Monday, 31 December 2012

Review: Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity
Name: Code Name Verity

Author: Elizabeth Wein

Publication: February 6th, 2012 

Source: Indigo's bookstore

I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.

Holy Mother Eff. It has been 3 days since I finished reading this, and my heart still throbs for Maddie and Verity. I still find myself reading those memorized excerpts to myself. I still find it hard to breathe when I think of my favorite lines and the ending. What perfection, oh, complete and utter perfection.

One of my favorite bloggers Lauren from Lose Time Reading and I decided to do a fun little read along for Code Name Verity . It was my first read along and I must say, it was fun to have someone to freak out with that was experiencing the fresh wound like I was. Oh boy. We were both done for. It's seriously all we can talk about. We raped our twitter news feeds and bombarded Ms.Wein.

I literally CANNOT tell you how phenomenal this book really is.

It's going to be hard enough to write this review, but to actually explain how I feel about it is impossible. 

Let me just say: It's one of those books (along with the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, Beautiful Creatures and the Night Circus ) that left me stunned by the end and made my heart throb with emotion. It's one of those books that haunts you and possess you, and doesn't leave you for a very very long time. It's one of those books where you feel changed, even if no one else notices-- the tiniest bit of change that only you can put your finger on. It's spectacular. 
Whoever said that books don't change people is lying. I came out a different person by the end of the book, and I also learned about a tons of new things that happened in history: The battle of Trafalgar, the S.O.E agents and the ATA/RAF, women's rights within the organizations-- and how strong friendship can be. 

Basically this book is about a British spy, Verity, caught in Nazi-occupied France. She has been told to spill whatever she knows about the British war efforts to avoid being tortured any further, and she does just that by telling a heart-breaking story of how she first came to be in France and an Agent. It all began with her best friend Maddie, a ferry pilot for the ATA, and their allied invasion into France.
One of the most beautifully written and heart-breaking reads out there. It starts off slow, but the reader is quickly thrown into a whirlwind of a plot as Verity unravels the truth about her life and friendship with Maddie.

This Book is P.E.R.F.E.C.T. Nothing any reviewer does/says can do it any justice.

Wein does a spectacular job making sure her readers can feel the pain and the desperation in what Verity is writing and experiencing. Her pain and love and everything else is so strong. How desperate she is to finish her story, stop her torture, but most of all, write down the story of her best friend, because of how important it is for her. Imagine: You're captured by the enemy, and you know you're going to die. Only the most important thing would be on your mind at this point. And Verity chose to tell the story of herself and Maddie, and their journey together.

People have raved about this book, and I think part of it has to do with all the emotion that Wein is able to integrate, and still tell a precise story with real historical facts. It's a history lesson and a heart break all in one.
Some people may be put off by all the technical talk of piloting, but it really makes you feel like you're in the RAF in that time, and about to go off into enemy territory. Plus it all comes into play later in the novel. A beautiful beautiful historical fiction.

“I am no longer afraid of getting old. Indeed I can't believe I ever said anything so stupid. So childish. So offensive and arrogant.
But mainly, so very, very stupid. I desperately want to grow old.” 

The most astounding thing about this book is the emotion hidden between it all. It gushes through the pages and you can almost grasp it. I felt it in my heart while I was reading, and THAT my friends, is when you know that you're reading a hell of a good story. And not only because I'm a sucker for historical fiction, but because when I opened the book I was instantly transported to Nazi-Occupied France, and I was sitting there with Verity and Maddie as they experienced all that they did.

"Don't cry. We're still alive and we make a sensational team."

The author is easily able to switch between perspectives and moments in time smoothly, and knows how to put it all together. She does a wonderful job of blurring the lines of lies and truths, until you aren't sure which is what anymore. That is the fricken point! This story is a huge Lie. A huge Truth and a Secret. A huge Misconception. What Maddie and Verity figure out in the end is that true friendship and love is even stronger than fate. It is a reflection on their not-so-innocent war days, when they thought that they had it bad then, and the now, in their worst possible situations. That's why it's such a damn good story. Even when they are both dead to each other (or are they?) they still make a sensational team.

A story about love and friendship, and the ultimate price of war and mercy.
It's almost impossible to reflect on every detail, because like I had said before, it's all truths and lies and secrets, one thing leading to another. I almost have to hint at things in code to avoid giving it away!
All that there is left to say is please please please please please read this. Don't get thrown off by the technical mumbo-jumbo in the beginning. Stick with it.
This is the true meaning of historical fiction and utterly perfect writing. This is the true art of literature and the basis of what all great novels should be: Somewhat life changing, even if a little, moving and disoriented, yet perfect. 
A perfect ending that you will absolutely hate.

Don't forget to check out Lauren's review today, too!




  1. Madmoiselle Rola is totally in love with this book!, eh? Ah! I couldn't even finish "beautiful creatures" either, but I saw the movie trailer and it looks pretty good. I might watch the movie though.
    This Verity... I loved the beginning, really. But as you mentioned, it got slow and I just don't have patience to stick with a book to discover its greatness with so many books out there! Darn it, I have to discover a book that makes me feel like this one makes you feel again!

  2. Hah! Sorry love, I think you need to get your reading glasses on properly! Seriously! You didn't like this, beautiful creatures, blood red road. etc etc. I swear I have a book crush on the past couple of books I've read. I don't even want to read anything else. I may have to knock some sense into you :p
    The book I read right after this one "Keeping you a secret" made me feel the EXACT same way! Maybe you'll like that one because it's a lot more fast paced. It's really really good, my stomach was exploding the entire time (I still liked Code Name Verity better though)

  3. I've seen this book around and read a few reviews but yours made me want to read it right after I finished reading your review! Next time I'm at B&N I'm definitely picking up a copy! Thanks for sharing, Rola! (: