Press Release for my novel Bad/Tender – it’s a press release, so it’s written in third person. I’m not that full of shit. 

London Blogger Publishes Novel About Abusive Relationships and Depression

A new novel by London blogger Carolina Are, a.k.a. Blogger On Pole, explores consent, rape, mental illness, immigration, social and professional uncertainty and survival in the age of #MeToo with the London nightlife scene as a backdrop.

Bad/Tender Cover by Aurora Campbell

The Story

Bad/Tender is a coming-of-age literary novel for millennials that wants to be the anti Fifty Shades of Grey. The story follows a young woman’s journey through an abusive relationship by subverting the common trope that romanticises unhealthy relationships.

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 just lost of all of her friends to post-university migration, Chiara is initially pleased by and excited about L’s apparent obsession with her. 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, she 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 thebad 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.

Buy it from…

It can be read on laptops and iPads by downloading the free Kindle or Adobe Digital Editions app or iBooks. Complimentary press codes are available for review purposes. If you’re based outside the UK, you can find it by searching for “Bad/Tender” on your local Kindle store and it should appear there for you to buy.

The Backdrop

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.

The Cover

Bad/Tender‘s cover was designed by Melbourne-based artist Aurora Campbell. Her illustrative work focuses on the link between technology, female sexuality and selfhood. Her work is erotic, personal, and raw. She uses art as a form of therapy, a tool to explore the discomfort that she has felt in her own body and towards her sexuality as a young woman. Aurora says:

This discomfort stems further then just a personal therapy though; it’s widespread amongst most girls and women I know, and I see it as a brutal epidemic. In a world saturated by male dominated depictions of female sexuality, I think it is so valuable that regular women have online platforms to express themselves and to empower one another, which is why technology is such a big part of my process.”

Carolina says:

I found Aurora on Instagram. I wanted her to draw my cover because I loved the sharp contrast between the beautiful heroines of her drawings with the confronting, bold and raw captions of her work.”

The Author

Carolina Are is an 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. She has spoken about millennial media at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia and at 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.

For More Information, Contact:

Find Carolina on:

In The Media

“It’s an ugly story, so I wrote my book deliberately rough in form. It’s important to stop romanticising the bad boy/abuser narrative. Writing it all down was therapeutic, and it really helped me get my thoughts in order. It helped me realise that there was no excuse for his behaviour.”

Cosmopolitan UK

“Not like everything on the market. […] Bad/Tender is a coming of age novel that every young woman needs to read.”


“The book, just like Carolina’s own voice is written in a non-bullshit way. Reading it you’ll feel like she’s sitting next to you, a good friend, telling you the story out loud.”

Why Magazine

Bad/Tender Pinterest Mood Board

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