Reader Reviewed Tender by Eve Ainsworth


Written by Eve Ainsworth

13+ readers   Books of the Month   YA readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

March 2018 Book of the Month | 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

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Teen/YA 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.'
  • Olivia Dally-Fitzsimoms, age 14 - 'I really like this book, I like the characters and the main story because it ended happily. I also loved how it touched upon lots of different issues.'
  • Humaira Kauser, age 19 - 'Tender was one of my anticipated YA contemporary books of the year and let me tell you it did not disappoint...It is everything.  It was sweet and sad and has so many hidden gem moments.'
  • Henry Smith, age 13 - 'I really liked this book because of the realistic description and the emotion poured into every page. This is a great book from Eve Ainsworth and I really recommend it for anyone aged 13 up.'

Win a Chaos Walking Goody Bag!

To mark the 10th anniversary of The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first of the awesome YA trilogy that launched Patrick Ness, we are giving away FIVE fantastic Chaos Walking goody bags. Each prizes includes a special collector's edition of The Knife of Never Letting Go, a t'shirt and a print!

Find all 3 anniversary editions in the Chaos Walking trilogy here.

To have a chance of winning one of these prizes click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 9 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 23 April 2018.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 09/04/2018


Tender by Eve Ainsworth

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?

About the Author

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.

Click here to read more about why Eve wrote Seven Days.

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Book Info


304 pages


Eve Ainsworth
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Publication date

1st March 2018




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