Release Date: May 15, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Bought
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?
Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.
Code Name Verity starts almost at the end of the story. You get thrown right into Nazi occupied France with a very unreliable–but so infectious–narrator. It didn’t take me long to be riveted by the story I was being told even though I really had no idea where it was going. The story is a little confusing at first, but it was one of those cases where it was easy to get lost in it, in a good way. I just had faith that everything was going to click at some point and I was going to be blown away. That’s exactly what happened.
Verity, or Queenie as her friends call her, is the narrator of most of the story and she might honestly be one of my favorite narrators ever. She’s unreliable…with good reason, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. She’s in this unfathomable situation, but she still manages to bring such wit and humor to the story. Then there were the subtle hints of the horrific things that were happening to her and it just broke my heart. Verity was an incredible character.
I’m not going to get into the actual story too much, because I want you to get the full experience if you haven’t read it yet. Code Name Verity is a story of beautiful friendship at its heart. Elizabeth Wein might just be a genius. Really. It’s one of those stories that I will never understand how the author came up with it. I also loved that I learned things about WWII that I never knew before. I’m semi familiar with what women did in the US for the war effort, but I had no idea that there were women flying planes, doing secret things, and just generally doing what was very much a man’s job in that time. It was amazing to learn more about that.
There’s not much more that I can say about Code Name Verity except read it if you haven’t. It’s an incredible book that will warm your heart and break it in equal measures.