Monday, May 7, 2012

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


Code Name Verity


Title:  Code Name Verity
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Expected Publication: May 15, 2012

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My Rating:
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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 Review:
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“It's like being in love, discovering your best friend.”

Code Name Verity is the story of two friends fighting for survival in 1943.  This story was given high ratings by reviewers I deeply respect, as well as one of my favorite authors, so I was incredibly saddened that I wasn’t able to appreciate the story the way they did.

The details that Elizabeth Wein provides will captivate most readers - just not this particular reader. I realize this is not the fault of the book, nor the fault of the author who wrote it. I can’t imagine how much research went into this story. The author writes this era so flawlessly that I am easily impressed by her talent. The problem really lies with me. I am simply not the target audience for this type of book or time period. I struggled with the first person narrative that changed to third person narrative, along with the switch in POV’s.

I feel as though I’m being transported back to the 9th grade, when I had to tell the boy who wanted to go steady with me that I just didn’t feel the same way. So, I say to this book: You didn’t do anything wrong. You are a perfectly nice book. I like you, but I’m just not in love with you.

There are some twists and turns that were very surprising and equally intriguing - enough to make me want to see the story through to the end, which speaks volumes when you’re reading something that isn’t your cup of tea. I don't want to give away any spoilers, and talking more about the plot of this book would surely do so.  As it is often repeated in the book:  Careless talk costs lives!

I think readers who enjoy historical fiction and/or have a love for piloting and different types of aircrafts should definitely give this book a go. I myself would be very open minded to reading more of this author’s work, as I believe she can tell quite a story.


Thank you to Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

15 comments:

  1. I have such mad respect for the delicate way you handle even the tough-to-love books!! (you totally inspired me to finish the abbey review without using a single bad word). xoxo!

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    1. also, just saw the label "it's-not-you-it's-me" and waffled. :D

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    2. Awwww, Nyssa! Do you have any idea how much you warm my heart?? Thank you for the sweet words and love! Oh, and - hehehe - I thought the label was appropriate! Love you! xoxoxo

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  2. Hmm...I should be better and stray a little from my comfort-zone and read this one, but I won't. I could tell from the synopsis that this wasn't my kind of read, but I'm sure it's still very well-written, especially with the likes of Maggie Stiefvater touting its awesomeness. Still. Great review for a book that didn't wow you!

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    1. Thank you, Jen! I strayed when I read Grave Mercy, and you know how much I loved that one, so I had hopes CNV might be the same way. It's good to branch out, and who knows? You might love this one. I'm definitely glad I gave it a shot. ;D

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  3. Wow, I know you rarely give low ratings. I love historical fiction and WWIi. I think I might enjoy this more. I am sad it wasn't a better read for you, Maybe next one. Hugs!

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    1. I've been lucky in that I rarely read a book that I don't love. This was so difficult for me! I really do think you will enjoy this one since you love historical fiction and WWII. It's well written, and, hopefully, you can give it the love that I wasn't able to. Hugs!

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  4. I'm looking forward to reading this but I won't go in with too high expectations. Great review Michele! :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Sam! I hope you love it! I really think my problems with this one are all on me. :(

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  5. This is one of the best, nicest two-star reviews I've ever read. Wish more reviewers could be this kind when reviewing a book they don't like. Great job! <3

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    1. Awww! Squishy hugs you! Thanks so much! It hurts my heart when I see a reviewer trashing an author or a book, just because it wasn't one they enjoyed. Different strokes for different folks! :D

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  6. This was a great review love! You are very respectful and kind even though you didn't like the book. This is great and admirable. I'm not big into historical fiction either although the holocaust generally interests me... yah I think there is something morbidly wrong with me... :-P You rock the reviewing girl :) great job! <3

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  7. I am so, so sorry, that you didn't enjoy this, but on the other hand, I can see why you struggled with it. It is very dry at times and the pacing was often sacrificed in favor of tecnhical details. I enjoy that sort of thing if it's well researched, but I understand why you don't.
    Great review, though!

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  8. Bummer i am so sorry this wasn't for you, but i appreciate that you mentioned the why, since I love historical fiction and may still enjoy..awesome review.

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  9. I can tell from the description that this one woudln't be my cup of tea.

    Great review though. I love how eloquently you tell us you didnt' like it much. You've got class chick! lol

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