Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Book Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity

Written by Elizabeth Wein
(Disney Hyperion - 5/15/2012)
Series: Code Name Verity #1
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (343 pages)
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 Stars

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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?

My Thoughts

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.

The Story
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!


Me, by the end of Code Name Verity

Me, by the end of Code Name Verity

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.


Read 39 comments

  1. Man. I’m gonna have to move this book to my main wishlist with as much as you liked it. That thing just keeps growing!

    Usually historical fiction doesn’t appeal to me at all, and this one actually still doesn’t… but I trust your judgement enough that I’m curious. If the writing is done well I’ll like just about anything.

    (lolololol you actually used a gif!)

  2. Definitely adding this one to my wishlist because it sounds so fascinating. I may not be one for airplane lingo but with your promise of the rest of the story being more captivating, I need to give this book a shot. :) Great review, Kelley!

  3. Oooh a five star review? I tend to think you don’t give those out often so that makes me uber-interested in this book. I’ve actually seen quite a few positive reviews, but have never really seriously considered picking up the book. Not sure why! I always tell myself I should read more Historical Fiction. Hm. I’ll put it on my TBR list, for if/when I ever get done reading all the books I already own ;)

  4. Gah! I’m so regretting setting this book aside when I received an e-galley of it last year. :( For some reason, I just couldn’t get into it so I gave up and now the file has expired. Anyway, seeing all these rave reviews makes me want to buy the book and give it another go. I love books that can evoke strong emotions from me, because honestly, I have a heart of stone, so it isn’t easy to make me feel much. So this left you crying at the end? GIMME. Glad you liked this, Kelley! I really do need to give this a go soon and see what everyone’s raving about. Lovely review!

  5. (Heh, K-ON!) I have always been seeing this book pop up in my GR feed, but haven’t actually read any reviews for it. But from your review, I believe that I would love this book! Verity sounds like she’s a pretty strong, entertaining lead. I also like stories with slow build and told with genius (ha), so that’s another reason why I think I will like it.

    Though, it’s easy to make me cry so I am a leetle bit scared :P I don’t want to erupt in tear in front of, you know, people.

    Great review, Kelley :D

  6. Delighted you loved it. I bought this book a few weeks ago and plan to read it this week! I’m excited as I love historical fiction and there isn’t enough YA historical fiction IMHO. That gif has prepared me for what is ahead, tissues added to my shopping list :)

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