"Tenderness: a novel" by Robert Cormier. Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1998, c1997.

Told in two voices, Cormier's psychological thriller for teens explores the convergence of two young lives, that of Eric, a teenaged serial killer about to be released from prison, and Lori, a street-smart, yet naive runaway, who met Eric once when she was twelve. She has heard he is to be released and runs away to meet him.

Eric seeks 'tenderness' from his victims; Lori has learned to use her sexuality to get her way in her search for true affection. In chapters told from their alternating viewpoints, their paths converge in an ever more suspenseful - maybe even inevitable - dance.

It was hard for me to read this book, because of the realism Cormier carefully injects. Each character has good and imperfect qualities, which makes it hard to draw black and white conclusions. This is a great discussion book.