Inside Out Girl Paperback – Aug 11 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Cohen throws every imaginable obstacle at her protagonists in this thoughtful but overly dramatic tale of two single parents turned lovers. Rachel Berman, the divorced publisher of Perfect Parent magazine, is striving to be just that to her two children, rebellious teen Janie and 12-year-old Dustin. Len Bean, a widowed lawyer, meanwhile, tries to manage his daughter Olivia's learning disorder, a condition that causes her to repeatedly talk about rodents and dress inappropriately. When Rachel and Len serendipitously meet, they hit it off. Soon their lives and those of their children become intertwined, much to Janie and Dustin's dismay. As tension builds for the children, a secret from Rachel's past comes to the forefront, and Len receives bad news at the doctor's office. Regret, rejection and worry abound as the plot touches on the standard societal/familial issues (divorce, teenage sexuality, adoption), and Rachel fights to create her own legacy at work. Cohen's language is pleasant and the characters relatable, but the plot is so obvious that the narrative feels like a quirky soap opera. (Aug.)
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?Inside Out Girl had me from the very first page. Each character is richly drawn and the story poignant and tender. Olivia is a memorable character who will stay in my heart for a long, long time.? (Patricia Wood, bestselling author of Orange Prize-shortlisted Lottery)See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Tish Cohen is also one of the founding members of the grog I've mentioned before - The Debutante Ball. She also writes her own blog. I'm off to find a copy of Town House - Cohen's first novel for adults, which has been optioned for a movie.
Len, her father, has been raising Olivia on his own ever since his wife died. It is a very hard life. Then in walks Rachel Berman and her two children, Jamie and Dustin. Jamie and Dustin go to the same school as Olivia and they don't openly tease her - but they wouldn't be caught dead in the same room with her.
As Rachel and Len's relationship becomes deeper, secrets held by all come apparent and empathy comes alive.
I really enjoyed this book. I am a teacher and I like trying to understand many types of learning disorders. My school is dealing with autistic children now more than ever, and since this is one form of autism it is good to understand it.
I feel that young people should read books like this to understand about those "weird" children that attend their schools and realize that they have feelings and can't help what they do. This story also spoke about bullies. Olivia is bullied and doesn't understand why. She isn't mean and wants friends but the other girls are cruel.
INSIDE OUT GIRL is a wonderful story that sends a good message about how we treat others.
Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
Throughout the novel, readers get an intimate glimpse into the thoughts and lives of Rachel, Janie, Len and Olivia. My only criticism is that Rachel's son, Dustin, and her mother, Piper, were always involved in the plot and yet never get the proper attention by the narrative that I would have liked to see. The reader does not get the chance to hear their perspectives on the events that transpire, which could have made for a more complete story.
What I really enjoyed about the book was its fresh approach to childhood disorders. Cohen was always sensitive with her description of non-verbal learning disorder and took care to inform readers, while also showing the difficulties and worries that often arise for affected children and their parents. I was incredibly moved by Cohen's portrayal of Olivia, which I believe effectively conveys her true talents as a writer and a storyteller.
While there were instances when the fine line between heartwarming and cliché was blurred, the characters were still able to evoke genuine emotion out of me. I felt most connected to Olivia and I found myself wishing she was real just so I could give her a big hug! The bullying that she endured really angered me and the touching things she said never failed to elicit a smile or a tear.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I've never laughed and cried so much when reading a novel. Well-written, and very compassionate. Totally worth reading!Published on June 25 2010 by Joanna