Monday, March 24, 2014

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Buy here*
Publication date: 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 332
My rating: 5 stars
Ages: 16+
Awards: Printz

When a British wireless operator must parachute into France in 1943, she has only her wits to keep her out of the hands of the Gestapo. Unfortunately, one small mistake lands her in prison, where she is interrogated severely until she agrees to give them everything she knows. This book is that written record.

Code Name Verity was such an engaging, moving, and interesting story that nothing could knock me out of the narrative. I didn't notice any inaccuracies, or editing errors; I never felt that I was asked to suspend my disbelief--though I hadn't known before hand that women were spies and pilots during World War II. The narrator has such a distinctive voice that I instantly liked her spunk, her bravery, her charm, her wisdom, and her heartbreak.

The narrative is interesting, written as a set of "entries" meant to be given to the SS officer in charge at the end of everyday. It's a bit of a thrill ride, as the reader is pulled along through tales of the past and the horrors of the present. The narrative does take a bit of getting used to, but within just a few pages, it--and it's teller--are endeared to you by the very things that make both of them different from other novels you have read. Verity is also so different from the usual WWII novels. This is a more "behind the scenes" look at the war as well as a glance of the grayness of war, enemies, friendship, loyalty, fears, dreams, and family. I shed a tear or two near the end.

I think that anyone with some interest in history (WWII in particular), strong female characters, and spy novels will find this book engaging. I especially think that those that liked The Book Thief by Marcus Zusack will find this a compelling read.

*I do not receive any compensation from Amazon.

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