This is a roast post*, so prepare for flames.
I just read Madeleine L'engle's A Wrinkle in Time in an effort to get inspiration for my Camp Nano project, and while it's a light, fun read, overall I didn't like it. It's generally easier to write about what you don't like rather than what you do, so I figured it was time for a book review.
"In other words, to put it into Euclid, or old-fashioned plane geometry, a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points."
It was only one thing, actually. I liked that the book talked about a tesseract. But there wasn't an actual tesseract in it, so it wasn't much to like.
Well, besides the fact that Charles Wallace is a Mary Sue and Calvin is sappy, the book goes on and on about things it describes as too beautiful to describe, or wonderful speeches that can't be translated into English. It feels harsh to say it, but this is laziness on the part of the author. If you put it in your book you'd better be able to describe it to me or why am I even reading your book?
The characters also talk the plot once or twice, which is another lazy writer's goof. Events should be woven seamlessly into the story--characters shouldn't have to tell each other what happened (especially when the characters already know what happened and don't need to be told). In fact, there is too much talking in this book period. The characters spend too much time standing around talking to each other about what they did or are going to do and there's not enough actually happening.
I will also mention that although this story is liberally be-sprinkled with Biblical quotations, the author lumps Jesus together with a lot of other random people (like Buddha and Michelangelo) as just another person who helped fight off "the darkness." Now if you really believed that Jesus was no more than someone who made the world a brighter place, why would you give any credence to the Bible, which claimed Jesus was God? Seems odd.
Finally, the story's ending was inconclusive. I thought they were going to save the planet from the Black Thing and instead they only ended up saving their dad. What was he doing there in the first place? Why did the evil brain want him? What was the point of this story anyway? It never really tells you.
To end on a positive note, this was a clean, funny, interesting book for kids. It's not going to scar you and there's some fairly humourous moments.
*Roast post: n. a post which roasts something. Dur.