woodfolk's debut cuts deeply and then wipes your tears away. Wrenching, heartfelt, and vividly human." --Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

"Haunting, heart-wrenching, and powerful...a tearjerker must-read for teens!" --Dhonielle Clayton, author of the Belles series and coauthor of the Tiny Pretty Things series

"This books hurts so good. With three distinct narrators and lyrical prose, Ashley Woodfolk stakes her claim as a fresh new voice to follow in the world of young adult literature."--Julie Murphy, author of Ramona Blue and Dumplin'
Ashley Woodfolk 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 deb...
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Title:The Beauty That RemainsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.56 × 5.94 × 1.13 inPublished:March 6, 2018Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1524715875

ISBN - 13:9781524715878

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Diverse but so tragic There's so much grief and loss but also so many loving interactions with friends and family trying to support one another during tough times. The Beauty That Remains is an enjoyable book about music and grief. It's music heavy and written in multiple perspectives, Shay, Logan and Autumn, and each character has lost someone close to them and music is no longer enough for any of them. This is one of those books that starts with each character having their own story and by the end all the character's and their stories are intertwined together. As much as I enjoyed reading this book and following each of these characters journey through grief and moving forward, I did not feel I got enough from these characters or from the plot. I definitely enjoyed reading The Beauty That Remains but I did not love the story because I don't think the characters go deep enough into their emotions... we don't get much of the emotions below the surface. I love reading from multiple perspectives so, I can't "blame" the lack of deep emotions from flipping between three characters.
Date published: 2018-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Meaningful and Beautiful! This book can simply be explained through one word in the title: a beauty. Except it's even more than solely beautiful. This novel was beautiful, emotional, meaningful, raw, honest, and realistic. Even with that list, it isn't enough to describe the pure masterpiece that was this story. Or stories. First, this novel is filled with grief. I have to say that because as a reader, if you are in the midst of grief, it may not be the particular time to pick up this novel. It's an immensely hard and difficult read and although I'm not currently dealing with a loss it does bring those emotions back. However, with that being said, in opposition, I could understand how this novel could help a reader in the midst of suffering with a loss. It could help with a reader processing with their emotions in addition to coping with them. Each story that these characters are going through are brutally honest and realistic. I could see any of these stories being an individual's reality and they probably are. Along with this being realistic in the accounts on grief, this is such a beautifully dynamic and diverse cast of characters. It's the perfect representation of the diversity in the world we live in whether it be through adoption, race, sexuality, etc. The author did an amazing job at integrating each character in their own story and I felt that it truly was a great job in different areas of representation. If you are a fan of authors similar to Adam Silvera or John Green (along with countless others that are currently not coming to mind) who write beautiful and in-depth novels that truly leave an impact, check this novel out. I am very surprised that this is a debut due to the level of writing and the quality of the novel. I know that I will be keeping my eye on what's to come next for Ashley Woodfolk in the future because this debut was an amazing success! ***Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review***
Date published: 2018-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Poignant and Heartbreaking If someone asked now, “What does love look like?” I’d tell them it was the lies in your eyes. Books centred on tragedies usually fall in one of three categories for me – either the fall completely flat, or they leave me curled up in under my blanket sobbing my eyes out or they devastate me, and still leave me with hope. The Beauty That Remains definitely left me in the last category. Ashley Woodfolk’s deep and haunting debut novel reminded me of Adam Silvera’s writing, along with one of my favourite elements in books (that we rarely see) – music – and I fell in love with it. MY THOUGHTS: 1. I love way this book was told. We had three narrators, and some incredibly developed secondary characters, each of whom were experiencing the devastating loss of a friend, ex or sister and it was their journey to reaching some kind of acceptance, through music. 2. I struggled to keep up with all the characters in the beginning of this book. All of them were equally important from each narrator, to the person they each lost, to their support systems, but THERE WERE TOO MANY PEOPLE thrown at me in the beginning. 3. Ashley Woodfolk’s writing was spectacular. It was slow paced, but really dove into the unbearable grief each teenager felt. It was heart-breaking, poignant and I am A HUGE FAN. 4. The cast was diverse and inclusive and I LOVED IT. Just off the top of my head, we had Asian rep, Hispanic rep and Gay rep and it dealt with depression, coping mechanisms, therapy and panic attacks with such finesse. 5. I honestly connected with Logan and Bram’s story right from the get go, and I was desperately craving more. 6. The only reason this book isn’t receiving a five star rating from me was that there was no definitive ending. I understand that you never truly finish grieving, but this book felt unfinished in a way I can’t fully explain. A spectacularly written book on loss that will make you feel. 4 stars.
Date published: 2018-03-07

Read from the Book

1  Jan. 14, 10:48 a.m. I just saw you yesterday. There’s no way this is real. It can’t be. I keep waiting for you to call. Tavia may not be on Hangouts right now. She’ll see your messages later.   From: HeCalledItAutumn@gmail.com To: TaviaViolet@gmail.com Sent: Jan. 16, 5:17 p.m. Subject: I stared at my phone through most of your funeral. I could have said goodbye to you in my room with some vanilla-scented candles, a few of your favorite songs, violets, and a can of orange soda. But instead we had to do this public ritual where we all stood around, watching each other cry. When I woke up, I already knew today would be the worst day of my life.  When we get to the church, your brother walks straight to the front and kisses the top of the casket, but I can’t go up there. So I just head to the second row of pews and sit down at the very end. I look at my phone, at the infinite stream of pictures of you, and I try not to look anywhere else. For the first time ever, I feel grateful for how many selfies you took, and I feel bad that I always teased you about being conceited. If I didn’t have hundreds of digital squares with you in them, I’m not sure how I’d remember to breathe. After a while, when I do look up, I use different squares--ones of tinted sunshine spilling through the stained-glass windows--to mark time as they move across the room. I’m sitting with your family. Your mom is squeezing rosary beads in her hand, weeping in a way that doesn’t make any noise. Your dad’s staring straight ahead, but not really looking at anything. Dante sits down beside me after he kisses your casket, and I can feel that he’s crying by the way his shoulder moves against mine. Part of me wants to shift away from him, but I’m frozen. My family’s sitting a few rows behind me. My mother’s dress is impeccable, but her blue eyes are sad, and my dad has had his head bent the whole time, like a world without you is one he doesn’t want to see. Between their blond heads is Willow’s angled black bob, and you’d love this haircut on her if you were here. Sometime between winter break ending and yesterday, she bleached the bluntly cut ends and dyed them hot pink. She looks like a K-Pop star despite her puffy, red eyes. When she flew in from college yesterday, she crawled into bed with me the minute she got home and rubbed small circles on my back. Willow sees me looking at her, so she squeezes out of their pew and comes up to mine. You know I don’t really look like my sister, even on a good day. But with her hair the way it is now--so full and sharp and pink (and mine the way that it always is: too long and fine and flat)--we could be strangers. I look like the “before” scene in the Korean dramas we watched together, where the girls miraculously turn pretty. But when Willow reaches me, she touches my flat black hair, like it’s silk. She holds my hand, as if it’s made of glass, and looks at me a little too closely. I squeeze her fingers before letting them go to look back down at my phone, and she steps back and stays quiet. She doesn’t try to make me talk, which is a miracle, because I thought she was going to be pushy--you know how my sister can get. But she was perfect. People forget how much silence can help at times like these. No one in my family has said anything, but I can tell how they feel by the way my sister reaches for my hand. The way my mother stares at me. How differently my dad says my name. They’re so happy I wasn’t with you that night that they can’t keep their hands, eyes, and voices away from me. But every time I think about the fact that I wasn’t, I feel like I’m drowning. When you went to Alexa’s party without me, I was upset that you didn’t beg me to come out with you; that you went, even though I didn’t want to go. It’s stupid, but it hurt, and Margo and Faye were there too, so there wasn’t even anyone for me to text and complain. I was just going to eat ice cream, read a book, and go to bed early. Then Dante called. I went to your house to hang out with him--to have some fun without you because you were doing things without me. And now I have to live with this: I was flirting with him when I could have been stopping you. For some reason, the priest asks everyone to stand. I wasn’t paying attention, so when Dante pulls me up and into his side, I don’t realize right away that it’s time to pray. His touch takes me away from the world inside my phone, where you’re still grinning and singing and alive. And for a second, I just collapse against your brother. I can’t stand on my own in a world where you don’t exist. Dante reads the weight of my body as an invitation. He tucks my head under his chin, and I feel a few of his tears hit my scalp where my hair’s parted. It’s so complicated--the way I feel about him, but I can’t think about that now, when I can barely stay on my feet. So I hook my hand around his hip and hold on tight. And when the sounds around me return and I hear the priest praying, I look at the photo of you that sits at the front of the church in a wreath of violets instead of closing my eyes. After a few minutes of standing here anchored to Dante, I start to feel a little less like I’m sinking. Or at least like if I’m going down, he won’t let me hit the bottom alone. At the cemetery, Willow holds my hand again like a good big sister, and I lean into her like I did with Dante at the church. She cries and cries while the priest sprinkles holy water over the grave, and I just stare at the dirty hem of the priest’s robe. He says your full name the way your grandmother says it, at the same time as I read it in the obituary I’m somehow still holding. “Oak-TAH-bia Bi-oh-LEH-tah SO-toe.” Octavia Violeta Soto. And my whole body goes cold. I’m supposed to drop a handful of dirt into your grave like everyone else a few minutes later, but after your dad starts crying, I just can’t. By the time it’s my turn it’s raining, and most of the soil has turned to mud anyway. So instead, I shove the damp obituary into my pocket. I pull petals from a yellow rose, one at a time, and let them fall--bright against the dark earth all around them--right before the casket sinks into the ground. I don’t try to figure out if anyone loves me as I yank away each velvety petal, the way you used to (He loves me? He loves me not? Autumn, he loves me!). I just tell the rose how much I’m going to miss you. How much I already do. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. There’s never an I miss you not. And there aren’t enough petals on the flower. There aren’t enough petals in the world. In the limo, Dante has to pull the thorny stem out of my trembling hand because I’m still gripping it, even though the naked and ugly bud is the only thing left. Hours after our friends and your extended family and my family leave your house, I stay. I help Dante inventory all the frozen casseroles and stews and empanadas that people leave behind on your kitchen counters. When we finish, I pull out my phone again and get lost in it. But Dante starts pacing around your living room, very much in the here and now. He kicks the leg of your dining room table. He punches a wall and says it’s all bullshit. I don’t want to be here to witness Dante explode, but it’s been almost impossible for me to leave your house since you died. I still can’t make myself go. Dante opens and closes his hand after he hits the wall. It settles into a tight fist, like he’s holding one of his drumsticks. He aims his angular dark eyes at me, and says, “You think it’s bullshit too, don’t you?” He’s talking about the comments on your photos. They’ve been rolling in nonstop all week. I stay quiet. I look down at my phone and read a few of the newest ones. I don’t have a right to say anything. I’ve been looking through your photos since the accident, just like everyone else. I’ve been clicking on every single picture you ever posted, reading over your captions and hashtags, like they’re prayers. I’ve been ignoring the “Rest in peace,” “We’ll miss you,” and “Only the good die young” messages people who barely even spoke to you have been leaving beneath your selfies. There are more broken heart emojis in the comments than there are kids at our school. But Dante’s right. They are all bullshit. So I look back up at him and nod. With my approval, Dante turns to look at the other side of the room. I don’t know what he’s going to say next until he says it. “We need to get it deleted.” I’d forgotten your father was in the room, but that’s who Dante’s talking to now, probably because your dad has always been the kind of dad who gets things done. Like that time he argued with our teacher for giving us detention for passing notes, when really I was giving you a Tylenol in an origami box because you had cramps. Or the time he volunteered to coach our girls’ soccer team when we were in middle school after the paid coach got let go. But ever since your accident, he just kind of sits there, like nothing matters. Or maybe like everything does, but he doesn’t know where to start. Dante can’t delete your accounts. Your mom already cut off your cell phone. I only know that because I was calling your number over and over again on speakerphone while I sat in the school parking lot yesterday, just so your voice could fill the air like it used to. I wanted to memorize the way you sounded. Where your tone changed and how I could hear a song playing softly in the background. Now I can’t get your voice out of my head. Hey! You’ve reached Tavia’s phone. It’s probably in my pocket or in my purse or on my bed, and I’m sure I really want to talk to you. So leave me something lovely because I love you. The last time I called, I got an automated message instead. And it was so shocking, to go from hearing you to hearing We’re sorry. You have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service. If you feel you’ve received this message in error, please check the number and try again. I didn’t need to check the number, but I did try again. I don’t look at your dad or Dante as I find your name, press down to call you, and put my phone on speaker. And when that recorded robot voice tells us your number’s been disconnected, your dad looks at me from across the room. He shakes his head, like he can’t deal; mutters something in Spanish; and stands up to leave. A minute later, I hear the front door slam. I look at Dante, and everything about him softens. The hard angles of his face become curves. The onyx of his eyes melts into molasses. “Did you know,” I ask, “that her number was already dead?” I flush a little after I hear myself say that word. He shakes his head. I wish I’d taken screenshots of every photo you ever sent me, every selfie with filters that made your eyes sparkle or gave you the ears and nose of some adorable animal, because those were private, meant only for me, and the ones Dante wants to delete are public, for everyone to see. But the private stuff only lasted a few seconds, and now those are gone forever, just like you. With your phone turned off too, I need to preserve every piece of you that hasn’t disappeared. So while he seems gentler, I ask Dante not to get rid of your accounts. “With her phone gone, these pictures are some of the last things we have left that are purely her.” He still looks like he wants to punch something, but he just keeps watching me, quietly. Even though I know there isn’t, I say, “I’ll see if there’s a way to disable the comments.” He frowns, but then he nods. “And I’ll post something asking people to stop,” I add. I don’t say that I know all your passwords and that I could erase every trace of you in a few seconds. I don’t say that I still send you instant messages and emails or that during every free moment I have I watch the long-ago-posted videos of you singing and playing the piano. I don’t tell Dante that as soon as I walk out of his house, I’ll put my earbuds in and dial my own voice mail because you left me a funny message six months ago that I’m so grateful I never got around to deleting. I haven’t cried, but I don’t say that, either. My hands shake every time I think about your name, and Dante can’t know that. He has enough on his mind. From the look on his face I can tell he’s thinking about how we found out about the crash. Some idiot from our high school took a picture of your upside-down car and posted it to his story with a black-and-white filter and the caption SHIIIIIT. Just saw the worst accident. Perry, of all people, texted a screenshot of the picture to me with a message: Holy shit. This isn’t Tavia’s car, is it? It was. The Unraveling Lovely bumper sticker, the one we designed for the band’s tour last summer, was a dead giveaway. I knew you were on your way to see Perry, but he had no idea. I didn’t even message him back. I can feel Dante looking at me. He probably knows I’m remembering that night too. “You okay?” he asks.

Editorial Reviews

“The Beauty that Remains is a stunning, heart-wrenching look at grief that will stay with you long after you put it down. Be prepared to be broken, be prepared to feel whole again.” —Angie Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give“Woodfolk's debut cuts deeply, and then wipes your tears away. Wrenching, heartfelt, and vividly human.” —Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda  “The Beauty That Remains is haunting, heart-wrenching, and powerful. A tale of grief that grapples with what’s next after you lose a loved one, this book will remind you to hold fast to those you love, share your heart while you have time, and find the music that makes this wild ride of life better. A tearjerker must-read for teens!” —Dhonielle Clayton, author of the Belles series and coauthor of the Tiny Pretty Things series"This books hurts so good. With three distinct narrators and lyrical prose, Ashley Woodfolk stakes her claim as a fresh new voice to follow in the world of young adult literature." —Julie Murphy, author of Ramona Blue and Dumplin’"The Beauty That Remains burns warm and bright with the fires of loss, love, and longing, and hums with poetry and song. This is the sort of book that pieces a broken heart back together, stronger than before. —Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King "If you're looking for a book that truly hits the heart strings, The Beauty That Remains is it." —Seventeen"A breathtaking YA read about life, death, grieving and healing." —HelloGiggles"A beautiful, touching, and heartbreakingly realistic portrayal of love and loss from the lives of three different teens." —BuzzFeed “The Beauty That Remains is an emotional, must-read story of the way music connects us, the way tragedy threatens to break us apart, and the way life can change, for better or worse, in an instant.” —Bustle"The self- and life-defining nature of grief and loss captured so well by authors such as John Green isexplored here with humor, intelligence, and grace."—School Library Journal, starred review"Woodfolk has done an exemplary job of character creating and building. Her three co-protagonists are fully realized, empathetic individuals for whom readers will care. They grow and change believably as they begin to find ways to deal with their grief, and the resolutions of their emotional crises are lucid and deeply satisfying, as, ultimately, is this fine first novel." —Booklist  "An ambitious debut from a writer to watch."—Kirkus"Woodfolk eloquently depicts how 16-year-olds live in the digital and physical worlds, how the latter can amplify the former, how relationships shift after someone dies, and how life goes on, if you let it. "—Publishers Weekly"The Beauty That Remains is a gut-wrenching tear-jerker that teens are sure to love." —VOYA