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