Saturday, 19 May 2012

Historic Saturday: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity
Elizabeth Wein
Hyperion Books for Children
[May 15, 2012]

Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.
Code Name Verity was one of those books where I wasn't sure it was for me. World War II fascinates me as something that happened in history, but I tend to avoid books that take place during it because they just don't interest me. They tend to tackle the same topics/ideas over and overs with slight variations. But everyone was raving about this one and it sounded different, so I thought I'd try it. And while I'm not going to sing its praises from the rooftops, I did really enjoy it.

I have to put in a bit of a disclaimer. I read this as an egalley on my Kindle and I'm not sure what it was, but the formatting was really wonky. And that did effect my experience reading it, I know that. I almost feel like I can't judge it until I read a finished copy, so I can read it properly. So...yeah.

I really liked reading about Maddie and Verity's story. I liked how Verity told it and how there were always these little surprises. Sometimes I could guess it, but not always. I really, really liked the twist that comes a little more than half way through the book. That was wholly unexpected.

Code Name Verity is an emotional story. Everyone I've heard from has talked about the tears, oh the tears! I never cried, but I was pretty freaking close. It wasn't what I expected to be teary about either. I certainly felt emotionally drained by the end of the book, though. Very much like I did after Mockingjay.

If anything, I would say I want more. I want to know what goes on after the book ends. I want to know how things turn out for our characters as the war wraps up and even beyond then. I have some suspicions, but I just wanna know if I'm right.

Elizabeth Wein knows how to tell a damned good story. She knows how to make things tense and high stress and mess with your head. She knows how to make your heart break and she knows how to make you smile.

Overall, Code Name Verity was unexpectedly amazing. I really wish I could've loved it the way everyone else did, and maybe if I reread it as a physical book with all the proper formatting, I would. I strongly encourage you to go and pick up a copy of this book and read this book.

--Julie

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm, I have mixed feelings about this book. It sounds great, but on the other hand, I'm not really sure if it's my cup of tea. I'm going to keep this one in mind though. Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete

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