Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Tags: YA, historical fiction, World War II, friendship, piloting

Goodreads Summary

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-Hauptsturmf√ľhrer 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.


  1. You know..I don't even know what this is about but EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT! I'm getting the sense that I should keep it that way and just read it. Those are my favorite times to discover a book!

  2. This was so amazingly good. I started bawling on the train - but not in a tear-jerky way, I hasten to add, but just because it was so good and I was SO invested. I loved how twisty the whole thing was and how it really engaged me - wondering how quickly I would break and how harshly you could really judge anyone and...gah! SO GOOD.

  3. I've heard lots of good things about this book and some only ok things, but I'm really glad you liked this! I'm excited to give it a try!

  4. Elizabeth Wein’s writing is brilliant

    *nods head* It really is! I'm thrilled that you decided to read this and that you loved it. :) I know you said I keep going on and on about Code Name Verity but it's totally worth all the praise, right?

  5. Code Name Verity is my 2nd book in my TBR pile and I'm so excited to read it next week. I hope it turns out great to me.

  6. I am very excited to start this and very intrigued by your review. I've only skimmed about 3 reviews of this book and they have all been sketchy on details but enthusiastic about the whole so my attention is caught and I will definitely be reading this soon!

  7. Just got it based on your recommendation, it looks very intriguing!

  8. You've convinced me... I was not planning on reading this one due to all they hype but from what you say about it, it sounds right up my alley.


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