16 May 2012
Code Name Verity; Elizabeth Wein
Code 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.