Thursday, 10 May 2012

Book review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.  That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again. He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.  We are a sensational team.

I am sad because I know that whatever I put in this review will not do Code Name Verity justice. I just cannot tell you in words how amazing I think this book is. It is hard for me to write about this book, if I say too much I will give stuff away and it will ruin the book for others. It is that kind of book. It manages to keep surprising you and shocking you. You think you know what is happening but the truth is that you know nothing at all.

I had my doubts when I received Code Name Verity for review. I thought a World War two, YA book about spies would be boring, unbelievable and a waste of time. But I had heard so much about it that I just had to give it a go.

I started it and thought it was pretty good, better than I thought it would be then somewhere along the way I found myself falling in love with it. Because somehow this book just seemed to do everything right.

It was written beautifully and was more accomplished than a lot of Young Adult books. Every character is fleshed out and real. I think I loved every one of them, to some extent even the villains just because they were so…human. This isn’t a story of good versus evil, this is a story of life during war and it manages to show both sides of the story.

The main characters Maddy and Queenie are just so amazing. I loved their strength and their frailty, I loved their stiff upper lip and their personality, but most of all I loved their friendship. It is just the best and most beautiful friendship ever. I hope that if it ever came to it I would have the courage they showed. At the end of the day these are girls that you wish you could be like. They are funny, brave, smart and they do the right thing no matter what. Yet they never come across as perfect, or arrogant, or as Mary Sues.

The story itself was engaging and nail-biting. It twisted in directions I could have never imagined and it manages to keep you on your toes. The research that must have gone into this is mind-boggling; it was just so informative and rich with facts. It was smarter than it had any right to be.

I should warn you that you may need tissues (I certainly did.)

There is not much else I can say about the book without spoiling it. So, I will just say that even if you are unsure, even if you do not read YA give this book a shot. There is no real reason why this book is for Young Adults. In fact it is incredibly adult so please, please, please do not be put off by the YA label.I honestly just cannot tell you how wonderful this book is, and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.Run and buy this book you will not regret it.

5 stars

Published February 6th 2012 by Egmont Press.  A free copy was provided for review. Image courtesy of Goodreads

Review by Kate Phillips


  1. As a newbie follower, I just wanted to stop in and say hi!

    Really enjoying the blog so far - I really love the blogs look, and there are some fab reveiws!
    This particular one is intriguing. I'm a bit unsure with stories about war; but I am curious as to the portrayal of both sides of the story and how you talk about the charcters...
    One to watch I think...

    My general blog:

    1. I would highly reccomend this book. I am not a huge fan of war fiction either, but this book just blew my mind. It was simply amazing.

      Thanks for following my blog! I have followed you back : )


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