Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review: Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity
By Elizabeth Wein
Published: 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?"

My review:

Code Name Verity is a story that packs a powerful emotional punch. It is cleverly written and full of historical details as well as suspense and even a little humor. Verity and Maddie both leap off the page as realistic and moving characters but it is Verity who stole my heart with her bravery and intelligence in the face of torture. There is one scene in particular that just broke my heart and even months later it is still fresh in my mind.

I love historical fiction but rarely have I been moved like I was with this book. I expected a suspenseful spy story and found something much more. I thought the author did an excellent job of making the characters sound authentic as British women from that time period. It did take some time to get used to the writing style but the story was well worth the effort. While some teen readers may be put off by the writing style or method of telling the story, readers who persevere will be rewarded. I know that Elizabeth Wein has written some fantasy novels but I hope she will write more historical fiction in the future. 

Note: I received an e-ARC for review purposes courtesy of NetGalley


  1. This book is SO amazing, right? I was skeptical after all the raves but they were so so right. I'm getting a little teary-eyed thinking of the saddest moment in this book and it has been months since I read it (I'm definitely rereading it next year.)

  2. I've heard such good things about this one and your review just confirms that I need to push it up my reading priority list :)

  3. Glad to see you liked this -- I did too. It was uniquely set out.


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