Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book Review: Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein

Wein, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity. 327 p. 2012. Hyperion. Hardcover $16.99. ISBN 9781423152194.

I was lucky enough to read an e-galley of this book a couple months ago, and I've been pondering how to review it ever since then. Honestly, I started drafting this review in March, but all it said was: "OMG where to begin??" ...which is more or less how I still feel.

This book is one of my favorite reads of 2012 so far. Possibly my very favorite. Basically, I want Code Name Verity to win ALL THE AWARDS.

It's about two young women who are part of the Allied war effort during World War II. One of them, a pilot, has crashed her plane. And her friend, also in the plane, has been captured by Nazis and is writing out her confession in the hopes of staying alive for just a little while longer. 

This New York Times book review explains why it's impossible to say any more without revealing spoilers. Here's what I can say, though:

One of the most appealing aspects of this book this book- something that's actually a bit of a rare find- is the beautiful portrayal of a strong female friendship. The main characters are wonderful and memorable on their own, and they're even better together. There's an overall theme of female empowerment, with these two young women acting in untraditional roles during the war. Female characters in supporting roles are layered and complex, too.

There's a very epic, cinematic feel to Wein's writing. I'd love to see this book adapted for the big screen-- but then again, it's more effective in print, because most of it is supposed to be a written narrative. The intricate plotting and astounding twists will keep readers on the edge of their seats wondering what on earth is going to happen to these characters.

Despite the fact that there are parts that will make the reader cry, I didn't actually cry a lot... except for one point when I actually cried out in shock and sadness, like someone yelling "Nooooo!" at a movie screen. Yes, I was that invested.

And when I finished reading, I wanted to start again from the beginning.

Code Name Verity comes out today, and you won't want to miss it. ARC for review received from Disney Hyperion via NetGalley.


  1. I know exactly what part you cried out "Nooo!" at because I did the same.

    I know this book is amazing, the writing is fabulous and the character deep, but I was just left feeling rather meh about it. It's like I could appreciate all its good parts from afar but the fact is, I kept falling asleep while reading the early parts of it and well, I don't think I ever recovered from the slow beginning. It's not a personal favorite but I do see all its merits.


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