Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
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.
The less you know about the contents of this book going into it, the better your reading experience will be. For CODE NAME VERITY is a truly exquisite book, one of those rare stories that will touch the heart of every reader who is fortunate enough to encounter it.
CODE NAME VERITY is fueled by the memorable narrative of a feisty, fiery, and fiercely intelligent and loyal character who will shoot her way to the top of your “favorite characters” list. I don’t know about you, but I go absolutely head over heels for characters who are smarter than me, those whose intelligence isn’t shoved into my face with telling sentences, but instead unfolds over the course of the book.
The book winds through flight and war terminology but transcends historical fiction with its narrator’s fun, relatable, and just basically genuine voice. I found myself practically cackling with laughter at the narrator’s numerous antics, even in her terrifying situation. Elizabeth Wein’s writing is brilliant: the pace and style of words mimic the event that the narrator is telling, long or short, dialogue vs. narration, profound vs. charming.
You’ll notice that I didn’t use any names in this review. That’s because, first of all, the war setting makes it unclear whether or not the characters are using their real names, and secondly, part of the enjoyment of this book is figuring out when characters are telling the truth and when they are not. Don’t let that—or my woefully inadequate review—deter you. Read CODE NAME VERITY; I am 99% sure you won’t regret it. Recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction set in World War II and character-driven novels.
Cover discussion: I... I like it. Yes. I like it. It evokes a little bit of everything about this book--friendship, writing, the bleakness and looming horizon of death.
Hyperion / May 15, 2012 / Hardcover / 352pp. / $16.99
Personal copy / e-galley received from publisher and NetGalley.