Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Beauty That Remains

thebeautythatremains

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk ~ 352 pages ~ published 3/6/18 by Delacorte Press

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

 

What I Thought:

I picked this one up as an ARC from the bookstore I work in, and then failed to get it read before the publication date *facepalm*. But, I have read it now, and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Two things initially inspired me to take this book home with me. First, look at that cover! It is beautiful! (insert heart eye emoji here!) I’m like a puppy, anything bright or colorful will immediately draw my attention. Secondly, the synopsis talked about how each of the three narrators loves music, and that their three stories are connected by music. Other than reading, my great love is music, so I picked this one up and ran out of the store with it, giggling the whole way to my car with glee!

I have read books with a dual perspective before, but I can’t think of many where there were three. I was a little nervous about this at first, afraid that it would make the story feel disjointed, or that there would be one narrator that I despised, but this wasn’t the case! I feel that Woodfolk did an excellent job balancing the story between these three different perspectives.

I really enjoyed how diverse the cast of this book was. Sometimes diversity in books can feel contrived and forced, but I felt like this was done fairly organically.

Autumn, our first narrator, was a Korean adoptee whose best friend, Tavia (who was hispanic) died in a car crash. Autumn writes emails to Tavia throughout the novel, as a way of processing her grief. Autumn and Tavia’s older brother, Dante, work through their feelings about Tavia’s death, as well as their feelings for each other, in the aftermath.

Logan, our second narrator, was a  LGBT redhead with substance abuse problems. His ex-boyfriend, Bram, died in what appeared to be a suicide, following a severe beating. Logan is struggling to continue to write music after Bram’s death, and continues to watch Bram’s YouTube videos on repeat, feeling more and more miserable and guilty with each view.

Shay, our third narrator, was a black twin whose twin sister, Sasha, died of leukemia. Shay now struggles to continue running the music website, Badass Music Fanatics (BaMF), that she created with her sister and her friends, without spiraling into full blown panic attacks at the thought of her sister and everything she is now missing.

I really enjoyed the journey that each of these characters went on. They all started at a low place, sank even lower, and then began to rise from the ashes. This was so well done that it didn’t feel cliche, and I found myself really rooting for all three of the narrators by the end.

I loved how the book really emphasized the power of friendship, and also emphasized the power of therapy. So many people feel like seeing a therapist, or going to a support group, means that you are crazy. It really means that you want to get better, and you are getting the help you need in order to do so. Again, well done Woodfolk!

The band in the story, Unraveling Lovely, was a central point to all three plot lines. I won’t tell you exactly what happens there, as that would be a spoiler, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching this journey unfold as well.

Here are a few quotes that I really loved from The Beauty That Remains:

“The universe is unpredictable.”

“I focus on all the other people I love; on all the beauty that remains.”

“You could have had anyone you wanted. But you picked me.”

Rating:

4.0/5.0

I gave The Beauty That Remains 4 STARS! I loved this book, and felt that it was very well done.


Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below! 

Ashley Woodfolk’s Website

The Beauty That Remains Goodreads Page

Purchase The Beauty That Remains on BN.com

 

Love and happy reading,

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Author:

Hello!! My name is Whitney, and I love books! I work in a bookstore, and spend a huge amount of time reading (way more time than I should, if we are being perfectly honest!) I live in Nashville with my husband and my two dogs, who are a total mess and generally are my reading buddies. I will probably share them with you, too. I also love to sing, play guitar, hike, play The Sims, watch tons of YouTube videos, and drink creamy tea and coffee.

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