Jo's Reviews > Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
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's review
Feb 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: own, 2012, ya, good-grief, history-smishtory, just-been-cutting-onions, of-epic-proportions, soul-sister-heroine, you-got-a-friend-in-me
Recommended to Jo by: Chachic
Read from February 14 to 19, 2012

A note: This review is going to be a bit vague because I really, really, reallyreally don’t want to spoil this book for anyone. Because oh my gosh….

A note on the note: This review really is going to be vague unlike all my other ‘vague’ reviews which go on for about a year.

The first thing I did after I finished reading this book was to pick up my phone and text my best friend, who I have known since I was eleven and has been there through every single one of my problems and ill-advised fringes, and tell her that I loved her.

The second thing I did after I finished reading this book was flip back to the beginning and start reading it again.

I don’t mind admitting that it took me and this book a while to really get going.. The way this book was written with all the capital letters bothered me and the changing in perspectives and everything really confused me.
It took me a good 100 pages to get into but seeing as this book is over 400 pages long; that was absolutely fine.
And after those first 100 pages, I learnt the truth and that is: This book is fantastic.
I knew I’d love it when I was noseying at the wonderful Chachic’s status updates and then I read the synopsis.

Spies? Pilots? Codes? Secrets? History? Best friends? Mancunians?!
These are a few of my favourite things…

I loved the setting. I loved the plot. I loved the era.
And the twists absolutely threw me (although, I did have the smallest of small inklings of one thing but that’s only because I have a clever dad who eats history books for breakfast and I accidentally asked a question that got made me put a few things together…)
The twist and the ending…. I just can’t even think about them without jibbering.

Code Name Verity is The Usual Suspects of YA literature.

Like I said above, the second thing I did after I finished reading this book was to go back to the beginning and read over certain parts again. I know that this book will be one of those books that will get better and better every time I read it.
I loved Verity. I loved Maddie.
They were real girls.
They laugh, they cry, they flirt with boys, they gossip, they’re loyal, they fly planes, they can land planes, they can speak different languages, they can crack codes, they can do the unthinkable, they do the right thing.
I loved that, with Maddie and Verity, Ms Wein showed that you can be strong, you can be brave, you can be good at what you do, you can be the best at what you do and you can do all this without sacrificing your femininity and/or becoming a passive-aggressive “message”. There was never a sense that these ladies did what they did in a “Look! Look! We can do it too. We’re just as good as boys!” and because they had something to prove.
They were such rich and beautiful characters and I loved, loved, loved them both so dearly.

And, anyway, boys didn’t even get a look in. They wouldn’t be able to keep up with any of the girls in this book.


The phrase “Careless talk costs lives” is mentioned frequently in this book and I couldn’t help but be reminded of this poster:


Also, the fact that that I own that very poster [bought from the Imperial War Museum North, I’ve still not been to the London one, or the Churchill War Rooms, yet… one day :) ] and it is hanging up on my bedroom wall….that helped too.

So that’s it.
That’s my review.
It doesn’t do this book justice in the slightest but it’s the best that I can do.

Arm yourself with tissues, read this book, prepare to be amazed and always fly high.

Read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog here.
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Reading Progress

02/16/2012 "I'm loving that Maddie is from Stockport. Wooo Northern girls! *does something stereotypically Northern, swear loudly and drink pints from a dirty glass*" 5 comments
02/17/2012 page 100
22.0% ""I don't know, you naughty man, I've never kippled." || LOL. :-D"
02/18/2012 page 232
51.0% ""Tous les enfants, sauf un, grandissent" || I'm nervous. :("
02/18/2012 page 273
60.0% "Oh man. :(" 5 comments
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Comments (showing 1-35)

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Chachic Yay!

message 34: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo I just bought it and I'm not even sorry! :-p

Thanks for the rec, I've been looking for more historical YA for a while now.

Chachic There's no need to be sorry! I have a feeling it's going to be amazing. You can watch the book trailer here:

message 32: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Oh wow, that looks sooo good.

Chachic Yep, that's one beautiful book trailer.

message 30: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo I love the music and the ration books and the letters and COME ON BOOK DEPOSITORY!

I wish they did a 'next-hour' delivery option!

Chachic At least you're in the same country! It shouldn't take long for you to get the book. I'm halfway across the world. :P

message 28: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo But still... *whinges*


Chachic Oh yes, I know how you feel. :P How long does it usually take for orders to arrive?

message 26: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Ummm about 4-5 days normally.
Not too bad :)

Chachic Wow, that's FAST! It takes 3 weeks to a month for orders to get here.

message 24: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Woah, really?
It's still free though, right?

Wow, that's ridiculous!

Chachic Yep, free shipping to the Philippines! That's why I still love them. Amazon takes just as long and costs twice as much for shipping.

message 22: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Ouch.
I can't believe that.
But yay for TBD: Enabling book addicts globally. ;)

Chachic Jo wrote: "But yay for TBD: Enabling book addicts globally. ;)"

Yes, exactly. I order from TBD the books that I want that aren't available in local bookstores.

Amy (Turn the Page) What did you think? Did you cry? I cried.

message 19: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Wow.. that ending. :(

I didn't cry but I got all a bit choked up and then immediately texted my best friend. :( (view spoiler)

Chachic Aww you texted your best friend.

message 17: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Haha, I know.
I wish more books dealt with friendships like this. So much more powerful than pithy boy-meets-girl-boy-is-a-douche-girl-loses-her-mind stories we have to read nowadays.

Chachic Exactly, I love how the book focused on Verity and Maddie's friendship. Both are strong female characters and they make a sensational team.

Michelle This sounds amazing! Please tell me it's out in Aus

message 14: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Ahhh...Book Depository saving book lovers across the globe every day.

It's wonderful, Maree! I hope you read it soon :)

Michelle Thanks for that haha! I should have known... I've only got in on my top sites list ;) I blame the fact that it's after midnight here :)

message 12: by Tatiana (new) - added it

Tatiana Great review, Jo!

message 11: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Thank you :)

message 10: by Gloria (new) - added it

Gloria Mundi Great review and that poster is awesome. I've been to the Churchill war rooms. It's pretty interesting but they didn't have awesome posters for sale (at least when I went).

Aly (Fantasy4eva) thing with this one is, i'm not all the interested in pilots and such. and i'm not sure if it would be for me. but i don't know. there's something about it that screams READ ME. so maybe i will. lovely review as always Jo :)

Amy (Turn the Page) Love the review :D I started re-reading as soon as I finished as well.

I love IWM but for some reason have never been to the Churchill War Rooms which totally needs to change.

Chachic Jo, I LOVE this review! I was thrilled when you decided to buy the book based on my Goodreads status. And I'm sorry I kept bugging you with comments on your own status updates. :P It's just that I want to spread the word about EWein's amazing writing because I feel like she doesn't have enough readers. Anywho, I wonder what was that thing that you asked your dad? I think it's awesome that you texted your best friend right after reading this. Also, love that poster! I'm jealous that you have that poster in your room.

PS: I can't comment on your blog so I'm commenting here. :)

message 6: by Jo (last edited Feb 24, 2012 09:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars


(view spoiler)

Hmm... I wonder why you can't comment on my blog? Must be blogger throwing a wobbly!
No worries :)
Thank you so much for recommending this book to me! I'm so glad and I'll definitely be picking up her others.

Estara I really love this review - and especially the comparison to the Usual Suspects.

Also, Elizabeth Wein has been using an icon made from that very same blonde on the poster for various CNV related entries on her LiveJournal for quite a while - so serendipitous!!

message 4: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Thanks Estara! :)

And wow, that's so cool! Well at least I got something right :)

Chachic Jo, thanks for sharing that little anecdote! I think it's great that you're familiar with the locations in the novel, did that make it easier for you to enjoy reading the book? I remember you ordered it because Maddie is from Manchester. :P

EWein has a list of CNV-related links that you might want to check out: One of those posts talks about air museums that you can visit.

Tori I just want to say I love your review. And when I got to the end, and saw the poster I just started laughing. (I created the LJ icon for her Estara mentioned above.) You have managed to be completely spoiler free! I am so amazed. I have no idea how to review this book free of spoilers.

message 1: by Charlie (new)

Charlie I just purchased this book and can't wait to read it!!!

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