cover image The Beauty That Remains

The Beauty That Remains

Ashley Woodfolk. Delacorte, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5247-1587-8

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.)