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review 2018-11-06 19:43
A Wind in the Door, Time Quintet #2 by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wind in the Door - Madeleine L'Engle

It took awhile for me to warm to this book, but in the end I liked it better than 'A Wrinkle in Time'. Why? I liked that L'Engle was writing more in the open about science, and about faith, and the hocus-pocus that comes about when you put the two together. I mean that in the best way possible. It worked for the story, and for Meg, who really shines here.

 

Meg is a girl who was portrayed as troubled and a little at odds with the world outside of her family. Only by comparison with Charles Wallace does she seem able to get along at all. This book being about Charles Wallace's struggle to adapt was fitting.

 

I was on the fence about reading more of these - I never did as a kid - but now I'm confidant that I'll keep going.

 

Time Quintet

 

Next: 'A Swiftly Tilting Planet'

 

Previous: 'A Wrinkle in Time'

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review 2018-03-28 18:05
A Wind in the Door (Time Quintet, #2) by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wind in the Door - Madeleine L'Engle

After reading A Wrinkle in Time and discovering the interesting concepts of that world, I've decided to continue reading Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet series. I picked up A Wind in the Door shortly after finishing the first book and basically got more of the same. Great story concepts; poorly written characters and bad morals. But the morals in this book were a bit too horrible to ignore this time. 

 

A Wind in the Door continues to follow Meg and Charles Wallace in this world with time and space bending and obscuring our current world. I love L'Engle's ideas of how there are many things in this universe that doesn't make sense and it doesn't have to when you have to focus on the bigger picture. In this case, helping cure Charles Wallace of an unknown disease. I really love that this book explored the mitochondria we have within us. I have a fascination with learning about it since I've read and played Parasite Eve a few years back now. So reading this book brought me a lot of nostalgia. Reading these books are fun for me because, as I've said before, I love L'Engle's ideas when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy. What I don't love about her writing is how basic it is and her characters just rub me the wrong way.

 

Meg is still so bloody insufferable. She's a high schooler but she acts like a toddler in many situations. For example, at the beginning of the book, when they are all discovering Charles Wallace was ill, she kept asking her mother what was his condition. The mother would answer she didn't know... only to have Meg ask the same question immediately having been told her mother didn't know only to ask the same question AGAIN only to be told AGAIN her mother didn't know. And that would continue constantly throughout the whole book. It's like, Meg, please, grow up. Just because you ask the same question a billion times doesn't mean the answer is going to change at any point. I really don't like Meg as a character. She has not shown growth at all throughout these two books. In fact, a lot of L'Engle's characters are just one note. They each have a gimmick and they stick to that without growing or changing a bit. Meg is the annoying worry wort. Charles Wallace is the calm, all-knowing "Jesus" character. Mr. Jenkins is the mean, old teacher. And Calvin is the stud/jock. Reading about these characters can get boring after a while.

 

Another thing I do not like about this book was the overall "message." L'Engle seems to be teaching children that it's okay to be themselves... as long as you can fit into society. Throughout the entire book, she kept making her characters say to Charles Wallace that he needs to "conform" so that way he won't have a hard time in school. Let me back track a little, Charles Wallace is being bullied at school for being "different." He's beaten everyday and comes home from school with blackeyes and a bloody nose everyday. And everyone (except Meg) just tells him it's basically his fault for being so different. He needs to learn to "conform" and "be normal" like everyone else. That way, he won't be picked on. Well, I'm sorry, but I think that's a bunch of bullshit. How is it okay to know that a small, six-year-old boy is being beaten at school, and your response is "Well, if you weren't so different, you wouldn't get punched in the face"? Even his parents didn't do anything to help their child! Are you kidding me? Then by the end of the book, L'Engle drives it home even harder that children need to learn to "adapt" so they can succeed in the world. Yeah, no, how about being better adults, teaching kids to get along with others who are "different" so that way crap like bullying doesn't happen every bloody time? It makes me angry when adults see this kind of behavior happening and they do nothing about it. NOTHING! Ugh. I'm frustrated.

 

And don't even get me started on the contradictions when it comes to Mr. Jenkins. How everyone needed to protect his ego when he felt he wasn't unique anymore. You can do that for a grown man but not Charles Wallace? You tell him that there's no one else like him in the world, but you tell a six-year-old he needs to be like everyone else if he wants to be happy and not picked on? Really? No. I just. I can't. I just can't support the hypocrisy. There is nothing in this world that makes it okay for you to tell another person they can't be themselves. Or rather, they could, as long as they fit in with everyone else. That's messed up on so many levels.

 

Anyway, I'm going to end it here. Once again, I'm left with the feeling that Madeleine L'Engle has some great concepts when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy. I just wish she would focus on them more than trying to teach "life lessons" to children. I feel like these books would be a lot more enjoyable if that were the case.

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review 2018-03-18 19:27
#Audiobook Review: A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wind in the Door - Listening Library,Jennifer Ehle,Madeleine L'Engle

A Wind in the Door is the follow up story to one of my favorite books, A Wrinkle in Time. Moving forward in time a couple years, we catch up with Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace as they take on another cosmic adventure. This time around, Charles Wallace is very ill, and Meg and Calvin meet new beings who help them try to save him.

 

Once again, I listened to the book with my 11-year old daughter (after reading it several times in my youth and as an adult). We both found the story somewhat interesting, but not nearly as good as the first book. I felt the story tries too hard to get across its messages of "everything is connected" and "love everyone." The concepts used became increasingly repetitive and unnecessarily confusing. We both became bored with the Meg's tests, meanwhile, we both were able to figure out and solve Meg's problems well before she did.

 

Ms. Ehle does a good job with her narration, although I did enjoy Ms. Davis's performance in A Wrinkle in Time a bit more. At first, it was hard not to compare the two performances, but after a while, I could appreciate Ms. Ehle's work on its own merit. She has a calming presence and captures the exuberant nature of Meg.

 

In the end, I enjoyed the experience of listening to A Wind in the Door with my daughter, but we both agree the book had a few issues.

 

My rating: B-/C+
My daughter: 3.4 stars

 

Narration: B
My daughter: 4 stars

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review 2017-12-19 03:27
Revisiting an old favorite + the movie is coming out next year
Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet Box Set (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters) by Madeleine L'Engle (2001-09-11) - Madeleine L'Engle

For many years, when people would ask me about my favorite book I would promptly say that it was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Recently, I started to wonder if my love for the novel had stood the test of time so I picked up the 4 book series entitled the Time Quartet (I have the box set that I got years ago) from my shelf and dove in headfirst. Reading the first book in the series, A Wrinkle in Time, completely transported me back to middle school when I first discovered the delightful writing of L'Engle. The book was just as fantastic as I remembered but with the passing of time I see more clearly the overt references to Christianity which were lost on me as a child. (She's a bit like C.S. Lewis in the way that she writes for children about Christianity but instead of fantasy devices she uses science fiction and fantasy.) This literary device would increase as the series continued and in a lot of ways it took away some of the enjoyment of the books for me. One of the bonuses of L'Engle's writing is that it is never 'dumbed down' for her child audience. She uses technical terminology and speaks of scientific endeavors as if the reader should already be aware of them. When I first read that book, this was a foreign concept to me as I didn't think I was any good at the sciences when I was in school. (Now look at how many scientific books I've read and reviewed!)

 

The main character in the first book is Meg, eldest sister of the Murry clan, and we see everything from her point of view. A large portion of why I loved this book was that Meg wasn't a typical girl of her age and I strongly identified with her (and I had a crush on Calvin).  A Wrinkle in Time focuses on Meg's relationship with herself, her family, and her peers (especially Calvin). She sees herself as 'other' except when she's with Charles Wallace or her mother (or Calvin...yes, I'm enjoying myself). It doesn't help that their father has been missing for so long that the postman in town has started asking impertinent questions. (The whole town is gossiping or so it seems.) While Meg plays a large role in A Wind in the Door, the main part of the plot is written with Charles Wallace (youngest Murry son) as the main character. Both books are full of adventure and self-discovery. Both Murry children come into their own and use their unique strengths to help them accomplish their goals. The stakes are always set extremely high and the pace is alternately rushed no-holds-barred action and so lackadaisical as to seem stagnant. (Note: If you don't enjoy books with a lot of descriptions and copious amounts of symbolism then I'm afraid this isn't the series for you.) By A Swiftly Tilting Planet, I felt almost overwhelmed by the underlying religious messages and the conclusion, Many Waters, which focuses on the twins, Sandy and Dennis, was so far-fetched as to be ridiculous. (Books 3 and 4 are so convoluted that I don't feel like I can talk about them in detail other than to say they are out there.) Part of me wishes that I had stopped reading at A Wrinkle in Time (as I had done for so many years) so as to not shatter the illusion of what this series meant to me but part of the reason I started this blog was to explore new books and to give as honest a review as possible. The hope is that even if I don't enjoy a book it might interest someone else. With that being said, A Wrinkle in Time remains in my top 50 all-time faves but the others...not so much. 9/10 for book 1 and a 3/10 for the series overall.

 

A/N: I just did a little Google search and discovered that although I have the box set which is called the Time Quartet there was actually a fifth book written called An Acceptable Time and which called for a new set to be created, the Time Quintet. I feel like I've been hoodwinked! Does this mean I need to find a copy of this book to complete the experience?! (Spoiler alert: I am probably not going to do this.)

 

Here's the complete set. [Source: Barnes & Noble]

 

 

What's Up Next: Grendel by John Gardner

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Scythe by Neal Shusterman (been reading it for weeks because I've reached the end-of-year reading slowdown)

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-12-07 04:24
A Wind in the Door - Madeleine L'Engle

I read this one in less than a day when home sick from work.

 

I was unimpressed. I don't know if I read this before or not, but I'm personally not a fan of metaphysics

 

...allow me to explain. I consider myself a scientist. I understand science. I consider myself a spiritual person. I understand spiritual questing. I do not, however, think that scientific principles can be applied (especially by non-scientists) to spiritual matters. What you get is nonsense and mumbo-jumbo.

 

And THIS book was mumbo-jumbo.

 

Neither the science nor the spiritual questing in this book was believable to me. L'Engle managed to miss on both accounts.

 

Anyways, I'm beating a dead horse. I found the story contrived, dense, and trippy for trippiness' sake.I'm reading the next book, though, because I'm no quitter... (=

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