Inside Out Girl

Romance - Contemporary
336 Pages
Reviewed on 03/10/2009
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Inside Out Girl is sure to be a favorite with females! Ten-year-old Olivia had NLD, a learning disorder. The children at school call her the “Inside Out Girl” because she insisted on dressing herself and often her clothes are on wrong side out. She was an independent child with a curiosity about rats, and a loving innocent nature. Adoption attorney, Len, loves his daughter and strives to be a good single parent,

Rachel is a single mother to two children. She runs Perfect Parent magazine but rarely feels like the perfect parent. When she and Len form a strong friendship, she must come to terms with past decisions and learn to look to the future.

I cannot say enough about this book. The plot is interesting and held my attention however; it is a bit predictable in places. Tish Cohen proves there is no such thing as a perfect parent. The dynamics of parent child relationship was remarkable. Len wanted to protect Olivia and yet he had little to no control over her (dead rodent). He over compensated for her being motherless and having NLD. Rachel strives for communication and perfection as a mother but fails to hear what her daughter is attempting to tell her. I like these parents the key is they were trying. I particularly like teenager Janie. Her character had great depth. I like Inside Out Girl. Cohen writes with wisdom, wit, and grace. Inside Out Girl is melodramatic and tends toward chick lit.

J. Lindsay Kolari

I loved this book! It is a beautiful story with wonderful characters. I loved Olivia, a quirky and adorable mix of innocence and heart breaking vulnerability. I loved the relationship between Len and his daughter Olivia. A moving story and a great read from cover to cover.

Patry Francis

Len Bean and Rachel Berman are two attractive single parents, doing their best to balance high-powered careers and the needs of their children when they meet in the breakdown lane of the highway. (For once, it's the woman who plays hero, since Len has no idea how to change a tire.) What follows is an old fashioned love story--but not the one I expected. Though I was utterly charmed by Len's devotion to his daughter and Rachel's tendency to apologize for things that aren't her fault, it was the children who stole my heart. Olivia, who loves rodents and her father beyond reason is one of those unforgettable child characters whose triumphs and heartbreaks will sear you forever.

R Miller

Another great novel by Tish Cohen.

Cohen does a masterful job creating wonderfully complex characters. In Inside Out Girl, Cohen tackles a tough, mostly unheard of disorder, and she does so with dignity and respect, while shedding light on what it's like to live with NLD.

As always, Cohen includes her wonderful, quirky humor as she creates a world of complex yet real people and relationships, with real struggles in real life.

J. A. Logsdon

Inside Out Girl is the story of Len and Rachel, two single parents struggling to balance work, parenting as well as managing a trauma that occurs unexpectedly. Soon after they meet, they begin dating and find their lives quickly intertwined as a couple in relation to their children, especially Len's daughter Olivia who has NLD (non-verbal learning disorder). The plot and writing were a trite at times but what I really enjoyed was the characters. They feel authentic and well drawn. I kept reading in large chunks just to find out what happened to these folks. This is what seems to be a light read at first but as it progresses, has much more depth because of the character development and subject matter.

Luanne Ollivier

Rachel is a single mother of two who obsesses over accident reports, parenting tips and ensuring her children are safe.It is out of character for her to pull over and help a man and his daughter change their flat tire. Len is the widowed father of Olivia. Surprising herself further, Rachel agrees to a date with Len. As they continue to date, Rachel's children are horrified to find out that Len's daughter Olivia is the ' Inside Out Girl" who attends their school. Olivia has non verbal learning disorder. Although very bright, she is unable to process facial and voice cues, resulting in socially inappropriate behaviour and anxiety. She often chooses to wear her clothes inside out, thus the name. She is extremely well informed about rats, frequently quoting rat facts in times of stress.

As she falls in love with Len, Rachel is forced to face some issues from her own past. Her children are also going through difficulties that she is unaware of. Could this relationship really work?

Cohen's writing is so real. I found myself furious at the bullying of Olivia, nodding in sympathy with Rachel's angst and applauding the parenting of Len.

Cohen has done a remarkable job with all the characters - they truly come to life - especially Olivia, who will make you laugh, make you cry and cheer for the little girl who can teach us all a thing or two - and not just about rats.

This would be a great read for a book club.

I'm off to find a copy of Town House - Cohen's first novel for adults, which has been optioned for a movie.