Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth WeinTitle: Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity #1) by Elizabeth Wein
Publishing Info: May 15, 2012 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Library
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 16, 2013
Related Posts: Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity #2)

  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, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

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The mysteries and surprises are some of the best part of this book so I PROMISE not to include any spoilers. Like most of my books, I went in blind, with only the knowledge that this took place during WWII and it made the book so much better!

Usually, historical fiction is not my thing. I was never a big history buff and I frequently get bogged down in names, dates, and events. Embarrassingly so, I don’t know a lot about history because I was never interested and that usually hinders me from liking books that take place in a historical setting, but CODE NAME VERITY is anything but boring. It did have a bit of a slow start, but quickly picked up as you get pulled into the narrator’s current situation (her identity is revealed not too far into the book, but as I didn’t see it coming, I’m certainly not going to tell you!) and how her story of Maddie the pilot all fits into the big picture.

CODE NAME VERITY is not an easy read in more than one way. First: it’s WWII we’re talking about here. There are some gruesome details as far as torture and deaths go and my God, it’s like you get to know these characters. Their stories are absolutely heartbreaking. Second: The content is so heavy that I literally could not breeze through it – Of course, it wasn’t my goal to breeze through, but this is a book you really need to take your time with. Sit down, relax, and close yourself off to the world as you get lost in this plot. The further you are in it, the sadder it is, but it makes for such a more emotionally-invested experience. Third: ALL THE CAPSLOCK. These are first hand accounts of what these girls witnessed during the war and their personal diaries and journals. Every single emotion is exposed on the pages of this book and I really felt like these were real people. It was really hard to read the awful things that these girls went through and my heart and soul went into reading this book.

As with any good spy book, there are TWISTS, and oh the glory of them! Quite a few things that I didn’t see coming (don’t try to search for them – It’s better if you’re surprised) and it just made the whole book that much more interesting. I didn’t know until after it happened exactly how much sense it made. It’s one of my favorite things for a twist to be revealed and then think back on every incidence in which I missed its presence. It’s quite an astonishing thing!

I don’t know what more I can say except that I think everyone should read this amazing story. I don’t know if teachers have incorporated this in their English classes, but I think they should. It’s far better than anything I ever read in school and with historical and literary aspects combined into one amazing book, I think anyone from teenagers to adults should be reading this. I’m so glad Forever YA picked this as their January read or else I might not have picked it up!

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Maddie: It took me a while to warm up to Maddie, mostly because I was trying to figure her out. She was a great character – Stubborn. Fierce. Shy, yet confident in her abilities as a pilot. Not afraid to stand up for herself and finding her place in a man’s world. She definitely grew on me as the book progressed and although it took me a while to really place her in the story, she definitely had a huge impact on me as a reader!
Queenie: What a character Queenie was! Gosh. I can just picture her there in Word War II, all her beauty and ferocity making her an extremely lethal weapon. I absolutely loved her character, thousands of times over. She was definitely one that stood out for me and her story was incredible as well.

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BUY IT!

This book was soooo good. It was heartbreaking, heartwarming, and everything in between. History fiend or not, it’s an important one to read.

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   BURIAL RITES       Grave Mercy

5 thoughts on “Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

  1. Kim

    I have my undergrad in history so I know I’d love this book. It’s been on my TBR list for awhile now but I have other stuff I have to get to first. Can’t wait to read it after all the good things I’ve been seeing from reviewers.

  2. ocdreader

    I had absolutely no idea what this was about and I wanted to read it before, because everyone was saying they loved it…but now…holy cow, must get my hands on this! Great review, thank you for not spoiling anything 🙂

  3. Amy @ bookgoonie

    This is in my pile & I don’t know why I keep letting it sit. I think it is because I do teach history. I like my reading to be purely entertaining BUT I do need to give this one a go. If not for the fact that I’d donate it to my school library when I get it read.

  4. Hannah @ So Obsessed With

    You nailed it when you said this is a book you have to sit down with and just take it slow. I’m so used to reading quickly that it was a little difficult for me to get into this one at first. I love historical fiction, too, so I was worried because I’d heard so many rave reviews of it. That being said, once I got to a certain point, I was sold on this book. It really did end up being AMAZING but it definitely took a little time to get there. 🙂

  5. Kelly_GK

    I am very happy I came across your review Brittany. Sad to say, this book had escaped my scouts until now, and judging from your review, it is definitely on my most immediate to-reads. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres and as far as this one being a book to take slow, well, I was made for this kind 🙂

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