Bad/Tender is a subversion of the common trope that romanticises unhealthy relationships, the anti Fifty Shades of Grey. A coming-of-age literary novel for millennials following a young woman's journey through an abusive relationship, it touches upon the issues of consent, rape, mental illness, immigration, social and professional uncertainty and survival. Chiara is a twenty-something Italian blogger graduating from a prestigious London university, a small-town over-achiever with a morbid obsession for death she feeds through a gory Instagram account. Determined to build her career in one summer, she watches her life, dreams and friendships shatter before her eyes as all her friends leave town after graduation. During a night out, Chiara meets L, a charming bartender who loses his head for her after a night of steamy sex. As the two become a couple L, a dysfunctional thirty-something masquerading as a dandy, manipulates Chiara into accepting his abusive ways. Having lost of all of her friends to post-university migration, Chiara is initially pleased by and excited about L's apparent obsession with her and his 'bad boy' attitude. However, as L starts to show the recognisable traits, deep emotional flaws and elements of personality disorder of the classic domestic abuser, Chiara struggles to place herself and her dreams of success in the reality of the abused victim. Ashamed by her actions, Chiara starts closing in on herself, ashamed yet unable to leave. Focusing on the rollercoaster of emotions in L and Chiara's relationship, Bad/Tender is a novel most women will be able to relate to in the age of #MeToo. Through the graphic and at times repulsive relationship between the two main characters, Bad/Tender questions the ideals and idols of our entertainment-saturated society focusing on the 'bad boy', an unrealistic blend of sleaze and tenderness, to show that there is nothing glamorous in the sadly wide-spread trend of the abusive partner. Bad/Tender is a novel for uncertain times, where mental illness is discussed openly and an extra 'othering' factor is brought by the main character's upbringing and in her status as an immigrant. The novel will resonate with millennials crumbling over the pressure of their own ambition. Bad/Tender is a story rooted deep in the London nightlife scene, made of charming 'mixologists', foodie bloggers and rivers of alcohol. Narrated in action by Chiara, it is a novel about the crippling effects of anxiety and depression, told by a narrator who has derived her interests and attitude from entertainment.
About the author
Carolina Are is a 25-year-old Italian Londoner, blogger, pole dancer, performer, lecturer and PhD student. Bad/Tender is her first published novel, inspired by her last summer as an undergraduate. She wrote it on three notebooks during a two-month Couchsurfing trip across the United States. Carolina has blogged for the Huffington Post UK, written for TimeOut Sydney, The Ladies Network, Hip & Healthy and Broadsheet Sydney and recently published two short stories on Visual Verse. Her short story Disconnected, loosely inspired by Bad/Tender, has been published in the University of Sydney's 2017 anthology. Carolina also writes for her own blog, Blogger On Pole, where she talks about travel, lifestyle, events, food, mental health and her number one passion: pole dance. So far, she has performed at Floorplay London 2018 and is applying for more pole dance competitions. After a four-year career in PR, finished by working as an Account Director and Social Media Strategist in Sydney, Carolina is now working in academia full-time, teaching in the areas of Criminology, Journalism and Social Media. Carolina has a Journalism BA from City University London and a MA in Criminology from the University of Sydney, Australia. She presented her research on social media and millennials in a panel on millennial media at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. Her undergraduate dissertation on how the British media used Twitter to report on Margaret Thatcher's death won the Undergraduate Awards 2015 for Media and Journalism and was presented at the international conference ECREA 2014. Her thesis has now been published on the UA Journal and she's soon to present her current work on Twitter flaming at the International Criminology Conference 2018 in Washington DC.
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