Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Title/Author: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Publisher/Date published: Hyperion, May 15th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "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."

You guys, know how I said I shy away from books about World War II?? Cause I usually do. But then I saw everyone raving about Code Name Verity and going ALL CAPS on it and I knew I had to give it a try after all. Even if it is DEFINITELY out of my comfort zone. And seriously, it hasn't let me down!

I absolutely loved how Elizabeth Wein could do the voices of both of the girls, Julie and Maddie, and have them be completely different! These girls are both incredible in their own way and seriously, it was just amazing how she let us get to know them both as individuals.
I have to say that I'm partial to Julie and enjoyed hearing the story in her voice much more than I did Maddie's, but well, Maddie's was none too shabby either!
And can I just say that I love an unreliable narrator? Cause I totally do! I want to reread this thing again and catch all the thing we find out towards the end and go all OMG! WHY DIDN'T I SEE THAT???

I have so much love for a lot of the characters that we are introduced to, but seriously, Julie and Maddie will just stay with me for a long time. They are both incredibly brave women who chose to defend their country when this wasn't conventional. And they both kicked serious ass at their respective jobs. I am just amazed by people like them and I feel honored having gotten the chance to know them, cause in my mind they appear very real. And I absolutey LOVE it when this happens.

You know what is funny? Writing this review makes me realise just how much I loved Code Name Verity!

And really, I was RIGHT THERE in the story with all of them, but I connected the most to Julie. I loved her sarcasm and her resourcefulness and just her plain awesomeness. I loved the friendship between her and Maddie and I loved hearing her tell the tale of how they came to be best friends. The storytelling was captivating and I just felt myself slowing down in order to catch everything and I still probably didn't cause I was also in a rush to find out what would happen next! I also loved that while there is the possiblity of a romantic undercurrent, it wasn't really part of the story, cause this story is about the bond of friendship between two young women in the time of World War II with both of them risking their lives for their country. And it was perfect just the way it was without adding boys into the picture.

The hints we get at the cruel torture techniques that are practiced by the German officers are beyond horrifying and the ones we do get to witness took my breath away with their viciousness. I was gaping at one thing that happens towards the end, but ultimately I love Maddie for what she did and she's a better and braver person than I am, cause I don't know if I could have done that.

This book left me feeling heartbroken, but also slightly hopeful and just generally grateful that I read it. Goes to show that stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to amazing experiences and it has convinced me that I may need to try it more often.
If you're a historical fiction fan or just plain like amazing captivating reads, this is your book. Why are you not reading this already?!

My rating: 5 stars


  1. I have had this ARC forever and I'll be reading it soon. I can't wait because everyone seems to love it so much!

    Kate @Ex Libris

    1. Yay! I can't wait to hear what you think! :)

  2. I was trying to be all good and not over request when this popped up as Read Now on NetGalley. Wishing I'd clicked now because everyone is loving it. I quite like books about war though, providing they're not from a pro-war view, they can teach you a lot when done well.

    1. I almost didn't request it!! I was trying to be good but failed completely ;)

  3. Wow! Wonderful review! I'm adding this one to my TBR list. I love historical fiction.

  4. Just review just made me want to try this book- I have had the ARC for a few weeks - so I did. I kind of got lost in the whole thing, though I did read more than half already. I don't know, I kind of found it too wordy.

    I might finish it over the weekend, though. :P

    Thanks for your review, it was pretty awesome and it got me to pick up the book, which I had already decided I wasn't going to read.

    1. You need to finish it! When you get nearer to the end and everything becomes clear you'll go OMG! HOW DID I MISS THAT??? I love it when I haven't figured everythiing out eons before it appears in the book so it made me pretty happy :)

  5. This book has already made it's way onto my list of books that I absolutely need to read! It really sounds good :)

  6. I saw this in my school library last week and loved the cover but thought it might be a bit cheesy/simple/rubbish (most of the books the library promotes are). Having read your review and hearing how good the characters are, I may just have to check it out!
    I love WW2 books but can find them very hit and miss. This one sounds good!