Friday, November 15, 2013

Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein

Summary:  "It's like being in love, discovering your best friend."

On October 11th, 1943, a British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France.  Its pilot and passenger are best friends.  But just one of the girls has a chance at survivial.

Arrested by the Gestapo, "Verity" is given a choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.  They'll get the truth out of her.  Only, it won't be what they expect.  (Summary from back of the book and image from

My Review:  I can't stop thinking about this book.  That's how I know it deserves 5 stars.  The two main characters voices ring in my mind while I'm raking leaves, while I'm cooking dinner, while I'm driving.  So many details woven together so seamlessly that, once read, I was compelled to go back and reread sections to make sure I got every last nuance of Wein's storytelling.  I rarely do that.  It's clear to me that she understands how to tell a compelling story.  I don't dare say too much in this review--the beauty of this book is how it unfolds so masterfully, the twists, turns, names.  Everything.

This was a book club pick and made for a fantastic discussion.  The details that make the book all the more enjoyable are that it depicts aspects and people from WWII (representations of them) I hadn't previously read about--most of the WWII stories I know involve males.

And the friendship.  I can't not mention the friendship.  If you've ever had that true best friend, that one that knows you to your core, who understands code phrases and words, who can understand your idiosyncrasies and loves you anyway, you will be able to relate to these two young women.  Only a true friend will understand a desperate plea, one that asks too much, and be able to sacrifice.  Alas, I'm afraid I've said too much.

Do, please, pick up this book.  It's difficult at times to get vested, to trust your narrator, but I can't help but try to persuade you to persist.

So. Worth. The. Read.

For the sensitive reader:  There are a handful of swear words, brief descriptions of torture, and verbal abuse.  All in all, considering the prisoner of war scenario, the book is very tastefully done.

Rating: 5 Stars--I don't give these out often so take note!

Sum it up: An intriguing, plot-twisting tale of two friends caught in the fallout of WWII.


Nidhi Mahajan said...

This book has been on my reading list since some time now. I have heard so many good things about this. Great review. NEED to pick this up soon! :)

Meredith said...

This is on my book clubs list for next year. I wasn't sure about it at first but now I am super excited to read it. Of course it is not our book until next October! I may have to read it early.

Susan @ Reading World said...

This is one of my favorites. Great review!

CarrieM said...

makes for a great book club discussion!

Clare said...

This book has been on my Amazon Wishlist since I stumbled across it a number of months ago in a Barnes and Noble. Thank you for reviewing it, because now I know I need to move it to the top of my list!

gbuegge said...

An absolutely incredible book. A beautiful story of friendship and bravery.

Bee said...

I finally got around to reading this one and I'm so glad I did. Thanks for the great suggestion. I've passed it on to a friend I know will love it.


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