I recently received a review copy of Inside Out Girl by Tish Cohen. It looks interesting, though the reviews are somewhat mixed. From Amazon:
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.
Good, but not glowing.
Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelf says, "It is impossible not to fall in love with Cohen’s characters." Zinta of Zinta's Reviews says, "While this may not be a literary classic to withstand time, it does capture this moment in time, our contemporary everyday, and perhaps in that accomplishes a moment of warming sunlight. Yes, Olivia, we do all have hearts. Even if we tuck them safely away so much of the time. This little girl helps us see that we all struggle with some bit of disability in our life-worn hearts."
And from The Book Chick:
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Cohen’s writing style. I loved her colourful characters, and even though I had to make several starts and stops (it’s hard to read with three little boys in the house!), I devoured the novel in a couple of days. If I have to be honest (and I do!) I can say that I found the novel a little far-fetched at times. Problem after problem strikes these two families, one after another, and although it comes out alright in the end, it’s hard to believe that so many things could go wrong in such a short period of time for these five people. The storyline was a little predictable at times, but if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief for a while, the novel is a very enjoyable read with a few good lessons imbedded in the story line. I’ve already picked up a copy of Cohen‘s novel Town House and plan to read that one shortly.
Sounds like an imperfect, yet enjoyable read. Hopefully someday soon I will get to it…
Please weigh in if you've read it!