June 19, 2012

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Release Date: May 15, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion / Doubleday Canada
Pages: 343
Series: n/a
Review Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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 captured 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?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

My Thoughts:
‘Code Name Verity’ is a very emotional book that really hits you hard. It’s a story of war and tragedy, but it’s also a celebration of female power and female friendship. I really connected with both the female characters, and I loved the how the story was was told in an epistolary fashion.

I don’t often like unreliable narrators, but this was one case where it was done so cleverly and interestingly that I really did like it. I had suspicions and curiosities, and that kept me engaged even when the story was a bit slow.

This book was very bittersweet at times and also surprisingly funny (not what you’d expect to read in a book where torture occurs). The characters were so lovely and real feeling that I couldn’t help falling a bit in love with them.

Despite all my praise I have to say I didn’t love this one quite as much as everyone else seems to. It really is slow at times, and not everyone will appreciate all the details about aircraft. However I definitely think ‘Code Name Verity’ is worth a read because it’s a very powerful and important story that will stay with you.

The Cover:
It's okay, but can we talk about how amazing the UK one is?!


Find Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein on Goodreads, Book Depository (OR Book Depository w/ UK cover), & Amazon.


  1. Although I'm not a big plane person, my grandfather flew in the Air Force and I'm also super nerdy so that aspect worked well for me. I loved this book-favorite read of 2012!

    Hopefully your next read will work better :)

  2. I read this one a couple of weeks ago and, sadly, I didn't love it so much. I think the unreliable narrator really got to me and got in the way of my enjoyment - plus, I felt the book was too wordy, you know?

    But, I'm glad you enjoyed it - and you're right, it was surprisingly funny/amusing, for being WW2 with torture and all.

  3. We've been hearing this book hyped like WHOA, so we're glad to hear you enjoyed it! (We're always wary of hype.) It sounds SO different from typical YA fare, and that alone gives it some points in our book. Especially after reading your thoughts, we feel like we better know what to expect, and we're looking forward to checking this out soon. Thanks!

  4. I've only been hearing awesome things about this book and how it's a major-tearjerker. Its too bad you didn't enjoy this as much as others - but at least you did! I might bump this up on my TBR pile. Thanks for the review, Ashley!

  5. Oooh, "suspicions and curiousities" sounds good! The qualities you highlighted, the bittersweetness + humour, plus of course the inherent power of the story, definitely makes this sound like something I should add to my TBR pile for good. And you're totally right, Ashley, that UK cover is <333. :)

  6. I do really love that UK cover! It's gorgeous:) Nothing wrong with this one, but the other one is more interesting I think. Thanks for your thoughts on this one Ashley, I'm glad to know about the slowness upfront, it most likely won't be an issue now that I'm aware of it.

  7. That UK cover is awesome! I've seen people buzzing about this one but hadn't actually read any of the reviews. That is not at all what I expected it to be about. I'll definitely read it, but it's good to know it has its slow moments.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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