Reviews for The beauty that remains

Publishers Weekly
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In a strong debut, set on a realistically diverse Long Island, Woodfolk surveys the devastation of those left behind after the deaths of three teenagers, and their tentative efforts to move forward. Each of the book's narrators is struggling with grief. When the book opens, Autumn's best friend, Tavia, has just been killed in a car crash; Shay's twin sister, Sasha, has succumbed to the leukemia she's had since she was 11; and Logan's ex-boyfriend, Bram, has committed suicide. Autumn's loss is the most recent; Logan's happened months ago, and he thinks he should be over it. The three are also linked by their connections, some closer than others, to Unraveling Lovely, a local indie band that might have made it big if Logan hadn't messed things up. Although there are many characters to keep track of, and it's not always clear who knows whom and how well, 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. Ages 14-up. Agent: Beth Phelan, Bent Agency. (Mar.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal
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Gr 9 Up-Bring out the tissues: this deftly written tale of three teenagers coping with love and loss will pull heartstrings. Logan, Shay, and Autumn are loosely connected by the now-defunct band called Unravelling Lovely. As the band has imploded, so have their lives. In alternating perspectives, this novel presents each character coping with the loss of someone vitally important to their own understanding of who they are in the world. Singer-songwriter Logan struggles with his anger and self-destructive impulses after his ex-boyfriend's apparent suicide. Shay copes with her own fear and heartache after her twin sister, a music blogger, dies of cancer. At the same time, quiet, artistic Autumn has to break out of her shell of silence and self-control to find her way without her colorful best friend. The likelihood of three young people in the same world all coping with the tragic deaths of three different young people in their orbit definitely stretches the imagination. That said, the core characters live and breathe; they are contradictory, messy, and truly believable, making readers willing believe the premise. In her debut, Woodfolk has written a lovely and introspective coming-of-age novel that fully captures the way friendship, music, family, and romance dovetail to create a young person's identity. The self- and life-defining nature of grief and loss captured so well by authors such as John Green is explored here with humor, intelligence, and grace. VERDICT An excellent selection for YA collections.-Sara Scribner, Marshall Fundamental School, Pasadena, CA Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Autumn, Shay, and Logan have something in common: the loss of a loved one. Autumn's best friend, Tavia, has died in a car wreck; Shay's twin sister, Sasha, has died of leukemia; and Logan's erstwhile boyfriend, Bram, has died of an apparent suicide. The three teens are further linked by their love of music, though each reacts to the various deaths in individual, at first unhealthy, ways. Autumn obsesses, Shay has panic attacks, and Logan drinks heavily. Despite these differences, all three have one common coping mechanism: they cry. Boy, do they cry. Gallons of tears are shed in this novel, too many, really, since their quantity tends to mitigate their impact. That quibble aside, 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.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2017 Booklist