Grew up… next door to the Iqbals. Because of their proximity and their parents' closeness, Irie and the Iqbal twins (boys Magid and Millat) spent their childhood together, running the streets ragged with their antics.
Living… mixed-race in white London. Instead of getting her mother's slim figure, Irie instead got her grandmother's "substantial Jamaican frame" – "big butt, big hips, big thighs, big teeth." It's an appearance that causes her no small amount of grief, especially as Irie enters adolescence.
Profession… high school student, though she hardly takes it seriously. It's not like Irie isn't smart, but she has little motivation and far too much belligerence for school. As Irie's neighbors describe it, she's managed to "swallo[w] an encyclopedia and a gutter at the same time."
Interests… skipping school, marijuana, and general teenage rebellion. Though with parents as solidly boring as Archie Jones, it's hard to blame Irie for wanting a little excitement.
Relationship Status… single, but not for lack of trying. Ever since puberty hit, Irie's been head-over-heels in love with the Iqbal twins. But with Magid abroad, it's bad boy Millat she's been fixating on. Irie's feelings toward him can be summed by the following diary entry: "Millat just walked in. He's sooo gorgeous, but ultimately irritating!"
Challenge… finding a place for herself. Mixed-race, working-class, and curvy, Irie doesn't exactly fit in at school – or anywhere, really. It's this desire for acceptance that draws her to classmate Joshua Chalfen's family, whose innate "Englishness" she covets. But unlike the flu, Englishness doesn't seem to be exactly transmittable, and Irie may have to eventually accept herself for who she is, curves and all.
Personality… outspoken and feisty, but insecure. Unafraid of getting high during class or dropping f-bombs in front of her parents, Irie awes her classmates as a tough, fiery rebel. But beneath all her bluster, Irie is just another teenager, looking for identity, acceptance, and yes, true love.
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