Friday, December 28, 2012

Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity Elizabeth Wein book cover
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: May 15, 2012
Source/Format: Gifted by Elena || Paperback

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

Writing a review for Code Name Verity is proving to be a decidedly difficult task. It's a profoundly moving book, and I'm especially enamored with the fact that it focuses primarily on a friendship unlike any other. It is with extreme gratitude that I thank Elena for (nicely) pushing me to read this book, as I would have regretted missing out on it!

I love historical fiction, particularly when there are detailed descriptions. This novel struck me as an interesting account of what it must have been like in Europe during wartime. It felt very real to me, and the author did a great job weaving a story out of the details she uncovered during her research. It's especially interesting that the role women played during this time was really the main focus of this story, and I definitely found myself craving more information and books about the war and the women of that time.

Friendship is always a relationship I consider particularly important, so I really enjoyed reading about Verity and Maddie and their friendship. Though each girl is very different, their friendship definitely made sense to me. The strength of their bond, and the genuine love and respect and pride they had in each other was just heartwarming to read about. It is this friendship that touched a part of my heart, and made me feel deeply, deeply moved as I read.

The way the novel is formatted makes it come across as very personal. I love how it reads like a journal; this moved me to feel the things that Verity must have felt, as well as making her much more relatable as a character. Though I wasn't expecting many of the things she wrote about, I must say that choosing to employ this method in telling this story was a smart move. It definitely worked for me as I found myself feeling sucker punched and emotionally thrown at certain points while I was reading!

This novel tells such a beautiful, moving tale of friendship that will be staying with me for a long while. In fact, the only (semi) negative thing I can say about this book is that you just have to be in the right mood to read it. It's a wonderful example of historical YA, and I look forward to finding other gems in this particular sub-genre. Code Name Verity may not be for everyone, but it cetainly is a book that I will return to time and time again, especially when I crave reading an unusually crafted, lovely piece of work.

20 comments:

  1. Maybe it was my mood, but I found this one very difficult to get through. I put it down a few times and read other things. I finally finished it, because I was reading such raves about it. I do love historical fiction and I'm glad I read it, but the beginning was hard to get through.

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    1. I agree! It was initially a bit difficult for me to fully immerse myself in the book, but once I did, I fell head over heels for it. So glad you managed to finish it!

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  2. You have perfect timing with this review! I just picked this one up from the library (mostly because of Elena, haha) and I'm excited to read it. I don't normally read historical fiction, but I have heard nothing about good things about it. I like that it focuses on women during the war. I've learned a lot about the war itself, but not a lot about the role of women. It should be interesting!

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    1. It's really an interesting novel! I'm glad I let Elena convince me to read it. It was an awesome last-minute favorite for the year.

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  3. This is definitely one of those books that you have to be in the right frame of mind to read because of the heavier subject matter, however, it's one of those stories that makes such a forceful impact on the reader that, by the end, you're so glad you pushed through it. I haven't read Code Name Verity yet, but it's high on my list of noteworthy novels, for sure! The journal-like style, the history and the emphasis on women and friendship are all super appealing to me! I'm really glad to hear that it lives up to expectations on all fronts!

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    1. Yes, it really does! I always worry going into majorly hyped up books that I'm not going to love them as much as everyone else - but that's not the case for this one. Though it takes a while to get used to, I loved the writing style!

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  4. I am SO glad that you finally read and loved this, Alexa!! I too loved the focus on friendship between the girls and the journal-style was such a clever way of revealing the story to us.

    My heart hurts a little just from thinking about this book again!

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    1. It was really lovely. And I think that the fact it focuses on friendship was such a strong point for me!

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  5. This was my favorite read of the year, one I introduced several friends to because I was so moved by the beautiful story of friendship. Great review-this book can be so hard to review due to spoilers but you did a great job writing around that.

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    1. Thank you! I'm happy I was finally able to read this one, and I'm glad you loved it too!

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  6. There have been soooo many great reviews of this book, and yours just makes me want to read it more than ever.

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    1. I hope you do read it! It really is worth a read, especially if you like any of the elements I mentioned in my review :)

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  7. I'm pretty sure I picked up this book because of you, Alexa, and now it's on my TBR shelf. I just hope I'm in the right mood when I get to it!

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    1. I hope you are too! I honestly tried to start it twice and put it down. The third time was the charm, I guess!

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  8. I'm kicking myself for not having read it yet. It's kind of like a good salad. You know you'll love it as soon as you take a bite, but while you a scanning the menu it isn't what you think you crave.

    Beautiful review.

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    1. I LOVE what you said in your comment because it's too true! I hope you find this one satisfies your appetite ;)

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  9. I need to read this one! I think this could accomplish one of my 2013 goals to read a book EVERYONE has read ... I can't wait!

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    1. Definitely pick this one! I really think it's worth a read.

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  10. I read this because of Elena, too! She's obviously pushing this book on everyone these days :) I loved it just as much as it sounds like you did. I haven't even written a review for it yet, mostly because I really don't know how to describe it properly. But you did it so well! I think this is a difficult book to talk about because you pretty much have to avoid mentioning anything to do with the plot. Their friendship was one of my favorite relationships from a book I read in 2012, and I love that you really highlight that here. And my goodness, I love historical fiction too. Yay!

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  11. I am really intimidated by this book and I think it is because 1) it is historical and it isn't one of my favorite genres and 2) everyone that I know has thought the book was just AMAZING, so I feel a lot of pressure to like it. The fact that you mention being in the right mood makes me feel a little better because I am not *always* raring to get up and read books like this! I have it so whenever the mood does strike me, I'll jump right on it, but in the meantime, I'm so nervous about it!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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