Inside Out Girl: A Novel

( 12 )

Overview

Rachel Berman wants everything to be perfect. An overprotective single mother of two, she is acutely aware of the statistical dangers lurking around every corner—which makes her snap decision to aid a stranded motorist wholly uncharacteristic. Len Bean is stuck on the shoulder with Olivia, his relentlessly curious, learning disabled ten-year-old daughter. To the chagrin of Rachel's children, who are about to be linked to the most-mocked girl in school, Rachel and Len begin dating. And when Len receives terrible ...

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Inside Out Girl

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Overview

Rachel Berman wants everything to be perfect. An overprotective single mother of two, she is acutely aware of the statistical dangers lurking around every corner—which makes her snap decision to aid a stranded motorist wholly uncharacteristic. Len Bean is stuck on the shoulder with Olivia, his relentlessly curious, learning disabled ten-year-old daughter. To the chagrin of Rachel's children, who are about to be linked to the most-mocked girl in school, Rachel and Len begin dating. And when Len receives terrible news, little Olivia needs a hero more than ever.

But the world refuses to be predictable. When personal crisis profoundly alters Rachel's relationship with a wild, very special little girl, this perfectionist mother finds herself drawn into a mystery from her past and toward a new appreciation for her own children's imperfect lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Review
“Rich in character and heart.” — Marti Leimbach, author of DANIEL ISN’T TALKING“Brimming with heart, spirit, and most of all, hope.” — Michelle Richmond, author of THE YEAR OF FOG“Each character is richly drawn and the story poignant and tender.” — Patricia Wood, author of LOTTERY
Michael Palmer
“Inside Out Girl is a wise, witty gem, populated with characters who will live with each of us long after the last page has been turned. Olivia Bean has taken her place alongside my favorite literary heroes.”
Michelle Richmond
“INSIDE OUT GIRL is brimming with heart, spirit, and most of all, hope. Tish Cohen has written a life-affirming novel about the families we choose, those that are chosen for us, and the possibility of second chances.”
Marti Leimbach
“A spirited, fast-paced novel, INSIDE OUT GIRL is rich in character and heart.”
Patricia Wood
“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.”
John Elder Robison
“In Inside Out Girl, we meet Olivia, a ten-year-old with ‘neurological differences.’ Compassionate, sweet, and even heroic - you’ll be glad you met her.”
Review
"Rich in character and heart." — Marti Leimbach, author of DANIEL ISN’T TALKING"Brimming with heart, spirit, and most of all, hope." — Michelle Richmond, author of THE YEAR OF FOG"Each character is richly drawn and the story poignant and tender." — Patricia Wood, author of LOTTERY
Marti Leimbach
"A spirited, fast-paced novel, INSIDE OUT GIRL is rich in character and heart."
Patricia Wood
"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."
Michelle Richmond
"INSIDE OUT GIRL is brimming with heart, spirit, and most of all, hope. Tish Cohen has written a life-affirming novel about the families we choose, those that are chosen for us, and the possibility of second chances."
Michael Palmer
"Inside Out Girl is a wise, witty gem, populated with characters who will live with each of us long after the last page has been turned. Olivia Bean has taken her place alongside my favorite literary heroes."
John Elder Robison
"In Inside Out Girl, we meet Olivia, a ten-year-old with ‘neurological differences.’ Compassionate, sweet, and even heroic - you’ll be glad you met her."
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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School Library Journal

Adult/High School

This compelling, insightful story is surprisingly lighthearted in spite of several heavy themes. Rachel Berman is raising her 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son by herself, after a divorce. She's also working hard to keep her father's magazine, Perfect Parent , financially afloat. Len Bean, an attorney, is raising his 10-year-old special-needs daughter alone; his wife was killed in a traffic accident when their daughter was five. The three children attend the same school, where Olivia Bean is known as "Inside Out Girl" because of her strange dress and overreadiness to hug, not to mention her love of data about rats. Soon after Rachel and Len meet, and then begin dating, Len discovers that he has a fatal brain tumor; finding a home for Olivia after his eventual death coincides with Rachel's longing to know what became of the daughter she bore as a teen and surrendered for adoption. Meanwhile, Rachel's daughter is struggling with her passionate crush on the girl next door. Characters are complete, credible, and engaging. Olivia and her nonverbal learning disorder are presented cogently and without stereotyping either her personality or the responses that she draws from kids and adults. This is a romance novel worthy of readers' time.-Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061452956
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/12/2008
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

TISH COHEN is the author of both YA and adult novels, including The Truth About Delilah Blue, Inside Out Girl and Town House. The latter two have been optioned for film. Visit her online at tishcohen.com and on Twitter @TishCohen.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Marta Morrison for TeensReadToo.com

    Olivia Bean is an odd duck. She is ten years old, wears mismatched clothes sometimes inside out, never brushes her hair, and always talks about rats. She has NLV, which is Nonverbal Learning Disorder. It is a neurological condition that can prevent a person from understanding anything that is not verbal. They will comprehend your words but will not get subtext and can never understand sarcasm. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>As Rachel and Len's relationship becomes deeper, secrets held by all come apparent and empathy comes alive. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>INSIDE OUT GIRL is a wonderful story that sends a good message about how we treat others.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    Quick summer read

    Quirky story. Story being told from multiple perspectives helped keep my interest.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2008

    Powerfully moving story

    Rachel Berman has inherited her parents¿ magazine, Perfect Parent, and tries to live up to its ideal. But even as she struggles with the idea of publishing articles about special-needs children, Olivia Bean shows up in her life. Olivia¿s father, Len, has done the best he could in raising his daughter alone, and still struggles with her Non-Verbal Learning Disorder. Rachel¿s kids can¿t believe their mother is dating the father of the weirdest kid in school, the one they call Inside Out Girl. But as this makeshift family gets to know each other, everyone finally comes to realize how special Olivia really is. When Len faces a personal crisis, he turns to Rachel to be there for his daughter, and Rachel doesn¿t disappoint him. And in the process she finally faces a skeleton that¿s been haunting her from her own past Tish Cohen has created a real and believable cast of characters. Heartbreakingly pathetic at times, Olivia is stubborn, funny, and hard not to love. Rachel¿s kids, and especially Janie, show tremendous growth and maturity in accepting Olivia into the family. And Rachel learns it¿s okay to not always be a perfect parent. But in the end, it¿s Len who will steal your heart as he does everything he can to take care of his daughter, and I couldn¿t stop myself from crying as the story came to a close. Tish Cohen handles this sensitive subject masterfully, and I highly recommend this powerfully moving book. Reviewer: Alice Berger, Bergers Book Reviews

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2008

    A Must Read!

    Inside Out Girl was just released last monthand is on my 'You've got to read this one!' list. 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Unable to put down

    As a parent i can identify

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great read!

    This is a lovely little book, chock full of "issues", from divorce to a learning disabled girl, from a widower to a possibly lesbian teenager, to the birth of a relationship and the search for a child that was adopted out; well, it seems like a lot to fit into a story but Tish does it well. It seems a little "much" to cover but every bit of it is taken well in hand. The characters are extremely likeable and by the end of the book, I truly didn't want it to end. The books is a quick read, done in a few hours, but great for a plane trip or a beach read. And no, you won't embarass yourself by a hanky moment. It gets close, but doesn't go over the top or get sappy. Well done!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2008

    Great family story

    Len is a widower with a ten year old, special needs child, Olivia. He begins dating Rachel who has two early teenagers in the house. It is a heartwarming story of finding someone to love and the love that holds families together. It is also a look at the life of a teenage girl who is exploring her sexuality and the life of a precious girl who doesn't fit into the world the way everyone else does. I think you'll fall in love with Olivia.

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    Posted June 16, 2009

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    Posted August 28, 2013

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    Posted October 8, 2013

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    Posted May 13, 2009

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    Posted August 17, 2013

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