Inside Out Girl
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Inside Out Girl

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  654 ratings  ·  102 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 12th 2008 by Harper Perennial
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I generally love Tish Cohen's writing style. She definitely tells both sides of the story. When reading you get a sense of the characters not just from the protagonists opinion but there is usually good story telling that allows the reader to establish an opinion of the character without forming too much of a bias.

This book is incredibly touching. It focuses on two adults, both of whom had been through a lot in their lives, and how upon first meeting each other really liked each other but both h...more
This not only had a lot of potential, but also a really good start, which made the rest of it super disappointing.
When the novel first opens, I, who didn't bother reading too much of the back of the book, thought to myself, sheesh this writer does not know ten year olds at all, the only way this scene makes sense is if the kid is special needs - and a quick check on the back and yes, she is - so I had a lot of respect for her ability to capture something so tricky.
The writing was strong and rema...more
Celia Kennedy
I read several of the other reviews before writing this to see what others thought. For some reason this is a tricky book to review. I would agree with others when they say that there are too many plot lines and that expanding on one or two more would have been better than adding the rest.

Rachel Berman is the editor of a parenting magazine that is going under, as well as the mother of a 12 and 14 year old. So, not only is she dealing with professional crisis, she is dealing with snarky pubescent...more
As publisher of Perfect Parent magazine, single mother Rachel Berman tries to live up to the title of her magazine and consequently she is at times overprotective of her children -Janie, 14 and Dustin, 12. Still trying to cope with a heartbreaking decision she made years earlier, she is not one to take chances and is surprised to find herself helping stranded motorist Leonard Bean and his ten year old daughter Olivia. Leonard is a single parent himself, struggling to raise Olivia who has NLD (No...more
Another cast of oddball characters from Tish Cohen, this one is a keeper. Like Turtle in 'The Bean Trees', Olivia Bean is great kid character. Goofy, tragic and funny at the same time, it makes for an easy read.

Olivia suffers from a Non Verbal Learning Disability, she doesn't recognize tone, facial expression or humour cues, strictly verbal ones. Makes her completely charming and unintentionally funny. I learned a lot about rats too, as she's obsessed with rodents. Rattus rattus.
This book isn't out yet, but it is a wonderful novel about family and a little girl with Nonverbal Learning Disorder. Extremely well written and touching. I highly recommend it.
Ben Babcock
I'm not a parent. And in the last couple of years, I haven't had much interaction with children (although that will change as my nephew grows up). As I began reading Inside Out Girl, my first challenge was to try and see everything through a parent's eyes. I had to work hard not to dismiss Rachel as an over-the-top mother figure and not to roll my eyes at the behaviour of Olivia, Janie, and Dustin. This is a world I have never really inhabited—even my childhood was atypical, as I tended to get a...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for

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.

Len, her father, has been raising Olivia on his own ever...more
When Rachel, an overprotective divorced mother of two and editor in chief of Parenting magazine decides to help out a fellow driver with a flat tire in the middle of morning rush hour, she has no idea this man, Len, and his peculiar little girl, ScarlettOlivia, are going to change her life dramatically. She quickly finds herself falling in love with Len and can’t help but feel a strong connection to Olivia, who has NLD – a non-verbal learning disorder. Similar to autism, children with this disor...more
Rachel was an overprotective single mother of Janie and Dustin. Len was lawyer struggling with his disabled daughter Olivia. Olivia had Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD), which caused her to have high verbal skill, but low social or visual skill. when the 2 adults got to know each other, Janie was horrified to find out that the most bullied girl in school was going to be her sister. while everyone was having trouble adjusting, Len found out that he had a tumor in his head, having only a few year...more
Olivia refuses to allow Georgia Boy to be buried. The gerbil is stiff, dead that long, but little Olivia Bean can't quite register the idea of death. She has a learning disorder known as NLD (nonverbal learning disability, causing her to operate on a very literal level), but come to think of it ... most of us have trouble understanding death.

And so we are introduced, beginning with Olivia, to the cast of characters in Tish Cohen's "Inside Out Girl." They are not so very unlike the characters in...more
There are a few surprises here and there, but I don’t want to give any away. This was a very enjoyable book about issues that most families are dealing with. I loved her writing style and the story moved at a fast pace. I think you will enjoy getting to know Olivia, as I did, and becoming a little more informed about a disorder that is closely linked to autism (but not the same). And Janie’s story will bring back the early teen years when whatever someone said about you at school one day had the...more
Cassie Jenkins
This was a really cute, warm, story. It was fairly predictable with a few minor twists. I enjoyed how tolerant and understanding the author was of the young female characters. Rachel's character development felt very truthful and I liked the way it was played out with regards to her magazine. However I felt that a lot of the story could have been more in depth and developed more slowly. It was a very fast read and left me feeling like I had missed a lot of what wasn't written on the page. The bi...more
4.5 out of 5 stars
Rachel Berman, single mother if two adolescents, publisher of Perfect Parent magazine, likes her world organized and predictable. Widower Len Bean and his high maintenance, special needs daughter Olivia is not in her plan. The child reminds Rachel of the Down syndrome infant she was forced to relinquish at the age of eighteen. But Rachel and Len are drawn together. Crises bring Olivia closer to Rachel than she ever wanted to be.
Writer Tish Cohen does a nice job switching POVs...more
"A life-affirming novel...You'll find yourself cheering for Olivia Bean from the first page to the last." Michelle Richmond, New York Times

So says the cover, so say I. The book is real, funny, a little bit sad, and in the end uplifting. I couldn't help but be captivated by Olivia. Not sympathetic, not sorry for her, delighted by her.

Interesting insight into NLD (nonverbal learning disorder), which I'd never heard of before. Thankfully, not a "poor kid" perspective at all. Rather, a view of the...more
Lisa Mcbroom
The book has a promising start. Rachel Berman stops on the side of the road to help single father Len with his special needs child Olivia to change a tire. They start dating much to the chagrin of Rachel's punk rock daughter Janie and son Dustin. The first part of the book is wonderful. It is the second part of the novel that things bog down. So many unresolved issues.... A deceision Len must face, Janie's obsession with a neighbor, and a secret Rachel harbours. This almost needs a sequel to tie...more
A little girl, age 10, has what's called a Nonverbal Learning Disability which is similar to Asperger's. She is not good at reading nonverbal cues (facial expressions, tone of voice) and she is bullied at school. Her widowed dad meets a single mom of 2 slightly older kids and they hit it off. The older kids are mortified that they have to associate with this child who does not fit in. At the same time, the older daughter is going through some "love life" issues. And their mom is reminded of a ha...more
Christy Evans
Overall, this is a quick and easy read that tackles some tough topics including death, illness, special needs children, homosexuality and bullying. This is another book that I wanted to like more than I did.

The story moves along quickly but the characters seem oddly predictable and one-dimensional. Without giving anything away, I felt that the ending was too "pat" and lacked a sense of realism of what would likely come next, especially in regards to the life of ten year old Oliva.
It is clear to see why this book was a best seller in the "Globe and Mail" newspaper. Inside Out Girl is an easy page turner. Readers can sympathise with Rachel's attempts to be the perfect parent. Olivia is a real, realistic heroine with a disability, and Tish Cohen did a wonderful job of developing her character. While the subplot involving Rachel's daughter was weak, the conclusion is optimistic and well planned.
Okay, if you get into snarky children and mothers who allow anything and impossible situations and improbable lifestyles meshing, you'll like this book. I didn't. The relationship between Len and his daughter Olivia was the only part of this book I enjoyed. All the rest were one-dimensional twits. I made it to chapter 18 before quitting. At least I didn't pay for this book!
It was busy and not able to evote my full attention to this book when I first started but as I got into it I liked it more and more. By the time I finished I wished it was longer. It's quirky, doesn't take the "safe" route on someweighty topics and though not a tear-jerking ending, it didn't wrap ti up with the perfect "happily ever afet" bow either.
This book was lent to me by a friend, and I was a big tentative as I did not enjoy the previous two choices. This however was a nice surprise. While I found Rachel unrealistic and over the top with her protectiveness and worry, I think that was exactly the point. I still managed to like her, and enjoyed watching her let go a little and open up.
Olivia however was my main draw. She was a wonderfully written and endearing character. She was able to tie all if the characters together, and draw out t...more
Helen Wagner
When I picked up this book (or clicked on it, really) I wasn't expecting much of a read. The books iTunes (iBooks? (Canada)) gives out trend more towards the mildly pornographic and hopelessly romantic then they do towards being well written and poignant. While Tish Cohen's novel hasn't got me over the moon with literary ecstasy (honestly- it probably doesn't even make my top 200), it was certainly better than the industry trash a lot of writers churn out.
Inside Out Girl was witty, fresh and mov...more
I downloaded this book free from iTunes for their book of the week. Needlessly to say, I wasn't expecting much, however, the summary was interesting enough for me to give it a try. I wasn't disappointed. Immediately I was completely engaged with the characters and their struggles. The plot was simple, and some other reviewers point out, predictable, but that's okay. The focus isn't so much on the plot but the emotional nuances and developements that each character goes through. These are charact...more
I really enjoyed the dynamic all the characters take and change. It deals with a lot of real issues, and made it easy to empathize and connect with all of the characters in the book! I loved the read, it was a slow ish pace,but still a good read.
While this book is just a little too contrived and predictable – it still has real merit for its honesty and humor. Rachel Berman is a divorced mother of two who runs the family’s “Perfect Parent” magazine and lives her life according to perfect Parent rules – which we all know is impossible. Len is a widow who is doing the very best he can to bring up his special needs daughter in anything but perfect form. When Len and Rachel meet and their respective lives collide – they both have the opportu...more
Dawn Michelle

NOT an awesome start to the new year. NOT really my cup of tea, though there were parts that were super-sweet and fantastic. Just not enough to go higher than 3 stars. Rachel was almost ALWAYS annoying, right up to the last 3 chapters and that made it a tough read. And the secondary storyline with the daughter Janie felt forced and contrived. Like the trauma of having a special needs child who lost her mother wasn't drama enough for the book. It made the book feel false and again, annoying.
I really loved this book and finished it in two days, which is rare for me. I would have given it five stars if it weren't for a couple of things. The story dealt with some emotionally difficult situations and I would have liked the author to have spent some time exploring the reactions and feelings of three of the characters in particular. Although it was a great story I finished the book feeling unfinished.
Laura J. W.
Since I know Tish Cohen, I wrote her last night to let her know how much I loved her book, and I feel the book is an old friend, it will always have a place on my bookshelf, and I absolutely adored the main character Olivia. I'm not into being a spoiler, so I won't go into the details of the story like I'm writing a book report for school, just buy it and read it for goodness's a good read!

I thought this was a good book. I felt sorry for the little girl in the book who has been diagnosed with a nonverbal learning disability. She is such a sweet girl and has such a hard time with socializing with others. She is often ostracized and made fun of. This is a disorder that is often diagnosed as Asperger's disorder and is very similar in many ways. It was very interesting.
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"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
Anais Nin quote from Oprah's website inspired Tish Cohen to write her first adult novel.

Tish Cohen is the author of TOWN HOUSE, a 2008 finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize – Best First Book Award (Canada and Caribbean region), and in development as a feature film with Fox 2000. Ridl...more
More about Tish Cohen...
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