January 12, 2013

Kiss Me, Hardy!

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Release Date: May 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 343 pages
Series: Code Name Verity #1
Source & Format: Bought; Hardcover
Amazon | Goodreads

Summary (from Amazon)
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 capture 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?

Thoughts on Code Name Verity
I'll tell you up front that I'm a huge fan of historical fiction, so this was definitely something I'd be tempted to pick up on my own. However, I hadn't really heard anything about this book until April and Elena started raving about it. In fact, I think Elena might have made it her personal mission to convince everyone to read this book. Now that I've read, I think she's right to push this on everyone. It's really is that good.

I'd rather not say very much about what takes place in this book. It's almost like an intricate tapestry - there are all these threads that don't quite make sense up close, but reveal something gorgeous and inspiring once you take few steps back. When everything starts to come together in this book, you'll really appreciate Wein's storytelling, pacing and the narrative choices she made. It's deserving of five stars on characterization alone.

I will note, however, that it isn't an easy book to read. The writing is hard to get into a first, and there are a lot of details that are somewhat overwhelming when you're first getting started. The pacing is also slow. Personally, I found that it helped me savor the story and get inside the minds of the characters, but I don't think it will work for everyone.

If you're a reader who needs lots of action and drama, I don't know if you'll love this book. I think it's certainly deserving of your love, but I don't know if you'll be able to completely fall in love with the story. At its heart, this is a book that is driven by its characters. And these characters are seriously fantastic. You'll root for them and wish you could reach through the pages and make them real. My favorite quote from the book (below) can be edited to "It's like being in love, discovering this book" and it would certainly be true.

I adored Code Name Verity, and it is absolutely one of my favorite reads. It's also just begging for a re-read. I having a feeling that this book only gets better every time you revisit it!

So Quotable
“It's like being in love, discovering your best friend.”

7 comments:

  1. I've seen several bloggers talking about this one lately. And I KNOW I want to read it...but I fall into that category of needing a lot of action and drama (usually). Also, I'm not the hugest fan of historical fiction. SO...I'm a LOT nervous to try this book. ALSO, there is an intense amount of pressure to like this one a lot (I think) because I'm hearing it is award-worthy and because it is so well-written. I really want to read it, but I want to make sure that I am ready for it before I pick it up. I've heard good reading friends say they think I'll love it, so I want to make sure that I do. It sounds great from the little that I can gather about it. But I'm still very nervous about the genre. Eek!

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    1. I really do think you'll love it! I can see it being a read you take your time with, but it's so worth it in the end. Just think - fantasy isn't my normal genre but I'm slowly falling in love with it. Get outside your comfort zone! And I'd totally re-read it along with your first read to discuss!

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    2. Okay! Let me know if there is a particularly good time for you. Otherwise, it's just sitting on my Kindle. :)

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  2. Elena was the one who convinced me I needed to read this as well - that girl was PASSIONATE about this one. And I think it's well-deserved! While I didn't cry, I must say that I really liked this one. It was especially heartwarming to read about the friendship...

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    1. I didn't cry either because I rarely cry in books, but I really loved this story. It was SO nice to read a book that revolved around an awesome female friendship!

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  3. YAYYYY I am so happy that I encouraged you to read and you liked it!! I think this book is pretty great (obvs) but I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. It's certainly not my normal read. I thought it was hard to get into at first too, SO MANY DETAILS but gradually it unfolds and it REALLY changes in the second half. I love the friendship & Kiss Me Hardy will always make me emotional.

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    1. I OWE IT ALL TO YOU LADY! This book was SO FABULOUS and absolutely lived up to your hype!

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