Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity 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-Hauptsturmführer 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.

(Summary from GoodReads)

It won a Printz honor, with many folks believing it deserved to win overall.  Nearly every blogger and librarian I know has read and loved it.  It’s set during WWII, a time in history that’s always fascinating to me.  Of course I planned to read Code Name Verity, and of course, I was highly impressed by what I found within its pages.

Code Name Verity is about two British spies, one of whom has been caught by German soldiers.  We don’t know the name of the girl who is our captor and narrator, but we know her best friend is Maddy.  We know that she is writing a confession, hoping she can do so without giving away too much.  Although Wein’s novel took me about 100 pages to get into, it was well worth the ride.

This book has many things going for it, including a friendship, awesome female characters, a strong setting, and a plot that will keep you biting your nails until you turn the final page.  Maddie and our narrator’s friendship never felt instant to me: it felt like something that started small and grew until there was a connection so strong it’s nearly impossible to describe, and the way it panned out felt so natural. In some ways, this book is split between three settings: France, England, and Germany.  There were happy times described in this book, but we could also see how much danger the narrator was in.  If I didn’t want to read because of Wein’s lush description of various scenery, I wanted to read because I had to know what was going to happen.

For a lot of people, the conclusion is either going to make or break this particular book.  Wein held nothing back when it came to the ending of her book.  It was stressful to read, raw, and real.

There’s a reason Code Name Verity won a Printz honor: it’s not only a well-told story, but the entire book is exceptionally crafted.  In addition to winning a major award, it’s also going to spend a long time on library and classroom bookshelves, being passed from reader to reader.  Give this one a shot if you haven’t already.

Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from a friend.

Other reviews:
Alison Can Read
Book Revels


  1. So glad you loved this, I enjoy seeing positive reviews for CNV as it's my fave book!

  2. Yay. Glad you liked this! It really is an incredibly powerful book. The ending - or the most climactic point - tore my heart out and stomped on it.

  3. So happy to see that you loved this-it was my favorite read of 2012 and I'm still converting people to its amazingness!



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