Summary: Natasha “Tash” Bohner just turned eighteen. Theoretically, that should mean escaping from trailer park purgatory—and her less than stellar relationship with her widowed mother—and running away to Los Angeles with her anorexic best friend, Margot. But as we all know, life is known for taking some very shitty, unexpected turns. Already the scourge of the Guthrie High gossip mill, Tash’s undesirable reputation explodes into infamy when she assaults the captain of the wrestling team. (Despite the fact that he deserved it,) the principal tells her that she’s on her last strike.
Again, see: above. Re: shit happens. When Margot’s will to live is finally severed by the leader of the Guthrie Bitch Squad, Tash vows to get revenge on the most popular girl in school—no matter what it takes. Because of a promise she made to her favorite teacher (to not get expelled), Tash is forced to get creative. She realizes she’s going to have to beat the popularity-obsessed Becca Foster at her own game, by running against her for prom queen. And winning.
In order to succeed, Tash will have to do the unthinkable: she’ll have to join student government, pretend to be well-adjusted, and actually try in school. Also, she’ll have to quit swearing so goddamn much.
It’s like a fucking Cinderella story up in here. Only, it’s high school. So there aren’t any happy endings. (Just beginnings.)
What Rhea thought: This is a direct letter to Miss Isobel Irons,
When I was about 20 pages into Promiscuous, I was debating whether to read the rest of the book. Because I knew what you were getting at. Making me see what I’ve seen everyday-just in a different light. I’ve seen girls my age starve themselves, eat tissue paper for survival, barf in the period after lunch. I’ve seen girls my age being treated like trash-they’ve been talked about behind their backs, they’ve been humiliated publicly, they’ve been called the worse names possible. I’ve seen my own share of Natashas’ and Margots’.
And yet, what have I done to reach out to them?
Few books have the ability to drop the “f” bomb as many times as your book did and actually appeal to me. I honestly don’t know what to do – thank you for pointing out what I’ve been doing wrong in high school? Or should I curse you for the very same reason.
Your book was not an easy read. You’ve dealt with issues like rape, child abuse, suicide, bullying. They made me uncomfortable, they made me squirm. But most importantly, they made me feel. And was that what you were aiming for, Miss Irons? Bulls-eye!
With this book, Miss Irons, you’ve changed my opinion about a lot of things irrevocably. You’ve taken my comfortable and “ignorance is bliss” policy led life and thrown it right into the ocean. Are you happy now?
Would it make me a sicko if I said that I didn’t want this book to end? It probably would, huh? It’s true though. Although everything that happened with Tash broke my heart every time, I still had this almost masochistic need to see what else life throws at her. To have my heart broken. And then have my faith restored when Tash overcame it.
I wish I could say that your book made me laugh. Not once, not one time. Every time Tash made a jab at herself and attempted to laugh it off, it just cut me deeper. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Even though I am absolutely furious at you, Miss Irons, for making me feel guilty for almost my entire high school life in 243 pages, I wanna thank you for the same damn reason.
About the author:
As you might have already guessed, Isobel Irons is a pen name.
In real life, I am (among many things) an indie film director and TV producer with a deep–some might even say obsessive–appreciation for onscreen storytelling and a lifelong book habit that I just can’t seem to kick.
In film, there’s nothing I like better than a JJ Abrams “show, not tell” character reveal, or a Joss Whedon banter session. Or an Erik Kripke-level “bromance.” And of course, I’m a die-hard fan of the will they / won’t they trope, where the fans start shipping two characters agonizingly long before they share their first kiss.
In my novels, I use my visual storytelling skills to show the reader an entire menagerie of hidden worlds. When it comes to imagination, there is no production value and no budget. But if there was, I would spend it all and then some. To me, my characters are real people, who just happen to live in my mind. Before I write, I scout locations to set the scene, I hold exhaustive casting sessions to find the perfect quirks that will ignite the maximum amount of conflict. Then, I throw in some tricky, but believable situations that allow my characters to expose themselves–sometimes in a figurative, emotional sense, other times quite literally. Rawr.