THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS, by Ashley Woodfolk, Delacorte Press, March 6, 2018, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)
Music unifies three stories of grief in Ashley Woodfolk’s The Beauty That Remains.
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 after the death of her sister. And Autumn has become a girl who sends messages that she knows can never be answered. Each of them wonders: How different would my life be if this hadn’t happened? And now that it has . . . what’s next? — Synopsis provided by Delacorte Press
The Beauty That Remains is not an easy book to read. The main characters are all grieving and are very depressed. The book opens at a funeral, and moves forward form there.
I really struggled with The Beauty That Remains. Woodfolk is a strong writer, but her style isn’t my cup of tea. And, frankly, with the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, I found the subject matter too heavy. One hundred pages in, and the characters were still in the depths of despair.
The Beauty That Remains requires readers to be in the right mindset. I liked the idea of it but never felt really engaged.
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