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by Eve Ainsworth

'new gen' - Great Fiction for Young Adults Book Club Recommendations Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month

LoveReading View on Tender

In a Nutshell: Young carers learn to live for today

Tender in both name and tone, this involving debut tackles tough themes with heart-wrenching honesty.

Marty’s mum struggles to get out of bed, while for Marty it’s the going to bed that’s the problem, “because that’s when the thinking starts… Give me the mornings anytime. Give me the light”. Marty’s life was on track until his dad died, but he’s now all but dropped out of school and is terrified of what might happen if the social workers knew how ill his mum has become. But it’s the social workers who give him a leaflet about a young carers group, which is where he meets Daisy…

Daisy has problems of her own. Her beloved brother Harry has debilitating muscular dystrophy. During one young carers meeting, Daisy is passionate about wanting to see the world, which seems impossible to Marty. His world is poorer and smaller. It’s confined to his estate and revolves around his mum. But, while they come from different worlds, they’re united by that fact that they both feel powerless when it comes to what matters most. Daisy can’t make Harry well, and Marty can’t bring back his dad or fix his mum. Consequently, they find solace - and more - in each other. Honest on the realities of mental illness, grief and how it feels to be a teen carer, this truly touching read shines a bright light of love and hope through Daisy and Marty’s darkest days.

Joanne Owen

Tender Synopsis

Touching on mental health, family, friendship and the pressures that teenage carers face, as author Cat Clarke says, TENDER is a compassionate, compelling and unflinching novel . Marty and Daisy spend their lives pretending. Marty pretends his mum's grip on reality isn't slipping by the day. Daisy pretends her parents aren't exhausting themselves while they look after her incurably ill brother. They both pretend they're fine. But the thing about pretending is, at some point, it has to stop. And then what?

Tender Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Megan Chambers - 'This book was amazing. It made me smile, cry and feel so many different emotions whilst reading it. I loved how it touched upon so many different issues. I would recommend this book to everyone.'
  • Rebekah Marsh - 'True love brought together by agonising pain. It’s such a strange concept, yet it’s put together so brilliantly by Eve Ainsworth that it felt so real...Truly beautiful.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'Loved this book a lot! Definitely pick this one up!'
  • Khadijah Ahmed - 'It's candid, insightful and touching, and ultimately raises an important question: is it wrong to ask for help?... a solid read and one I would recommend.'
  • Melanie Chadwick, Benfield School - 'A gripping story of love between two teenage carers dealing with mental health issues and terminal illness.  Hard-hitting and tough, but with hope and an overall positive feel.'
  • Linda Brown - 'I found Tender to be such an emotive story and although it’s a work of fiction, it touches on and raises the issues of friendship, family, mental health and the pressures that young carers have to face each day.'
  • Claire Berry, Dormston School - 'I like how Marty and Daisy’s struggles are very different and how the storyline makes the reader stop and consider how some people are not as lucky as others.'
  • Matilda Greenacre - 'This was a gripping story that showed how small decisions can change your life.'
  • Emily Kirby - 'Tender was a good book and I have recommended it to my friends. It’s a great quick read about a subject (young carers) that doesn’t usually come up in books which is great because it raises awareness.'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781407164304
Publication date: 01/03/2018
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781407164304
Publication date: 1st March 2018
Author: Eve Ainsworth
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 304 pages
Genres: NewGen - YA Fiction, Book Club Recommendations, Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites,
Categories: School stories (Children's / Teenage), Family & home stories (Children's / Teenage), Personal & social issues: family issues (Children's / Teenage),

About Eve Ainsworth

Eve Ainsworth lives in West Sussex. She works in a secondary school in child protection, helping and supporting teenagers with emotional and  behavioural issues. This is her first novel. Click here to read more about why Eve wrote Seven Days.

More About Eve Ainsworth

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