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Ashley Woodfolk Books In Order

Publication Order of Flyy Girls Books

Lux (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Micah (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Noelle (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Beauty That Remains (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
When You Were Everything (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Ashley Woodfolk is an American bestselling author of contemporary young adult fiction from Brooklyn New York. She made her name with the publishing of her debut novel “The Beauty That Remains” in 2018. The novel went on to become a critically acclaimed and bestselling title. Woodfolk has a bachelor’s in English from Rutgers University and asserts that she has always had a lifelong love for books which is what led her into writing and publishing. She is currently employed in the marketing department of the CBC Diversity Committee where she promotes teen and children’s books. As such Ashley usually writes her novels in the evenings and weekends. When she is not writing she loves to grab some burgers that she enjoys with a beer, a book, or Indie movies. She currently lives with her husband in Brooklyn, New York.

Woodfolk got interested in writing in middle school when she got into angsty poetry shorty after a scoliosis diagnosis. Her poetry was an endless loop of girls she wanted to be, loved or hated given that at the time she felt that nobody understood her. It was a difficult time since she had this bizarre diagnosis, was changing schools and figuring out how to be a good friend let alone make friends. A few years later, she wrote a poem on how to navigate issues of love as a teenager, a changing body and the turbulent years of high school that she titled “Turbulence.” She penned a few stories during this time mostly about black girls being kissed, kissing or falling in love, which is something she desperately wanted. She also read a lot in college and in high school as books were her substitute for friendships. It was not until she was done with school that she started taking writing seriously. Since she had turbulent years as a teen she gravitated towards contemporary young adult novels. Ashley believed that through her novels she could try to undo much of the pain she had experienced. She realized that it was the novels that she read while penning the angsty poems that had made her feel like she was not all alone. Some of the novels she read such as Deenie and everything by Sarah Dessen brought back memories of what it felt like to be her during the worst period of her life. Woodfolk felt that it was important to pass on the same feeling to other kids that were going through the same pain. Once she made the connection with the first kid that loved her writing, she was hooked.

As an older teenager, some of the first books that Ashley Woodfolk read were the works of Sarah Dessen. She loved the novels but always wished that they had some black characters even though she saw herself in the white girls in the novels. The novels did speak to her since they were very contemporary in how they dealt with the real issues facing young adults. However, they stirred something in her and she decided that she was going to write novels with a black character as the lead. As an adult, she loves the works of Nicola Yoon that she met at a writing retreat she had organized. The two ended up becoming great friends once they shared their life stories and compared notes on their novels. She is also inspired by the novels of Nic Stone particularly for their exploration of themes of friendship and sexuality. These authors are a big inspiration as she feels that their novels would have made a huge difference had she read them as a teen.

Ashley Woodfolk’s first novel “The Beauty That Remains” was a novel that says was inspired by fear. She had recently moved 3000 miles away and was afraid of losing her boyfriend which led to frequent panic attacks. To deal with her fear, her therapist suggested that she write about it as she had seen many people get a handle on their anxiety using the same approach. As such, she started writing about a girl that had lost everything. She soon came to the realization that by putting her fear on paper she was not only curing her anxiety in the present but also her fears of impending loss. It was also helping her to move towards healing with regard to what she had lost in the past. Writing also helped resolve all the pain and emotion she had from past experiences of loss. From that point, Ashley knew that just like it had helped it would be of use to someone else and hence she decided to make it a novel. Since she has a day job most of the writing was done in the mornings and evenings and when she got a few days off from work. Still, she feels that her never give up attitude and her need to help other people were what made her into the novelist she is today.

“The Beauty That Remains” by Ashley Woodfolk is a novel that tells the stories of three characters Autumn, Logan, and Shay. Autumn is a Korean-American teenager that was adopted by American parents as a child. She is always sending letters to her best friend Octavia telling her what is going on in her life and how much she misses her. The only problem is that her best friend is dead and this is the only way Autumn knows to cope with the loss. The next character Shay once had a twin sister named Sasha that died from leukemia leaving her devastated. She now finds it hard to separate who she is from her twin who is reflected in her mirror every day. Just like Autumn, she feels that she is misunderstood and finds solace in kissing Jerome at concerts and running though she often feels like her life is empty. Thirdly we have Logan is a sparky and peppy musician who is robbed of the spark when his ex-boyfriend committed suicide. He is now a faded, alcoholic teenager dealing with depression unexpressed feelings, regrets, unanswered questions and anger. He never got a chance to make things right with his ex whom he had once told in anger “I hope you die alone.” Everything in his life now seems to be unraveling including his band and his school work. While they have separate struggles, they come together when their stories begin to overlap. They do come together directly by interest and romance with the unifying element being the love for music that each character has.

“When You Were Everything” is the tale of Layla and Cleo, whose friendship ended nearly a month ago. Cleo wants to erase all the bad and good memories she had with her ex-best friend but soon learns that it is not that easy. Moreover, she is now her tutor and despite making new friendships with others in her class and a crush on Dom a gorgeous boy, their turbulent past will not let them forget each other that easily. The novel alternates between the present and the past as it tells an emotional story of new beginnings, the beauty of forgiveness and the courage that it takes for people to forgive and forget. It also takes a look into the trials and complications that may result when one grows apart from someone with whom they had forged deep bonds of love. Ashley makes a case for how both girls were inherently flawed and how they were both responsible for their inevitable breakup.

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