Sunday, May 20, 2012

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Completion Date: May 6, 2012
Reason for Reading: Fun!
I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do. 
That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer von Linden interrogating me again. 
He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two. 
We are a sensational team.
On February 10, 2012, Ana reviewed this book on Book Smugglers and gave it a 10/10. I was immediately interested because I love books set during World War 2 and this book sounded like something I would enjoy. I had just been on a book buying spree, though, so I set out to wait. Then, another Ana, this time from things mean a lot, reviewed this book and she loved it. I immediately opened a new tab and ordered the book. Then, I waited impatiently for it to arrive. And when it finally I did was in the middle of a reading slump. I was so upset because I knew I was going to enjoy this book, but I was worried my cranky reading habit would destroy the experience. So, as a result I read it very slowly. Soon, though, I was caught up in the story and was thrilled to bits with it. Folks, this book is awesome! It will make my best of list for 2012 without a doubt. I think that everyone needs to read it... Actually, I may have been emailing people telling them it was available on Netgalley before I even finished because really, everyone needs to read this book.

I guess it is supposed to be young adult, but it deals with some very heavy subject matters. I think it is definitely the best... no, wait... It is definitely one of the best fictional accounts of World War 2 I have ever read. (I almost forgot Briar Rose by Jane Yolen!) This book was so good I am having a hard time deciding what to say about it that is even remotely coherent. That is why I wasted a paragraph explaining why I have it. When I finished the book I hugged it and then sat there mulling things over for a bit. The story is told in two parts. First, we hear from Queenie aka Verity. I hate to even name her because that is a bit of a spoiler, but you need to start somewhere. She has been captured and has come to an agreement where she is to write down everything she knows about the war from the British point-of-view. She chooses to write a story, so we learn about her personal life as much as about the war effort. It makes for a very captivating read, folks. Queenie, who is entirely fictional, is a fantastic character. She really comes to life for you and you feel like you know her by the end.

Then, for the second half of the book we follow the story from Maddie's point of view. Her story is equally as captivating and because we have heard so much about her from Queenie, we can't help loving her from the moment her story starts. I love stories told in epistolary format and the way that Wein chose to address it in this book works so well. Queenie is a spy writing her story under duress. She says over and over again that she has told the truth and that she is a coward because she gave into them, but the entire time I was wondering if things were true. There is a sense of doubt the entire time you are reading it because you are so caught up in what she is saying and you believe it to be true, but it is not the most reliable way to get information out of someone. There is no doubt that she has been tortured and the other inmates all hate her because they think she is weak. I am not entirely sure I would be able to put up with what she did... Maddie is basically writing her story in the beginning to help pass the time. She is not under duress, though, so you tend to believe what she says more.

I fear I am not doing this review justice, so I recommend reading the two Ana's Reviews... The Book Smugglers/ things mean a lot 

The very interesting thing about this all is the entire time I have been reading this book, and even back when I was hearing about it, I thought the author name sounded familiar. I've read her before. Isn't it sad that I forgot? Would you like to do know why... I blocked the memory because I absolutely hated the book. I am so glad that I didn't remember because that could have really ruined this experience.

But, she has redeemed herself. I don't really rate books, but we are talking 5/5 or 10/10 or A+. Fantastic stuff!

This book counts for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge and for Trish's Pin-it and Do It Challenge because I actually had posted it (twice...).


  1. Definitely a must read.With your rating it has to be.

    1. haha, I read this comment in the email and I was thinking "I rated something?" I hope you do check it out, though. It was a great read!

  2. I already have a hold on this book at the library, so I'm really excited to see your rave review! :)

  3. Oh, wow. I'd heard of this before but never really known what it was about other than WWII. So glad I stumbled across this review. Thank you for it!

    Renae @ Respiring Thoughts

    1. I hope you get a chance to read it and enjoy!

  4. I am in the middle of this book and have have nothing but interruptions and all I want to do is read it. Every agrees it is first rate fiction. Thanks for this great review.

  5. "Code Name Verity," a magnificent novel that made me shed tons of tears ... A wonderful story!

    Elizabeth Wein tells an incredible friendship story between two women during World War II. Reported as a journal in two parts with the view of Verity and Maddie, it portrays the help given by Great Britain in the fight against the Nazis in a fictional way.

    By turns funny, poignant, scary and sad, this novel captivates you from the first pages. It takes you into the world of pilots and mechanics with Maddie, in the thrill of espionage with Verity's story. In worlds reserved to men, the two friends will find their place and gain the respect of their colleagues and friends.

    Full of courage, both women will confront their fears and will fight against bone-chilling war's troubles. Dive into the story, the reader almost forget that Elizabeth Wein wrote a fiction as the descriptions seem plausible. It is poignant and I'm not ashamed to say I finished my reading while snuffing loudly!