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!