March 6, 2018

The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

Cover Art Courtesy of
Random House Children's Books
The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk is a book about loss. Most of us have experienced at least one great loss in our lives (and if you haven't, you're so very lucky). Experiencing a great loss tears you up inside and makes you question everything, and often when this type of loss strikes you're forced to rebuild your life from the ground up.

In this story, Autumn, Logan, and Shay have all recently lost someone: a best friend, an ex-boyfriend, a twin sister. From a car wreck, to suicide, to cancer, these deaths were mostly unexpected, and tear each of the characters apart. Autumn turns to her dead best friend's brother for comfort (and a little more), Logan picks up the bottle and develops a destructive relationship with drinking, and Shay runs, literally, away from every situation that reminds her of her sister. But all three characters also find comfort in music. Through their love of music, they all know one another as acquaintances, but really come together at the end of the story to honor the loved ones they lost through the music that held them together.

But in addition to loss, this book is more about finding yourself after that loss, holding onto what you have, and embracing your own life while learning to live without the person that is no longer with you. Woodfolk's main characters do exactly that: find themselves and hold on to each other in their times of loss, truly living with an unwavering determination in memory of those now gone. Each of the characters was well developed, and it was easy to get inside their heads and understand their feelings. The diverse representation here was important, but the characters were so much more than that. The plot was simple but effective.

My biggest complaint with this book is the same one I usually have with YA contemporaries...the youth/parent interactions just didn't seem realistic. Maybe it's me, but I just don't believe (and have never experienced myself or even witnessed) the high level of obliviousness and leniency that I see with some of these parents. That being said, this book was beautiful. It tugged at your heart strings and you were really able to relate to the characters, no matter who you've lost in your life.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thanks so much to Random House Children's Books for sending me an advanced copy of this book! The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk releases TODAY so be sure to pick up a copy!

13 comments:

Cricket said...

I always wondered why the parents seem so unaware and absent in teen books. It’s like can the parent be present and it still be an awesome story. Glad you liked this one I’ve been seeing this one around and will check it out.

Randi @ Kiss Like a Girl said...

As much as I hate that anyone has to experience a loss like this, I really appreciate when an author isn't afraid to depict the full range of emotions a person feels when they lose someone they care about. It sounds like this author managed to do that.

Nikki Saturday Nite Reader said...

The cover is lovely and this book looks like a really good read. I am adding to my TBR for sometime after Rainbirds ;)

Jo Linsdell said...

I love the cover. So colourful. The books sounds like it was done well.

DJ Sakata said...

dealing with these events does tend to be pushed aside until it happens close to home and gets our attention.

Terri said...

"obliviousness and leniency that I see with some of these parents." This trope has been used FOREVER in YA lit and probably always will be. If the adults knew what the kids were doing they would never be able to do what they do. As teens, many of us like to think that we are separate from adults and there is often a level of superiority from teens.

Terrie Arasin said...

Great review. Sound interesting. I wouldn't normally grab this one but you peaked my interest!

Caroline said...

This sounds sad and beautiful!

HA! The parent comment made me laugh. I never had a curfew and was allowed to do whatever I wanted. My parents let me take a grayhound across state lines to go to prom with my internet boyfriend.... I tend to write super lenient parents because mine were!

Katiria Rodriguez said...

Ohh wow great review, this book looks and sounds like a very beautiful and emotional book to read. I don't think I am ready too read a book quite like this one now. But it will be on my radar. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

Allie Bock said...

Thanks for the review!

Jenn Garey said...

This review really moved me. This book seems so important to helping people who have experienced loss. Great review!

Whispering Stories said...

Love that cover and your review. Not sure it is something I would choose to read though.

Megan said...

This one sounds so sad! And I completely agree about YA parenting. It is frustrating at best.