16 May 2012

Code Name Verity; Elizabeth Wein

Code Name VerityCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh wow.  This book was just... wow.  And so difficult to review without giving away a ton of spoilers!

First of all, even though this is about two young women (I'm guessing in their very late teens/early twenties), I think boys will like it.  Second, despite being about the Resistance and the British War Effort, it's not really about that - it's about friendship and truth and loyalty.  And flying airplanes.

Just when you think you understand who is writing or what's going on, there's a twist.  More than one.  There were times when I thought "that can't possibly be what's happening" but, well, it was.  The story of Maddie and Queenie's friendship, told under some duress, just feels so real - the kind of friendship that really does happen, when people who might not otherwise meet have an opportunity to and it just "clicks".  There's a lot of meandering in this story, but when you realize that it's very much like the name-checked Scheherazade, writing to extend a life, the digressions and minutiae make more sense.

The other thing I liked about this was the the terror (of being tortured, of being caught) is very much there, but it's not explicit.  Things are mentioned, but not graphically depicted: the author shows, not tells.  That slight difference makes the terror so much more, because our minds have to fill in what's going on.

ARC provided by publisher.


  1. I have this one to review also. It sounds as if I will enjoy.

  2. Yes! Heavens, this book. Did you cry? It made me cry just a bit. It's funny, because every review I've read (including my own) mentions how incredibly HARD it is to review because of all the spoilers. You did admirably, my dear.

  3. Did I cry? No (but only because no animals were harmed in the making of this book). My breath did catch a few times, and I was overwhelmed when they were on the bridge. Both Queenie and Maddie were such amazing characters, so real.