TITLE: The Beauty that Remains

AUTHOR: Ashley Woodfolk

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5)

PAGES: 352

PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press


GENRE(S): Contemporary, LGBTQ+

Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death wants to tear them apart.

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 always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger 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.


This is going to be one of those reviews where I talk about a number of things I liked, but also a number of things I didn’t like. Because of this, I feel like this is another book I’m just conflicted about.

I really hoped to like this book. The synopsis is intriguing. I don’t typically read books that revolve around grief. But, I like that each of these characters link to each other because of music. Becky Albertalli also blurbed it, which ensured great promise for me.

I love music, it’s been a great part of my life between piano and choir throughout school. Because of this, I love that music is a huge part of this book. Each character has a specific link to music and it’s enjoyable to see how they each relate to it.

This novel has a good pace and it’s storyline is enjoyable. At times it is a bit slow but I think it’s because of the characters, and not because of the actual storyline.

While I enjoy reading different perspectives, I just could not connect with these characters. My favourite character is Autumn and I actually did enjoy reading about her story. I looked forward to hearing about her experiences and I definitely felt invested. While Shay and Logan are interesting characters, they just didn’t draw me in.

However, the most wonderful aspect about these characters is how incredibly diverse they are. It clearly plays a major role in the development of these characters and I do believe we need more diversity in young adult novels.

My other main issue about this book is the use of profanities – and this is truly a minor issue. Now, I’m not someone who truly cares about the use of swearing, especially in books. Sometimes it’s necessary for a certain emotion, and I’m good with it. But the use of profanities in this book is excessive and completely unnecessary. It completely turned me off of reading on at certain points, and it often felt forced. I just think overall, the use of profanities in this novel were completely gratuitous.

Overall, it’s a solid debut novel, but not entirely for me. While the plot is interesting, it just fell flat.

I can't stand on my own in a world where you don't exist.

Favourite Quote

About The Author

Ashley Woodfolk Author Photo - The Contented ReaderAshley Woodfolk graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English and her life-long love of books led her straight to the publishing industry. She’s a member of the CBC Diversity Committee and markets books for children and teens. In her abundance of “spare” time, she writes contemporary YA. Indie movies, beer, books, and burgers are a few of her favorite things. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and pit bull puppy, Winnie. The Beauty that Remains is her debut novel.

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Do you like books that deal with grief? Do you agree with need more diverse characters and books within the young adult genre?

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The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk - The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Avid reader and tea drinker. I read and review young adult books on my blog, The Contented Reader!


  • andywinder says:

    This sounds like a really complicated book–it’s good to see a more critical review on this one because I’ve been looking forward to its publication. This gave me a more balanced perspective of it. Overall, would you recommend this one?

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my review! Overall, I would recommend others to check it out. It was a really intriguing story to me and I wanted to love it, I just felt it wasn’t for me. But Woodfolk is a strong writer and I think it definitely has the potential to be good book for someone else! If you end up reading it, let me know your thoughts!

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