Flattered and excited to be listed alongside these great books thanks to Twenty Something Bloggers! A new discovery for me, 20SB is devoted to helping twenty-somethings navigate this messy, fun age bracket together. I look forward to adding this site to my daily reading routine.
More times than not, you’re reading self is going on a hell of a lot more adventures than your physical self, at least mine is. My adventures of choice usually include fantastical worlds, and severely improbable magical abilities. But sometimes, just sometimes, I like to experience things that are more likely to happen in my own life, or have very WELL happened in my own life. Like drunken nights with friends, and embarrassing crushes on boys, and a general disarray of fun and good company.
Siding With Plato was that type of experience, it was an easy, feel good type of read. Filled with cliches, yes, but it was the quirky dialogue, and sharp-tongued characters, that won me over.
Brooke was your typical college freshman, right along with the three girls she meets, and instantly bonds with, very early on in the book. No time is wasted, as the story line is quickly filled with party scene after party scene, and next day hangovers at breakfast.
Then of course, there was THE GUY. You know the one. The jock, the one that couldn’t be anything but a heartbreaker, a tease, a cocky, self-centered bastard. Brooke resists his charms for as long as she can, and it was in this play of cat and mouse that I really enjoyed her character. I did not expect some of the lines she lashes out with, and I found myself literally laughing out loud at almost every scene with her dialogue.
I appreciated the fact that Michelle Manning didn’t cast her characters in these ‘innocent,’ doe-eyed roles. They were spunky, and refreshingly shameless. They spoke their minds, and acted on impulses, and were never maliciously belittled by their peers, or themselves, for doing it. There is a definite need for these types of open-minded environments in fiction.
I hope to see this author break out big in the writing scene, and I look forward to reading more of her work.
Recommended for Fans of: Contemporary, Romance, ‘Chick-Lit’, Comedy, New Adult, Sophie Kinsella.
Q&A with the author
Which part of SIDING WITH PLATO was your absolute favorite part to write?
There were so many I had fun with, it’s hard to pick! Brooke’s internal dialog around James, or when something embarrassing happened, regularly made me crack up while trying to type, but I think any adventure or conversation between the girls was the most fun. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be their morning recaps.
My favorite character was definitely Brooke, she was hilariously spunky and clumsy. Who did you enjoy writing the most?
Brooke and I related the most easily since we share a certain sarcasm, stubborn streak and yes clumsiness, but Darci was a blast. She says the first thing that comes to mind with no filter or shame and I wish I could live like that…sometimes.
The characters in your book are constantly finding themselves in some outrageous situations. Can you tell us about a particularly exciting moment from your own college life?
Oh some of those outrageous stories I’m both happy and ashamed to say weren’t all that fiction. When one of my friends got to the part about the country concert, she sent a photo of us cluelessly setting up a tent right before a storm came in. We were constantly getting ourselves in over our heads, and if you’re with good people, you’ll always come out laughing with some interesting new stories.
You mentioned in your bio that your real life friends inspired the characters in your book, what did they think of it after they read it?
I think they liked reading it because it was like we were back in college for a few hours. I snuck little things in there for each person, so if they caught it they could have their own private laugh, or know I remembered and appreciated something. I loved getting the phone calls or texts if they caught one, but more than that, I just wanted to let them know how much I valued them. Good girlfriends are a real treasure, and we’re spread all over the country now, but reading this, I hope they all felt like we were all right back there sitting around on the dorm room floor.
I would love to read more of your writing, I especially love your quirky dialogue. What can we expect next from you?
Thank you! The next book will be the same four girls, fast-forwarded to starting their careers and it will be from Stella’s perspective!
That statement paired with an exclamation point usually means Christmas but strangely enough I’m talking about school almost being back in session. The first day of school in elementary school is a drag. In JR High it’s a nightmare. In high school it’s dependent upon your social ranking. But in college is a thrill!
The self-made schedule that lets you sleep in, the readily available group of friends at every turn, and a whole new crop of people to meet with every new class. Of course if you’re an early-rising shut in with social anxiety you’re probably not looking forward to summer’s end… and online college is the place for you!
On Brooke Aarons’s first day at the University of Texas, she shows up to her dorm knowing nobody. Three of the people she meets in that day turn out to be her best friends as they spend the next year tangled in a mess of college parties, romances gone wrong, and a whole lot of laughter. This book may be fiction but I’ll weigh in that I met my best friends on my first day at college and am pretty jealous of all the future freshman right now!
How do you know you’re a good friend? When you’ll wake up at 5 AM to take a gal pal to the airport for an international crack-of-dawn flight. My Twitter may tell you I’m a self-proclaimed “early bird” but I’m pretty sure I was talking about 8 AM on … Alright, side note I actually do like getting up really early but I thought complaining would help make my point – that I’m a good friend … And I thought I was upholding my half of the friendship much better than my counter part thanks to the early morning LAX run- until she sent me this photo.
After finishing Siding with Plato on her way to Thailand (a quick read plus a long flight equals done in a day), she checked into the hotel Konchasri Thani in Chiang Mai. At the end of her stay there, she visited the Sharing Library in the hotel and left the book for future guests to read. She may have won this round but she has an embarrassingly public thank you coming her way!