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3.7  ·  Rating details ·  2,374 Ratings  ·  304 Reviews
EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD ERIC HAS just been released from juvenile detention for murdering his mother and stepfather. Now he#8217;s looking for some tenderness#8212;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#8212;tenderness she finds ...more
Audio CD, 5 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Recorded Books (first published March 10th 1997)
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Bark's Book Nonsense
Hmmm, what to say about this dark and dreary book? It is a young adult novel but it's extremely dark. It features an eighteen year old serial killer who has been imprisoned for the past three years for murdering his parents. Eric was also a suspect in the murder of several young girls but his guilt was never proven. He's due to be released very soon and the officer who knows he's a serial killer is determined to make sure he doesn't hurt another girl.

The other character is Lori, a fifteen year o
Nov 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ya
A lot of people felt that this book was (and I quote) "creepy and disturbing". It was a bit creepy, you know, that "a glimpse of a serial killers mind" thing. But I think Robert Cormier did a great job portraying eric the eighteen-year old that just got out of juvenile detention for killing his mother and stepfather. He's looking for "tenderness"----that which he finds in caressing and killing beautiful girls. Enter Lori. Lori has run away from home and is also looking for tenderness---which she ...more
Dec 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never finished a Robert Cormier book without experiencing a deeply reverberating sense of "Wow". The dark corners of the human heart that Robert Cormier explores with the breathtaking skill of a master artisan are enough to give chills to anyone. Revealing the potential horrors of a fiercely tortured soul has a way of affecting people that way.

Beneath and within the text of every page of Tenderness is the unmistakable pulse of real evil; sometimes clear, but mostly flowing just beneath th
Mar 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-na, contemporary

Tenderness is the story of two emotionally stilted young adults: Lori, a fifteen-year-old runaway with an unhealthy fixation with finding what she calls "tenderness" and Eric, an eighteen-year-old who has just been released from a "facility" he was in for three years for murdering his mother and stepfather. Lori, whose body matured far faster than her emotions, has left home temporarily because her mother's most recent live-in boyfriend has gotten a little too close for comfort. Not
Morgan Vaughn
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tenderness, by Robert Cormier, was close to the best book I've ever read. I enjoyed reading it because it was almost like reading the journal, and personal stories of multiple people. The book felt so real to me. The genres mixed between mystery, romance, and suspense. Every page felt like a deep, emotional poem. "Call my name from the grave of your rotting love. A hole in my mouth to match the hole in my heart, through which your love howls." I hear these words and think of sadness, maybe lonel ...more
My honest reaction to this book?

I will never, ever think of Twilight the same way again. Especially not after I figured out that Twilight is, essentially, Tenderness and M.T. Anderson's Thirsty mixed with a romance novel and a conveniently happy ending.

Cormier's ability to explore "fixation" fascinated--and disturbed--me (especially in the context of Twilight, but enough on that). Teens aren't the only ones who are, to use the cliche, blinded by love. Sometimes people overlook frightening things
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this book was a huge let down the beginning stated out boreding just talking about how once Lori saw a guy she had to kiss em or something and how she was in love with random\creepy people. Eric is just a freakin nut-job that likes to kill girls and for like the first half of the book all it says is how he is werid and creey and talkeds about how hes in jail and why. so basicly these kids are both wack jobs and Lori sorta stalkd Eric so she can say how they were ment to be and they a ...more
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tenderness might well be the pinnacle of YA Noir with Robert Cormier holding court as its master. An amazing work, it's the story of a lovesick teen runaway who stalks an unrepentant teenage serial killer with dreamboat looks after he's sprung from juvie. Ironically they met several years previously when she caught him nuzzling a girl who was about to be his next kill.

Cormier's work is extremely dark and complex. You don't need to be a pimple popper to dig this genius murder story, in fact, cal
Jul 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, blog
This book was originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

Have you ever found yourself rooting for the bad guy? Knowing that the character deserves every bad thing coming his way, but hoping that, somehow, things will work out better in the end? I don't know that I had ever truly experienced that before reading this book. I generally prefer (ahem-totally love) reading books where the bad guy totally gets his comeuppance. I'm all about hard-core justice for my villains.
Sep 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-420
Genre: Fiction/Serial Killing/Love

After spending three years in the Juvenile correction facility for the murder of his mother and stepfather, Eric Poole is finally released. He moves in with his aunt for awhile until the press calm down and find something else to report on in the newspapers. One particular day he looks outside the house to find a blonde girl in the branches of the willow tree in the front yard. He eventually remembers he met her several years ago by the train tracks. He met her
Allison Linkous
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This novel certainly has an interesting premise: it is narrated by several characters. The main characters are Eric, a teenage serial killer, and Lori, a strangely obsessive girl (whose most recent obsession is Eric). Both characters crave what they call tenderness. For Eric, tenderness happens when he takes a life. Lori's true definition of tenderness is never clear, but it seems like she craves a mixture of love, sex, and attention. At the beginning of the novel, Eric has just gotten out of ju ...more
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Cormier is my favorite author.

Lori Cranston is a teenager, too young for her body, who is looking for real love. Eric Poole is a psycopath, too smart for his own good, who is looking for the perfect intimacy. In a strange twist of fate, their intertwined search for what they each call tenderness brings them to each other. It looks like each could be just what the other needs. But will their relationship bring healing...or destruction?
This is a novel about love, lust, and how similar the
Oct 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bleak literature/psychological thriller(ish)

I'd bump it up to three and a half stars. This book follows the collision of the worlds of two dysfunctional teenagers, one of whom is a serial killer just released from juvenile detention for killing his parents, the other a seriously insecure runaway girl. The concepts in this book were so alien to me—I mean, not many people can (thankfully) relate to the psychopathology of a serial killer—and it was that exploration of Eric's mentality that kept me
Oct 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At 18 years old, Eric is finally being released from a juvenile detention center, where he's been since he was charged with killing his parents three years ago. Lori, who met Eric when she was young, has a tendency to become obsessed with different boys and won't stop until she's kissed them. After seeing Eric's face on the news, she decides that he is her new obsession and runs away from home to find him. In the meantime, a police detective is watching Eric's every move, aware that Eric didn't ...more
Oct 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-teen, audiobooks
I am a sick, sick person and loved, loved, loved this book! I have a soft spot for loveable serial killers, and Eric is one. I loved the multiple points of view, especially how detached Eric and the lieutenant were but how Lori was in first person. I loved how to Eric, Lori was always "the girl" and how she was special to him, regardless of how strange it was. I pitied all the main characters for their sheer humanity (and a little lackthereof). I admit, with about an hour of the 5 discs left to ...more
Another book I was so undecided on how to rate. I loved the book and also absolutely hated it. It was written very well, the characters were interesting, the plot was a subject not touched by most authors and it leaves you with a dark creepy feel. When I started the book I was rooting for Eric, hoping he would maybe get therapy and fall in love with Lori.

I am also torn because I wish he did get 'better' and was able to meatally heal, but he also deserved what was coming by what he did in his pa
I don't know what it is about Robert Cormier, but I keep picking up his books even though I don't like his writing style. They're just growing on me. This one has a little too much cliche going on (the runaway who stalks the serial killer--maybe not a big cliche but it's not a surprise at all) and the ending, which is pretty much like all his other books with its messages of Life Isn't Fair and Cormier's Protagonists Never Win.

Not a bad read, a bit of creepy but not a whole lot, in part because
Mar 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone!
Creepy, weird, upsetting... but in a good way. The two main characters are losers, weirdos, and freaks. The boy is a serial killer who has just been let out of prison and is stalking his next victim and the girl is schizophrenic/OCD/nymphomaniac. But it's good! The characters are written in such a way that they're believable, lovable, and attractive, but in the same way that a puppy with two heads is believable, lovable, and attractive. This is masterful writing on a difficult subject. My studen ...more
Suzette Kunz
Hmmm. Well, if you've ever wondered what Ted Bundy was like as a teenager, this is the book for you. Eric, a serial killer, and Lori, a girl who has been sexually abused, cross paths and form an oddly tender relationship. Not sure if what Cormier portrays is technically possible--do psychopaths feel compassion?
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with morbid curiosity like me...

Disturbing.... But frighteningly realistic....
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a dark story of the mind of a serial killer although I sympathized with the character (weird I know), also I saw the movie before and I was expecting a different ending it wasn't
Feb 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
at first this book is kinda boring but the end is fuckin unexpected it is really really good

Jul 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Basically, I only finished this book because it was so much shorter than most. Had it been longer, I would have DNF it.

I didn't one star this because of the topic, I'm a big girl. I one started it because it was b o r i n g. Plain and simple.

Lori is awful. She's dumb and clueless and that's all I can tell you without spoilers. And Eric is the knock-off junior high version of Joe from YOU.

I didn't even like the writing.

*sigh* Yet another YA that I didn't like.
Barbara Balke
Mar 04, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-for-ya
This book was written in 1997, therefore, it is considered a classic novel. The story is complex and will lead to character analysis and discussions of the multifaceted situations in the story. It is sure to spur some rich conversation.

Professional Review:

Book Report (September/October 1997)

The lives of three troubled people become inextricably intertwined in this novel. Fifteen-year-old Lori has watched as her mother becomes involved in one abusive relationship after another. Lori learns to u
Mattheus Farias
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give this book a 4 out of 5 stars for this review. I really loved the idea this book demonstrated the story by switching points of views, from Lori's situations to Eric Poole's, from being a runaway girl with mixed emotions, to a psychopath serial killer who is released into the public. These perspectives are very different but also are similar at a whole other level.

Given Eric Poole's situation, he reacts in such a mysterious way that is very confusing. By playing his sentence out and refu
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng-420

This book is made up of two narratives that explore two very different characters as they attempt to find "tenderness" in their lives. The first character, Lori, is a young teenage girl that has run away from home. She finds herself frequently having fixations on different men, fixations that refuse to go away until she can kiss that particular man. Her latest fixation is on the other main character, Eric, an 18 year old boy that has just been released from prison. Eric is
Feb 12, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-novels
Cormier is a classic young adult author, but I had a hard time getting through this one. I couldn't find value in the story itself, and I was constantly creeped out reading about a psychopath. I'll just jump right into my analysis of this book.

I thought it was interesting that given two different narrators, Lori is told in the first person and Eric is told in the third person. I have never read a book that did that. When I asked myself why Eric would be in told in the third person I decided that
Steven Cross
This is my first Robert Cormier book, and I won't say I was unimpressed because I was and I won't say I didn't like it because I did. The characters were fascinating to me, and their twisted relationship was interesting. I found myself having trouble putting it down, but here's my problem with the story. I will try to tell you without any spoilers. I don't know if you have heard the expression Deux ex machina from the Greek meaning God from the machine. It is a literary term meaning trick ending ...more
Sally Park
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: engl-420
One day, a beautiful girl Lori who receives wanted and unwanted sexual attention on a daily basis feels the urge to kiss Eric Poole, a teenage murderer. This symptom usually goes away once she kisses the guy she is fixated on, and in order to fulfill this desire, she approaches Eric. She is initially scared of Eric, but comes to love him. Eric also seems to feel something for her, but she is not his "type." He finds tenderness in killing beautiful brunette girls. This story of a girl who has a p ...more
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Robert Edmund Cormier (January 17, 1925–November 2, 2000) was an American author, columnist and reporter, known for his deeply pessimistic, downbeat literature. His most popular works include I Am the Cheese, After the First Death, We All Fall Down and The Chocolate War, all of which have won awards. The Chocolate War was challenged in multiple libraries. His books often are concerned with themes ...more
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“People throw the word love around like confetti when they actually mean affection.” 22 likes
“I don't mean to be insolent. I'm truthful. I tell the truth and the truth sometimes hurts. For instance, you have bad breath, Lieutenant. I can smell it from here. It must offend a lot of people. That's the truth. But how many people have told you that? Instead, they either lie or try to avoid your company.” 12 likes
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