What Next? Wednesday: Ashley Dotson Edition

i&p what next Wednesday

Welcome to week three of What Next? Wednesday! You can participate in these ways:

  1. Write about what book you would have chosen to read next on your blog, using the FIRST I READ book chosen by that week’s honored person, and put a link in the comments section (or post a short comment if you do not have a blog);
  2. Follow the guest via at least one of the social media links;
  3. Follow Ink and Page via at least one of the social media buttons at the top left corner of the blog and/or via the Bloglovin’ button on the right;
  4. Tweet about the meme (a link would be great!);
  5. Ask to be the subject of a future What Next? Wednesday by completing this form.

Please welcome author Ashley Dotson.

I love books of all kinds. I read children’s books with my own children and even high school English students. I love to read paranormal literature such as The Portrait of Dorian Grey all the way up to the current YA trends like Mara Dyer, Shadow and Bone, and Ava Lavender. I dabble a little in the contemporary YA and NA novels, just so I can keep current in what my students are reading, but my heart lies in the paranormal world. I have finished two paranormal YA fiction novels of my own and am working on a third (a stand alone that should be released soon).

Here are Ashley’s picks:

FIRST I READ THIS:

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I spent the summer designing lessons for my English III class, and The Picture of Dorian Gray was one I wanted them to read. Oscar Wilde was a scandalous author who lived in a place and time that did not appreciate his genious or his flamboyance. But his plays and novels were had a unique way of revealing the scary truth about human nature in a way that people did not openly take offense to. Dorian Gray was a beautiful innocent man to begin with, who follows his friends into a life of sin and vanity. As his decisions spiral downward, he notices a portrait at his home becomes affected; it ages and grows uglier. He loses love and falls into a hedonistic world where he finds no comfort or happiness. He is haunted by the ever-aging protrait, that now hidden, reminds him of all that he once had. 

This book has always been one of my favorites from college. In a dark and twisted way, it is a great reminder that everyone has the gift of innocence as well as the potential for evil. The underlying message for me has always been, it is not what we look like or what we have, but what we do with the life that is given to us; that is what makes us truly beautiful.

SO THEN I READ THIS:

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

About a strange and maybe/maybe not cursed immigrant family that settles in America. The book takes you through a side story of three generations of Ava’s family before we actually get to meet this girl. Each character is vastly different and is important in painting the family portrait. The author is able to bring all the characters back when Ava finds herself in trouble and needing their help. Ava is their redemption. Ava’s resentful family and strange curse seems to be the doings of the individuals and less of the magical. She is the innocence and life they all needed in ther own lives.

As I read this book it reminded me of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I wasn’t the only one. I found this book as a new release after one of my Twitter friends blogged about it. She compared the two, and while it colored my experience, it kept me going since the beginning is so wrought with description and the family’s back-story. But now that I have finished both novels, I see that these two books are not similar, they are actually completely opposite, both in theme and story line. Ava Lavender’s story is one of redemption, forgiveness, and love; not so much romance, but more how love can heal when we let it. I LOVED it in every way. Walton’s writing was beautiful and mature and made this YA noevl stand out in a sea of romantic dystopia. I have grown a little tired of so many series novels and wanted to read a stand alone. So I took the advice of my Twitter friend and pre-ordered a copy. Thankfully, this has been one of the best novels I have read in a long, long, long time.

Ashley’s Social Media Links:
Website/Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Instagram

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