Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review: Promiscuous (Issues #1) by Isobel Irons

Promiscuous (Issues, #1)

Series: Issues #1
Genre:  YA Contemporary
Publisher: Vivid Iiink
Publication Date: 4/28/14
Format: ebook
Pages: 260
Source: Author
Rating: 4 stars

GoodReads  |  Amazon  |  B&N

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.)

My Review

I rarely read YA anymore. I'm just into stories I can presently relate to and my kids will be in that age group before I know it and I'd really rather not face it right now. But the YA books I do enjoy tend to be issues stories.  Given this is the Issues series - and the author promised me an interesting journey-  I thought it might be a good fit for me.

 Promiscuous was actually a great fit. It's a very interesting book, almost provocative, in that from the very first sentence, I had to know what Tash would say next. The fourth wall is down, or so it seems, with Tasha speaking directly to the reader. She's a powerful narrator, with a initially shocking voice and story. In fact, I think my heart broke a little right away.

I will say that I know some will find Tash's words crude or rude. But if you give the story a chance, you'll find a girl who's in a world of pain, who's been dismissed by those who should've protected her. Who's been made to feel dirty and cheap. Her words are her armor, as is her attitude. If you can get past that armor, there's a story about a girl who deserves more. And I loved that.

Promiscuous deals with a myriad of heavy issues, such as sexual abuse, neglect, extreme bullying, eating disorders, slut shaming, suicide, rape culture, and probably a few more I haven't recalled. I know there are many who'd turn away from a story like this, and I get it. It's hard. No one likes these issues, but it's important to learn, talk, and share so we can help those in need. I would imagine Promiscuous could help someone who's looking for a voice. Having read it, I certainly feel better, more equipped.

I think Isobel Irons is a powerful writer, with a bold, important voice. Her author's note brought me to tears. She also includes invaluable resources for those looking for help, or to help others. Two secondary characters in Promiscuous have their own stories, and if they're as good as this one, I would consider those to be should-reads as well.

Favorite Quotes
  Some tiny part of me thinks maybe I'm overreacting, maybe it's not that big of a deal. Teenage drama. A harmless prank. Something we'll laugh about later. I have no doubt that's what my mom would say, or Principal Shoemaker.
  "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
  Wrong. What doesn't kill you makes you harder. Angrier. Broken.

  People love labels, and as we mentioned before, they hate the complex messiness of the truth. That's why they'll continue to throw those words around, regardless of how much damage they cause, and believe whatever the hell they want.

The Issues Series

Promiscuous (Issues, #1)  Obsessive (Issues, #2)  Melodramatic (Issues, #3)
(covers lead to GoodReads pages)

Isobel IronsAs 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.

 photo AndreaSig_zps3f75055b.jpg


  1. Can I slut shame Kim Kardashian though? PLEASE?? LOL! Seriously though, this book sounds amazing and horrible all at once. Excellent review

  2. Ah, this totally sounds like something I'd like!

  3. This sounds so good! At first it sounded crass just for the sake of being edgy but I'm glad the author delivers. You know my peeve is not treating issues with the respect they deserve so I'll definitely be adding this one to the TBR pile.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  4. While this doesn't sound like a story I'd love (I tend to avoid YA issue books, mostly because I work with teens all day and we have more than enough issues to handle, thankyouverymuch), I'm impressed and pleased that this book exists and that it's good enough to garner four stars from you. So, despite my reservations, I might have to check it out!

  5. I like reading issue books too and it sounds like all the issues are well-handled in this book. I need to give it a shot. Thanks for sharing, Andrea!

  6. I rarely read YA anymore either, Andrea, but this does sound like an emotionally powerful story. Glad it worked out for you! :)

  7. I'm so happy that you're enjoying YA still :) I never got into NA or adult so YA is still doing it for me but here are some NA and adult books that did it for me, so this is just vice versa. I really like Tash here and I'd love to meet that girl. Great review, Andrea :)

  8. The bold voice and dealing with a myriad of issues that teens face is certainly right up my alley

  9. I like issue books when they are raw and honest and done right. This one is new to me.

  10. I totally get why you don't read YA anymore, but it's fun to return to something you haven't tried in a while, isn't it? ;) I'm glad Tash really grabbed your attention right from the start. I feel for her already. It's great that this one concentrated on so many issues that need to be talked about. I hope you enjoy the companions if you ever decide to pick them up :)

  11. Aw yay glad it worked out for you :) Always nice when that happens. I'm not too much into YA. I've gotten better with NA and every once in a while will hit a YA.

  12. This one sounds good and it's the first I've heard about it. I am not reading as much YA as I used to, but I do still enjoy them. Great review.

  13. I always appreciate a book that touches on issues that others try to pretend don't exist. This sounds good. Great review!

  14. I haven't been reading as much YA either. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

  15. Wow, Andrea. I'm definitely intrigued. And since I have 2 teens and 1 tween, I think I'll pick up this one. Thanks for sharing it.


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