BLOG TOUR: The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk - Review + My Musical Journey

Hello Book Humans, and welcome to my stop on the International Blog Tour for Ashley Woodfolk's brilliant debut novel, The Beauty That Remains. A huge thank you to PRH International for putting this tour together, and for inviting me to be a part of it. 

The Beauty That Remains is a beautiful portrayal of how music can heal. It's told through three different teenagers, with numerous secondary characters and I absolutely loved it. 

Since the book focuses on music, apart from my review, I'll also be talking about my musical journey so do read until the end!
Title: The Beauty That Remains
Author: Ashley Woodfolk
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: PRH International (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon US || Barnes and Noble || Wordery || Kobo || Books A Million || Chapters Indigo || Google Books
Blurb Description: 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.
“If someone asked now, “What does love look like?” I’d tell them it was the lies in your eyes.

Books centred on tragedies usually fall in one of three categories for me – either the fall completely flat, or they leave me curled up in under my blanket sobbing my eyes out or they devastate me, and still leave me with hope.

The Beauty That Remains definitely left me in the last category. Ashley Woodfolk’s deep and haunting debut novel reminded me of Adam Silvera’s writing, along with one of my favourite elements in books (that we rarely see) – music – and I fell in love with it.


1.       I love way this book was told. We had three narrators, and some incredibly developed secondary characters, each of whom were experiencing the devastating loss of a friend, ex or sister and it was their journey to reaching some kind of acceptance, through music.
2.       I struggled to keep up with all the characters in the beginning of this book. All of them were equally important from each narrator, to the person they each lost, to their support systems, but THERE WERE TOO MANY PEOPLE thrown at me in the beginning.

3.       Ashley Woodfolk’s writing was spectacular.  It was slow paced, but really dove into the unbearable grief each teenager felt. It was heart-breaking, poignant and I am A HUGE FAN.

4.       The cast was diverse and inclusive and I LOVED IT. Just off the top of my head, we had Asian rep, Hispanic rep and Gay rep and it dealt with depression, coping mechanisms, therapy and panic attacks with such finesse.

5.        I honestly connected with Logan and Bram’s story right from the get go, and I was desperately craving more.

6.       The only reason this book isn’t receiving a five star rating from me was that there was no definitive ending. I understand that you never truly finish grieving, but this book felt unfinished in a way I can’t fully explain.

A spectacularly written book on loss that will make you feel. 4 stars.
Image result for piano photographyI first laid my hands on a grand piano when I was nine years old. I had seen my older sister practicing for years before that, and I was so excited to meet her teacher and play a real piano. It took me four years of grueling practice under that yeacher before she thought I was ready for an actual graded examination - the Trinity College of London Examination. 

Before I move on, I should inform you that I was not a natural at playing the piano. I struggled to find any sort of rhythm, make my fingers move across the keys and jump from one octave to another without staring down at each key and, just in general, understanding the beat of a song. 

It took years of practice before I had an understanding of how putting together music worked, which was when I took up my Grade One Trinity Examination. I went on until Grade Five (there are 8 grades) 

Image result for piano photographyI worked on each piece for months on a row, purely because Trinity prescribed pieces from Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin. It was grueling work, learning part of a piece, playing it again and again until it became muscle memory to you, until a point where you weren't reading the notes of looking at the keys, but listening to the music you were creating and knowing what came next to make the melody.

It's hard to describe what music means to me. It's not something I can't live without, but working on a piece from a famous composer part by part and bringing it to life in a flurry of music in a cold examination room that smells suspiciously of maple syrup and makes you think God, I am HUNGRY, is honestly something I can't believe I did. 

Music, or learning an instrument like the Piano and it helps you understand that there are things more than yourself and your life. It's about re-creating art and melody and putting some life into black marks in a paper. 

Because of my ten years of piano lessons, I LOVE books that have music in them. The Beauty That Remains was a beautiful book on grief and music and I can't recommend it enough!

Ashley Woodfolk
Ashley 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.

Have you ever played a musical instrument? Which one?
What are some of the best books you've read that handle grief?
What are you currently reading? 
I'd absolutely love to hear from you!

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