Author: Elizabeth Wein
Release Date: May 15th, 2012
Cover Judge: Absolutely heart-breaking and edgy; love it. AND THE ROPE. And the writing. And gah.Quote Choice: *ugly sobbing*
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?
It's not often I come towards the problem of not being able to write a review not because it was so bad or because I can't think of what to say but because I have so much to say and I just don't know how to say it.
Code Name Verity is a literary masterpiece.
Let's start there. Code Name Verity is about a girl spy who is captured by the Gestapo during WWII and agrees to give them all sorts of secret spy military information in exchange for something simple -- time. So she gets an endless supply of paper (but not an endless supply of time, alas) and a pen to write down her story. And god, does she write down a story. Instead of writing down mindless facts like they thought she would, she weaves the story into how she met her best friend (and the pilot who dropped her off for the mission she got caught on) and tells it in the point of view of her -- Maddie. Here she litters the fact the Gestapo desires along with a heart-warming tale of how Maddie made her life in the Air Force from becoming a pilot that first day to becoming operational.
I can't say much about part one without giving things away. Like Von Linden told her, Verity is amazing at suspense and foreshadowing throughout her letters and while they may be information-heavy, her bite and humor (and heart, really) never made me bored or uninterested. Before we move on to part two, god, does Wein know how to write a good historical. In the Author Note she states that while not everything she wrote is truth (of course, considering she's writing about secret government intel), there will always be a sense of plausibility. And it is so true! I felt like I was actually reading all these crazy government secrets and methods and so, everything felt incredibly authentic to me because it was!
And then we have part two. Where Part One stuns you with fabulous writing and wit, Part Two hits you in the face with it. Because Part Two is told in Maddie's point of view and everything you read in Part One just....unravels. I'm being so serious. I really liked the book reading Part One; I am in total awe of Part Two. I can't say too much because everything that made me gasp and shriek and cry are things that happened in Part One weaving itself together with Part Two but trust me when I say that your heart will wrench and you will cry. But you will also be in complete love with the brilliance that is Elizabeth Wein.
Every character in this book is brilliant. Even though Verity never moves from her cold cell through all of part one (with some very small exceptions), the character development she shows you from the beginning of the letters to the end is amazing. Watching her introspect her old self and her relationship with Maddie was lovely. And Maddie was lovely. I wanted to give her a giant hug. Characters like Engel, Jamie, Dympana, secondary characters that sneak their way into my heart, especially in Part Two. And then god, Von Linden. Heartless Jerry Bastard is what you think of him most of the time but by god, I loved his character.
Overall, an astounding read that I recommend to everyone; even if it's just to learn just how amazingly you can make plot lines weaves together.