[Review] CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein

Note: Cover Copy is after my thoughts because it does contain what some would consider spoilers. Avoid the cover copy if you can.

My Thoughts: I don’t normally read historical fiction. I’ve found it tends to get bogged down in the details, and I feel like I’m reading a textbook. Sometimes textbooks are less boring than historical fiction. Too often the authors have learned all these details and are bound and determined to shove them down my throat. But when I got an opportunity to get an early look at CODE NAME VERITY, I knew I had to give the book a chance. It’s got some great buzz and a great premise, so I had to see what the hype was about. Soon into the first few pages, I found it also has a intelligent and engaging unreliable narrator. I was hooked.

This is a story about a most unlikely friendship. I don’t want to give away any of the fabulous plot twists, but I do want to say that I couldn’t even guess what might happen in this story. The twists are good. Now that I’ve read it once and know all the secrets, I want to go back and read it again with this new perspective.

This book made me cry. I figured it would from the premise, and because I’m a softie. When a plane gets shot down in enemy territory, and the story essentially is the girl’s confession of secrets having been captured and tortured, I knew enough not to expect sunshine and rainbows. However, the story has this fairy tale quality to it, and hope is so tightly woven throughout that I think the reason this book haunts me, and will continue to haunt me, is because I keep thinking, “If only…. If only….”

World War II buffs will love this book. Wein has woven a lot of research, lots of great details, seemlessly into the story.  Though it’s entirely fiction, I feel like this story could have actually happened. The characters are each unique, clearly defined people. The details are rich and realistic. This book will have a lot of book clubs talking.

Expect to hear a lot more about this book.  A lot of folks will be talking about it.

[SPOILERS]

Cover Copy: 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.

Rating: A
Series: N/A
Publisher: Egmont Press, 2012
Acquired: Publisher via NetGalley

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