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Guest Post: Meet Brynn Stark

Hello darlings! I’m Valentina Kokinos, and this is my blog, reporting to you all on Birchwood High School’s finest folks and hottest gossip. Today I have someone with me who I’m sure you’ll all just love to hear from. She’s a very special guest. She’s almost at the top of the class--the actual best grades belong to Adam Hernandez, who just so happens to be my boyfriend. She works at Scoopy Doo, our neighborhood ice cream shop. She’s also Birchwood’s own enigma. Who knows what’s going through her head? Who can read the truth behind her grumpy expression? Friends, meet Brynn Stark.

Val: Welcome to my blog, Brynn.

Brynn: You’re already making me regret agreeing to do this, Val.

V: No backsies! Besides, everyone wants to learn all about you and I won’t let you get in the way of my inevitable stardom. So… tell me about your parents.

B: We’re not doing that.

V: But they’re divorce is the latest buzz in town.

B: Your head will be buzzing if you don’t change the subject.

V: Fine. What is your favorite school subject?

B: Better. Thank you.

V: Don’t thank me.

B: English is my favorite. I love to read and I love thinking about what the authors were thinking when they wrote something. I make an order from the bookstore every month to catch up on things I’ve been wanting to read, and I’m running out of shelf space.

V: Your best friend is Nina Lopez. How did you two meet?

B: We’ve known each other all our lives. I can’t really remember a time I didn’t know Nina.

V: What’s your oldest memory of her?

B: You just want me to tell the change story.

V: Tell the change story! It’s so funny.

B: It’s only funny because it makes me look stupid. *sigh* Okay, here goes. My mom used to watch the kids in the neighborhood who didn’t have stay at home moms or family who could watch them that lived nearby. So one day Nina is there with me, but she’s sleeping on a blanket in front of the TV. Mom was on the phone and asked me for her wallet out of her purse. I plucked the wallet from her purse upside down, and the change purse part just exploded. *fights back laughter* Nina jumps up from where she was sleeping, and she’s got quarters over her eyes. She looked like a freaking cartoon. I don’t think either of us have ever laughed that hard since.

V: This is why I love you guys so much.

B: We’re a brilliant comedy team.

V: Even better now that you have a third!

B:, what else do you have for me?

V: Why did you decide to work at Scoopy Doo?

B: They had a help wanted sign up when I was looking for a job?

V: Now you’re just being a pain on purpose and you know it.

B: My family used to go there together every Friday, whenever my dad wasn’t on a business trip. It was a happy place for me. So, when I decided I wanted to change my look and my mom wouldn’t agree to give me the money to get my hair cut short and dyed black, I decided I needed a job. It was the first place I tried.

V: And why did you want to cut your hair?

B: Val!

V: What?! You’re always complaining about people bugging you. Now you’re setting the record straight, publicly.

B: You’re assuming anyone is going to read this.

V: Why must you always kill my dreams?

B: That’s the kind of girl I am.


B: ...Fine! I wanted my outside to match the girl I was on the inside. And the long hair and frills and bows and bright colors just wasn’t it.

V: That’s more like it. We’re digging deep here. And while we’re at it...what are you looking for in a relationship?

B: Val, no!

V: Val, yeeeeesssss. Tell me.

B: *deep sigh* Well...I’m not looking for a relationship, no matter what Val tells you.

V: So she says.

B: *talking over me-RUDE* BUT IF I WAS, I’d be looking for someone I could be friends with. You know, someone smart, who can make me laugh. Someone a bit cheesy, so he doesn’t take himself too seriously. But, polite. Cute, you know? But not some overdone jock...


B: Do you have everything you need?

V: ...Yeah. I think I know you better already … And the rest of the school will too!

That’s all for this blog post! Maybe next time I’ll interview someone who actually wants to be interviewed. Thanks for joining me!

You can now find Brynn and Valentina up on Netgalley for request!

Author Justine Manzano would also like to invite all readers to come join her for a free launch event hosted online via Eventbrite on June 18th 2021 from 7 pm to 9 pm EDT. Click the link to register.

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