Tinder by Sally Gardner

Challenge 44 ~ “A book from your childhood.”


★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Tinder isn’t directly a book from my childhood, but it’s based on a fairytale I knew growing up. It was also on the Carnegie shortlist this year, though I still don’t know why – it certainly was the Ghost Hawk of 2015! From first appearances, it appeared like a book aimed at children or teenagers, but it was most definitely not suitable for the former! And it certainly put a darker twist on the traditional Tinderbox story.

Even at the start, it didn’t bode well. The beginning was utterly confusing, with the reader never sure if Otto was dreaming or living in reality, and uncertain as to the identity of the other characters (although there was a strong suggestion of wolves.) Rather than this being conveyed in an inviting manner, or one that teemed with suspense and a thirst for answers, this became distracting and unwelcoming. And it certainly didn’t get any better.

The plotlines developed with a very slow then choppy pacing, before being  abandoned part-way through (many never to resurrected), and the characters remained confusing. As the novel progressed, there was a microscopic phase where the book began to improve, but it hadn’t got far before it spiralled back down.

The images certainly earned the single star I’d give this book, as they helped break up the text, but as a whole the book wasn’t worth the effort it took to read. It’s just another one to add to the pile that makes me reconsider my determination to finish any book I start. Despite being a Carnegie nominee, I wouldn’t recommend it to any fellow readers – there’s plenty of other literature out there!


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