Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
Published February 6, 2012.
Published by Egmont Press.
Source: Won from Manda-Rae Reads a Lot. Thank you!
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-Hauptsturmführer 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.
What a beautiful novel. It was powerful, it was heart-wrenching, and it kept me up until the wee hours of the morning reading because I just could not put it down.
Despite a bit of a slow start, this novel is exactly what I look for in historical fiction. It is written like diary entries as Verity's information reveal to her German captor and is one of the most emotional novels I have read in a while. It really brought me into the mind of a girl kept in what for many today would be an unimaginable situation.
I loved Verity as a character. She is a very likeable narrator who loves to throw some twists at her captors (and therefore at the reader as well). It was really interesting to me how self-deprecating she was while also remaining so endearing. She has wit and she is amusingly clever, even though she is in the worst of circumstances, which are certainly not glossed over. The harsh realities of being a prisoner-of-war in German-Occupied France during World War II are explored through Verity's convincing and terrifying fears and really helped to bring the horror of the time alive. Her story is absolutely heartbreaking and it's so easy to let it get to you, but because Verity as narrator is so entertaining, she doesn't let you wallow in it. She reveals something absolutely horrible and then makes some remark or tells some story that you can't help but enjoy until the horror begins to slip your mind. The way she was written truly makes for the perfect combination of humour and heartbreak that this kind of novel set in this time period deserves.
There were a few other aspects about the story that I loved. Since it is written as Verity recording her past like flashbacks, there was an interesting blend of her memories from then and her comments on the situations from now that made for a great flow. I found it very cool how I would learn something and immediately want to go back and read the last section of the novel again with this new information or perspective I had. Also, while I was reading, I would find myself with a question only to have it answered soon afterwards, which really encouraged me to keep reading and learning more. Not to mention the unexpected twists later in the novel that turned everything on its head. That I absolutely loved. It really was an amazing novel in all its aspects.
Elizabeth was kind enough to provide a signed copy of Code Name Verity to one lucky reader!
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