Code Name VerityWritten by Elizabeth Wein
(Disney Hyperion - 5/15/2012)Series: Code Name Verity #1
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (343 pages)
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?
This is a hard book for me to review, so I’m going to do things slightly differently this time around. I’m going to address a few specific aspects of the book. But let me say right off the bat: I absolutely loved this book.
The first half of the book is written as Verity’s “confession,” commissioned by her jailers and torturers. Right away, I was endeared to this girl. Her attitude is admirable, and her clever mockery of the people holding her captive made me smile again and again. I liked the way she turned this exercise into her own personal novel. The way she made fun of herself, her situation, and her captors was brilliant. Verity thoroughly captured my attention and my heart.
When the book switched over to Maddie’s journal, I was a bit jarred and frustrated, but I understood the reason why it switched. Watching the rest of the story unfold from Maddie’s point of view was imperative and actually served to wind up that arm and punch me in the gut much harder than would have been the case otherwise. Her voice was clearly different from Verity’s, but I see the love and devotion shared between these two girls.
Oh my gosh. Told with such genius. I mean, I don’t even know what else to say! It was a slow build, all the way through. It was like a boa constrictor, wrapping itself tighter and tighter around my heart without me even noticing. I’m going to defy everything you know about me here by concluding my review with a gif. So. Many. Feelings!
A Small Note About the Airplane Lingo: While some reviewers have either DNFed or low-rated this book due to an excess of airplane language they didn’t understand, I barely noticed this and it did not bother me at all. I noted that while Verity does describe airplane things frequently, she also makes it clear that she is making all of that stuff up (you know, to make her story more interesting!), so I didn’t feel it was necessary for me to pay these things too much attention.