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The Beauty That Remains
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The Beauty That Remains
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Told from three diverse points of view, this story of life and love after loss is one Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, believes "will stay with you long after you put it down." We've lost...
Told from three diverse points of view, this story of life and love after loss is one Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, believes "will stay with you long after you put it down." We've lost...
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  • Told from three diverse points of view, this story of life and love after loss is one Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, believes "will stay with you long after you put it down."
    We've lost everything...and found ourselves.
    Loss pulled Autumn, Shay, and Logan apart. Will music bring them back together?
    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. 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.
    "Woodfolk's debut cuts deeply and then wipes your tears away. Wrenching, heartfelt, and vividly human." —Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
    "Haunting, heart-wrenching, and powerful...a tearjerker must-read for teens!" —Dhonielle Clayton, author of the Belles series and coauthor of the Tiny Pretty Things series
    "This books hurts so good. With three distinct narrators and lyrical prose, Ashley Woodfolk stakes her claim as a fresh new voice to follow in the world of young adult literature."—Julie Murphy, author of Ramona Blue and Dumplin'

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    1

    Jan. 14, 10:48 a.m.

    I just saw you yesterday.

    There's no way this is real. It can't be.

    I keep waiting for you to call.

    Tavia may not be on Hangouts right now. She'll see your messages later.

    From: HeCalledItAutumn@gmail.com

    To: TaviaViolet@gmail.com

    Sent: Jan. 16, 5:17 p.m.

    Subject:

    I stared at my phone through most of your funeral.

    I could have said goodbye to you in my room with some vanilla-scented candles, a few of your favorite songs, violets, and a can of orange soda. But instead we had to do this public ritual where we all stood around, watching each other cry. When I woke up, I already knew today would be the worst day of my life.

    When we get to the church, your brother walks straight to the front and kisses the top of the casket, but I can't go up there. So I just head to the second row of pews and sit down at the very end. I look at my phone, at the infinite stream of pictures of you, and I try not to look anywhere else. For the first time ever, I feel grateful for how many selfies you took, and I feel bad that I always teased you about being conceited. If I didn't have hundreds of digital squares with you in them, I'm not sure how I'd remember to breathe. After a while, when I do look up, I use different squares—ones of tinted sunshine spilling through the stained-glass windows—to mark time as they move across the room.

    I'm sitting with your family. Your mom is squeezing rosary beads in her hand, weeping in a way that doesn't make any noise. Your dad's staring straight ahead, but not really looking at anything. Dante sits down beside me after he kisses your casket, and I can feel that he's crying by the way his shoulder moves against mine.

    Part of me wants to shift away from him, but I'm frozen.

    My family's sitting a few rows behind me. My mother's dress is impeccable, but her blue eyes are sad, and my dad has had his head bent the whole time, like a world without you is one he doesn't want to see. Between their blond heads is Willow's angled black bob, and you'd love this haircut on her if you were here. Sometime between winter break ending and yesterday, she bleached the bluntly cut ends and dyed them hot pink. She looks like a K-Pop star despite her puffy, red eyes. When she flew in from college yesterday, she crawled into bed with me the minute she got home and rubbed small circles on my back.

    Willow sees me looking at her, so she squeezes out of their pew and comes up to mine. You know I don't really look like my sister, even on a good day. But with her hair the way it is now—so full and sharp and pink (and mine the way that it always is: too long and fine and flat)—we could be strangers. I look like the "before" scene in the Korean dramas we watched together, where the girls miraculously turn pretty.

    But when Willow reaches me, she touches my flat black hair, like it's silk. She holds my hand, as if it's made of glass, and looks at me a little too closely. I squeeze her fingers before letting them go to look back down at my phone, and she steps back and stays quiet. She doesn't try to make me talk, which is a miracle, because I thought she was going to be pushy—you know how my sister can get. But she was perfect. People forget how much silence can help at times like these.

    No one in my family has said anything, but I can tell how they feel by the way my sister reaches for my hand. The way my mother stares at me. How differently my dad says my...

About the Author-

  • ASHLEY WOODFOLK, graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and now lives in Brooklyn. She currently works in children and teens' book marketing at Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS is her debut novel. She can be found on Twitter @AshWrites

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 18, 2017
    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.

  • AudioFile Magazine Three teens grieve over the untimely deaths of those who matter to them, and three narrators give strong portrayals of each. Together they present a poignant picture of healing. Jackie Chung portrays Autumn, whose best friend, Tavia, has died in a car wreck. Chung's soft tones are a good fit for the Asian-American adoptee who is obsessed with how she might have prevented Tavia's death. Alisha Wainwright portrays Shay, whose vibrant twin, Sasha, has died of leukemia. Wainwright captures the overwhelming emotions of sorrow and emptiness that bring on Shay's panic attacks. Michael Crouch portrays Logan, whose first boyfriend, Bram, has apparently committed suicide. Crouch expresses Logan's plummet into anger and alcohol and his determination to resolve the ambiguity of Bram's death. S.W. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine

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