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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: March 6, 2018

Cover art often has a way of drawing me to a book that I might have overlooked. That's the case in The Beauty That Remains. This is a debut novel from Ashley Woodfolk. It's a tender look at death and those left behind.

Autumn, Shay, and Logan have all suffered a tremendous loss. Autumn's best friend died in a car crash. Shay's sister passed away after a long battle with leukemia. Logan's ex-boyfriend is also dead following an overdose. The three know each other through music. The three are all coping as they try to come to terms with painful losses. 

Autumn blames herself. Shay misses her sister desperately. Logan is just as lost and shuts everyone out. It's music that brought them together once, and it's music that may be the thing that draws them back into the world of the living.

Connections between characters in The Beauty That Remains may not be tight, but the emotions are powerful. It's a deal where they live in the same town and attend the same school. They are linked through a local band. The three deaths are independent of each other and affect everyone in different ways. I loved how they were tied together but not closely. It gave each character a chance to grieve separately, come to terms with the tragic events in each case, and find themselves again.

I loved the way the story is presented. You have Shay's chapters. You have Autumn's messages to her deceased friend because closing the social media accounts is too much for her to think about. Logan turns to bad habits as he copes. Each story is emotional and draws you in. There were times I felt things dragged a bit, but the emotional pull never lessened. It's a bit of a tear jerker and very heartfelt.

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