Shara's Reviews > Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
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's review
Jun 22, 2012

it was amazing
Read from June 26 to July 01, 2012

The premise: ganked from 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 and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

My Rating: My Precious

This book was utterly deceptive in a wonderful and satisfying way. I started off not understanding the hype, but my interest in the time period as well as the strength of the characters (the narrator, her best friend Maddie, as well as even the supporting cast, heroes and villains alike) kept me going, as did my internal guessing games, wondering who the narrator really was and wondering what kind of trick this book had up its sleeve. Because I was convinced the book had a trick up its sleeve. And of course it did. But even a jaded reader such as myself never saw it coming, and before I was even finished I wanted to flip back to the beginning to start over. It's that kind of utterly amazing reading experience that I rarely experience, where I'm left in complete and total awe.

Yet it was not a fast read by any means. That's not a detraction: it just took me time to read the book and really absorb the events as they happened. Despite the light, almost carefree tone of the novel, the events are dark and disturbing and feel more than real. I saw one review where the reader stated that by the end, she felt proud of the characters, and that's exactly right. They may be fictional, but they're so deeply rooted in history and so deeply rooted in humanity that you feel like you can open up the pages of a history book and they'll be right there. It's a lot to absorb, but it's also so, so, SO worth the read. I'm thrilled that I gave into the impulse to buy this, and I can't wait to read it again in the future.

Spoilers, yay or nay?: Nay. This is a book with the kind of plotting that really rewards the unspoiled reader, so I'd hate to be the one to sully anyone's first read. The full review may be found in my blog, which I've linked directly to below. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.


Happy Reading!
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Reading Progress

06/27/2012 page 48
14.0% 2 comments
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Tez (new)

Tez Tried this, didn't work for me, gave up. Your experience may differ ;-)

Beth Looks like you liked this one, too!

Erika I'm reading this one right now. It's amazing. :)

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