Monday, October 14, 2013

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

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. (from GoodReads)

I'm behind on reviews, but since I just finished Code Name Verity, I thought I'd review it first. When I started this book, I didn't like it that much. However, by the end I was in love!

I began the book not really enjoying it because it's really dense and there's a lot of description of airplanes and British military terms. There's still some acronyms that I don't know the full meaning of and if you're not careful you'll get hung up on all the lingo. I wanted the story, so I ignored a lot of the technical stuff that I didn't care for.

I absolutely love the idea of an unreliable narrator and it works super well for this story. The narrator (I can't say who it is because it's a spoiler) tells the story of how she and Maddie, a British female, pilot became best friends. She's telling this story instead of being tortured, because in it she's supposed to be disclosing important Allied military information. People will have a different opinions of the narrator because she's technically a traitor, but she had been tortured so can you really blame her? I'd probably be spilling all kinds of secrets.

The first half of the book I thought was okay. Once the book switches narrators halfway through it gets so much better. You find out all this new information about the characters and there's some twists and turns of the plot. I find myself flipping back to the first half to see how everything tied together and looked for clues that I had missed the first time around. The way Elizabeth Wein weaves the two stories together is amazing.

The ending is very sad but I thought it fit well with the story and that made me not hate it as much. I wish there was more character development between the narrator and Maddie - at times it was hard to tell that they were best friends. I also loved that both the characters are strong women. One was a pilot and the other was a spy, which was unheard of during World War II. Well, at least it's unheard of in movies and books. I'd love to read more about females in WWII, I'm sure it would be fascinating.

Overall, if you like historical fiction, especially WWII fiction, you have to pick this book. If you just like a good story where you have to piece together the facts, you'll probably enjoy Code Name Verity too.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
FTC: borrowed from the library.

2012/Egmont Press/447 pages.

1 comment:

Stephanie Ingrid Sarah Kristan said...

"When I started this book, I didn't like it that much. However, by the end I was in love!"

Haha, same here! But man, everything changes once you start to realize what's really happening, no? And then that scene on the bridge.. Oh god, we still cry just thinking about it, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

That's the power of literature.