Eva Pohler's Reviews > Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
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's review
Sep 17, 2012

it was amazing
Read from September 17 to 21, 2012

This story, about two young women, a Scottish spy and an English pilot during World War II Nazi-occupied France, pulled me in, yanked me around, and left me feeling breathless. The narrative begins in Queenie's point of view, as she writes to literally save her life as a prisoner of war in a French hotel that's been converted into a place of torture by the Nazis. Queenie oscillates between recalling what she knows of the wireless operators working for the resistence and Ally forces--including their codes, locations, and activities--and details about her torment as a prisoner. As a once refined, uperclass student at Oxford, Queenie employs literary devices to dramatize her story for her captors, writing more than required. She also needs to write, to help her deal with her terrifying situation and to return to a time when she was still with her best friend, Maddie.

Maddie, the English pilot, is not refined. At a time when women were discouraged from flying--used only as a last resort--she just wanted the opportunity. Raised by grandparents who own a motorbike store, Maddie has her own motorbike (and independence) and quickly learns how to work on engines. Once her talents are recognized, she quickly becomes the go-to pilot for a French resistance unit flying by moonlight on secret airfields getting people in and out of the country, not far from where her best friend is being held captive.

I don't want to give too much away, but the story continually surprises to the very end while it simultaneously pulls at your heartstrings. The attention to detail--historical, geographical, and mechanical--was sometimes difficult for me to follow, and I would think a teen would have even greater difficulty. I also worry the details about torture might be hard on some teen readers. I often thought while reading that the novel may be more suitable for adults. But maybe I'm not giving young people enough credit. Regardless of the target audience, this book will remain one of my favorites.
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Reading Progress

09/17/2012 page 50
11.0% "Very interesting so far. I like the writing style."
09/18/2012 page 100
22.0% "Really good!"
09/19/2012 page 225
49.0% "So good!"
09/20/2012 page 410
90.0% "I'm REALLY suspicious. Of everything. Loving it."
09/20/2012 page 452
100.0% "Wow."
01/25/2015 marked as: currently-reading
02/02/2015 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Dotson Now, I want to read it. Never enough time!!

message 2: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Pohler I highly recommend audiobooks. They make it so much easier to get through books when you're a busy person. I listen while I drive, while I cook, while I walk the dog, while I clean house, and while i walk from one class to the next or from the car to the office. It makes standing in long lines and driving in rush-hour traffic almost pleasant. Today I listened while waiting at the vet.

message 3: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica Excited to check this one out; I love WWII and from a woman's POV - can't wait!

message 4: by Eva (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eva Pohler Jessica wrote: "Excited to check this one out; I love WWII and from a woman's POV - can't wait!"

You won't be sorry. So well written!

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