Tenderness by Robert Cormier
Eighteen-year-old Eric has just been released from juvenile detention for murdering his mother and stepfather. Now he’s looking for some tenderness—tenderness he finds in caressing and killing beautiful girls. Fifteen-year-old Lori has run away from home again. Emotionally naive but sexually precocious, she is also looking for tenderness—tenderness she finds in Eric. Will Lori and Eric be each other’s salvation or destruction?
This was an interesting book. I was expecting this story to go down a different route, to have a different focus than it proved to have but it was still an enjoyable read.
Both protagonists in this book are anti-heroes, and anti-heroes, especially female anti-heroes are extremely rare no matter the genre. For that alone this book is worth a quick read.. But structurally, there are several reasons to do so. I had twenty pages left to read of Tenderness when I realized that the book switched between third and first person throughout the entire novel, which is something I normally notice immediately. But it never jarred me making the switch between the different personages.
This book however did not sit well with me in several ways. Both Lori and Eric felt older than they were in the book. I would have believed Lori closer to 17. Eric felt more in his 20s. However, the plot wouldn’t have worked with the characters those ages. Once you read the book you’ll know why. I don’t want to spoil anything. But…I don’t know, it rubbed me wrong.
Other than that, I really didn’t have any issues with the book. It was a bit on the dry side for me. And it will probably never be a book that I have on my must keep shelf. But it kept my interest the entire way through, which is always a good sign. I would recommend this book more for the structure and the story than the entertainment value. But that’s my taste. I know some of my friends will completely and utterly love this book.