Inside Out Girl, by Tish Cohen

Cover ImageFinished 8-31-08, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2008

“Wasn’t that one of the cardinal rules of the road?  If someone needed help and you weren’t prepared to offer any, glance away and feign ignorance.”      Chapter 4

Rachel Berman is head of a Perfect Parentmagazine and single mother of a 12 year old boy and a 14 year old girl.  Len Bean is a widower and father to a ten year old daughter, Olivia, who suffers from NLD, nonverbal learning disorder.  Rachel and Len meet and suddenly their lives and the lives of their children are blending into a family, if not a dysfunctional one.  Olivia is a joke at school and Rachel’s kids, Janie and Dustin, are not  inclined to make her life any easier.  Janie is dealing with her own hormonal and sexual issues that take center stage.

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 ability to ruin your whole life.  My only complaint is that some things were a little too convenient.  As readers, we are agreeing to suspend our disbelief, but that only goes so far. 

I received this book for free to review and it exceeded my expectations.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good family-oriented story, or someone interested in reading about a child with special needs.  Olivia is a wonderful character and you will fall in love with her.  Tish Cohen’s first book, Town House, is being made into a movie.