Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity

Author: Elizabeth Wein
Pages: 343 pgs
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Release Date: May 15th 2012
Review Source: Borrowed

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

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

For the book club meeting that I joined, my sister chose this particular book. It was one that I’d heard about, but had never really been sure I’d want to read. World War II and the Holocaust are very difficult topics, but I decided to give this one a chance.

And I am so glad that I did.

Elizabeth Wein did such an incredible job with the details and historical aspects that I knew I wanted to know more. I had been unaware of female pilots during World War II, or even their enlistments in the military, so getting to read story with two characters who’d done just that was so much fun.

The two main characters, Verity and Maddie, were probably the best part of this for me though. Verity started off the book and I loved her voice. Though she was in a horrible situation, she maintained a snarky attitude and kept me intrigued throughout. When it switched to Maddie’s perspective, I wasn’t too happy at first, but I quickly understood why.

I don’t want to give anything away for anyone who hasn’t had the chance to read this. All I will add is that Elizabeth brilliantly weaved the threads of this story together. She gave us two very strong characters, and showed the bonds of a friendship and how far they were willing to go for one another.

It was beautiful and sad and a wonderful read. One that I’m glad I gave a chance.

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