By Elizabeth Wein, published by Electric Monkey.
“I have told the truth…”
Goodreads synopsis: 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.
My review: Wow. Just wow.
I plunged into this story knowing that it was set during World War Two, and was very good, according to many bloggers and authors. I was excited to start it, and found that I just couldn’t put it down. Verity’s (that’s the protagonist’s code name, if you hadn’t already guessed) voice totally captured me right from the beginning, and I loved her narration. The author has developed this three-dimensional, realistic character who I found myself rooting for throughout. She wrote shockingly truthfully, as her writing was actually a confession to give information to an enemy interrogator who was holding her captive. I was so intrigued by her story of adventure and friendship, and loved how Verity would write also about the cruelty of her captivity and the things she was going through currently, as well as the information. I believed her story so much, and was totally shocked to find that some of the most vital things there were false at the ending. What an intelligent girl, lying to the enemy but making it sound so real! It even had me fooled.
I wasn’t actually expecting two narratives, until I read a book review of this before starting. It took me a good few pages to get to grips with a whole different setting and narrative, after reading about 300 pages worth of Verity’s story (her narrative took over half of the book up, then after about two thirds it switched to Code Name Kittyhawk/Maddie). However, I fell in love with Maddie’s story too, and loved how the two girls, who had been dramatically separated by war, discovered each other towards the ending, even though that had such a shocking and heart-breaking outcome.
The plot was absolutely amazing, and blew me away. It was written really well through the diary like entries of the two female protagonists. There was so much drama, and rebellion packed into the pages- I was totally hooked in! I enjoyed the informative side to the story as well, about the airplanes used in the war. That was pretty interesting, and not something I would usually read about. It was so scarily realistic, being set in the World War, and the author definitely captured the grittiness of the war-torn countries really effectively. The torture endured by Verity, and the prison, and everything else shocked me, terrified me- it was just so real- especially the outcome of Maddie and Verity meeting under the most scary of circumstances. Although that was so sad and made my eyes well up, the story still had a really satisfying ending.
Overall, Code Name Verity was an utterly amazing read. The characters were unforgettable, as were the scary backdrops for the book. The thrilling plot sucked me in and I was totally absorbed by the action-packed, emotional thrill-ride and didn’t want to stop reading, even at the last page. I can’t wait to read more from Elizabeth Wein, her writing is unique, refreshing, and brilliant!
I Received Code Name Verity from my school, via our book club, as we are reviewing the whole Carnegie shortlist.