Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

What would you do if you were captured?  Tortured?  Burned?  This book is about a spy who is captured during WWII.  She is taken prisoner and interrogated by the Germans.  In exchange for her life, clothes, food…she promises to give them codes and share secrets…but most importantly, her story.  I think I fell more in love with the book AFTER I was done reading it…

Title: Code Name Verity

Author: Elizabeth Wein


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.

My take:

Disclaimers and such: This was a book from NetGalley.  It was given to me to read and review for free; I am not getting paid for this review.  This is my honest and true opinion.  That being said, thank you to Disney-Hyperion for letting me read and review this book!!  Everyone else, look for it to be released in May this year!!  *rubs hands together*…let’s do it!

The book starts from the point of view of a girl who has been captured by the Germans in WWII.   She had been sent in as a spy in France and was captured.  Now as a prisoner of the Gestapo, in exchange for her well being (and much needed clothes), she will decode secret codes and give them confidential information…but she also is going to give them her story.  Given some paper and a pencil, she decides to write her story of who she is, how she met Maddie, and how they became best friends.

The beginning of the book for me was a little bit of a beating…it had SO much information.  A lot of storytelling, not much dialogue.  There were a number of times I looked up from it feeling overwhelmed, but once I got to the middle of the book…I couldn’t put it down.  From the middle of the book to the end, the point of view switches from Verity’s to Maddie’s.  Things fall into place and it feels like it won’t go fast enough.  If you can hold it together through the beginning…you will NOT want to miss how the story ends.

This novel does a great job at showing how women didn’t just save their nylons, work in factories, or raise babies at home during WWII  They were brave wireless operators, pilots, and spies.  It showed the response women got doing a “man’s job” in a time where all hands were needed but gender was hard to ignore.  It was a time where girls couldn’t just do their nails and go shopping.  The country asked for help and they gave their girlhood innocence and lives to support or fill in on the tasks they never would have dreamed of doing.  Not just American girls either…

This is a touching story about friendship.  It’s about the bond of knowing someone so deeply, that beyond any hurdle you can imagine there is always that good fuzzy feeling you get from thinking about that person…even in the darkest hours.  I’m not trying to get too mushy here, but seriously… *sigh, I want to say SO much more, but it would end up being spoilers and I DO NOT do spoilers. So I’m just going to stop right here.  Literally.



2 responses to “Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

  1. Pingback: “Waiting On” Wednesday – Code Name Verity | mystmusician

  2. Pingback: Code Name Verity | mystmusician

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