Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity
Elizabeth Wein
YA Historical
Published: May 2012

Code Name Verity is set in World War II, where Verity has been captured by the Gestapo in Nazi-occupied France. She tells her story as a prisoner of war through letters she is allowed to write in order to shed English strategy, airfield locations and codes. Verity is headstrong, bold, and at times, you wonder, delusional. She reveals the history leading up to her capture, detailing training missions and her friendship with beloved Maddie, a pilot who trained prior to the war who ends up running missions for the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. You see the sweetness of their friendship matched against the very real stakes of working as informants/participants in the war.

I admit, I had trouble investing in this book in the beginning given the unconventional narration; it's told in first person from Verity, then in third person through the letters, where her identity is rather fluid and not quite clear (on purpose), and later from Maddie's perspective. While not an easy read, it's worth the struggle. I enjoyed  the peek into the British war effort. Many historical details are rooted in truth, and it's evident the author compiled quite a bit of research for this story.

Code Name Verity is full of danger, adventure and mystery with tragic details that I wish I could say are totally fiction, but I know are also based on truth considering the brutality of war. I can see this book making a lot of year-end best lists and award nominations. Overall, it's inspiring to read about the lives sacrificed during the war, and how many women probably have stories like this that have never been shared.


  1. Sounds like an interesting and unusual concept. I do love a good historical fiction. Thanks for the review!

  2. Thank you for the review. War from a women's POV sounds like a fun read.

  3. Thanks for the rec! I'm always looking for good books.

  4. Wow, it's almost like I wrote this review, lol. I had trouble with the POV too when I began reading it. And I would go and read other reviews and no one mentioned this, so I was like, um, I think this is only me?
    But like you, later on, the emotional aspects of the story grabbed me.
    Glad I wasn't the only one! LOL ;D


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.