Code Name Verity
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
4 of 5 stars
A female undercover agent is captured and subjected to interrogation by the Gestapo while her best friend, the pilot who flew her into France, tries to rescue her.
I wonder how many piles of paper like mine are lying around Europe, the only testament to our silenced voices, buried in filing cabinets and steamer trunks and cardboard boxes as we disappear — as we vanish into the night and the fog?
I had high expectations for this book, as I’ve heard only wonderful things about it, and it was highly acclaimed by Maggie Stiefvater (author of The Raven Boys, which I loved).
I think the thing I liked most about this book is that it is a YA book where romance does not play a major part; it’s centrally about the friendship between two girls. The writing was well-done, with great voice in both narrators. I also appreciated the historical aspect of it — I was glad that the author did so much research into the era and women’s roles in WWII, creating a story that could have reasonably happened, even though it did not.
If I hadn’t been expecting so much, I might not have felt the letdown that I did. It took me quite awhile to get into the story. Although the narrator for the first half had an amazing story to tell, she was being tortured as she was interrogated, which was a bit hard to stomach. Also, the way in which it was told seemed ‘off’ — too focused on seemingly insignificant details in Maddie’s life (this was supposed to be a confession!), to the point where I had truly expected some major plot twist to reveal all she had written to be lies in one way or another.
Although I’ll try not to spoil the ending (Careless talk costs lives!), I will say that the climax made me suspend my disbelief a bit too much — it seemed entirely unlikely, both for the character’s personality and for that character’s skill level.
Overall: Great info on women pilots in WWII, mixed in with a story of friendship and daring.