Wednesday, October 30, 2013

REVIEW: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Title: Code Name Verity
Author: Elizabeth Wein Website Twitter
Publisher: Egmont Press
Release Date: February 6, 2012
Pages: 447
Buy It! amazon
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

First Thoughts: A somewhat slow start but a GREAT finish! This book made me stop in awe, it made me gasp in shock, and it made me cry in heartbreak. What a story!

As the book says, “careless talk costs lives” and in that sense, I don’t want to ruin anything for future readers (and you all should be future readers of this book). I don’t want to give away spoilers and ruin the reading experience because there are multiple BIG twists throughout this story. Many times I found myself sitting and staring at the book in disbelief. So, needless to say, this review will be brief, but only because I want all of you to read this book!

Even though this book is historical fiction, it feels real - really real. The interrogation scenes, even though they aren’t extremely descriptive, gave me goosebumps. To think that soldiers went through that? Ugh! The way Wein describes the planes? I felt like I went to flight school right alongside Maddie. The best part of this story, though, isn’t any of the historical references - it’s the friendship between Maddie and Queenie. So often in young adult literature, the storyline centers on some love interest; in Code Name Verity, it’s all about the friendship. The love these girls feel for each other is so real, it’s almost palpable. Honestly, within this war story full of death, violence, and destruction there is beauty in the girls’ friendship.

This book definitely starts as a slow read, and maybe that’s purposeful. This is not a fluff story to breeze through, the reader needs to work, but it is so worth it in the end. I’ll admit I had a hard time getting into the story; I questioned all of the raving reviews I read. But, as soon as Wein revealed the first twist, I was officially hooked.

Final Thoughts: This book is a classic (ignore what its published date says). It should, and probably will, be read, shared, and talked about for years to come. Again, what a story!

Who Should Read It? If you enjoy historical fiction, particularly WWII literature, definitely add this to your TBR list. I think the appeal goes beyond historical fiction readers though. It is not an easy book to read, for many reasons, but the mark it leaves on you is well worth the emotional investment. Read this book!


  1. Code Name Verity was a pretty slow read for me-- I've picked it up twice and still haven't got past 50 pages! I've heard so many great things about this book and I really really wish I'd enjoy it like everyone else did, your review convinced me to give it another go! Verity (is that her name??) has a very unique voice and ugh! The interrogation scenes are scary!

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

  2. I had a hard time getting started, but once I reached "the reveal" I was hooked. I ended up loving it, despite the fact I cried like a baby!

  3. I really loved this book. From the moment I started it, I couldn't put it down. I don't usually read historic fiction but I'm glad I did. Elizabeth Wein is a master story teller who obviously did her research. I liked that she had young women as strong leads. This book was sad yet poignantly reflective of the strength of the human spirit.

  4. I found this so amazing. The way each and every little detail was spun together and woven to create the story was incredible. It was so well-told that I felt as if I was there with the character, being tortured along side Queenie and flying with Maddie. How I cried towards this end. I would recommend this to anyone. It was so sad and yet uplifting. One of the best books I have ever read.

  5. Yes, yes, yes! You said in a few sentences what I struggled to say in my review! It really is a wonderful story. I'm excited to read Rose Under Fire, as I've heard that's as good, if not better.