Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Code Name Verity
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.
My Rating: *****
Absolutely ruddy brilliant. And such a heartbreaker.
Oh my goodness I don't even know how to gather my thoughts on this book. I completely blew me away and wasn't at all what I was expecting. I figured it was going to be a heartwrenching, sad WWII book, but I didn't realize it was going to be so smart, so blow-my-mind intelligent and clever.
This is the story of two friends, two women who have unusual jobs for women during WWII. One a pilot. The other, a spy. They're based on real positions, though, and there's such an air of authenticity to this story that clearly, Elizabeth Wein did some major research.
And no, this is not a romance. Not even a smidgeon of romance. Just so you know. I'm funny in that I like my books to have a little romance but I don't like books that are only about the romance. This book doesn't need romance. This book has Plot. Woah.
The first half of the book is written by our spy (can't mention her name because that would be telling) - who is a captured prisoner. What a character. I loved her. Adored her. Wanted to be her. She was so brave and so funny and so feisty. And she cracked me up constantly with her short fuse. Do NOT call her British. She is a SCOT!!!
And while I liked Maddie (the pilot) as I read about her story in the first half, it wasn't until the second half told by Maddie's point of view that I realized what a strong and beautiful character she is as well. And speaking of the second half (please don't read this is you don't want any spoilers): Oh my freaking goodness. I should have realized that the first half, told in Julie's POV wasn't reliable narration! She's a spy! Everything she writes was read by the Germans. I can't believe I didn't realize that she was leading them on, giving them fake code the entire time!!!! That blew me away.
This is an incredible book. Definitely another WWII great that I will have to add to my WWII collection. Beautiful writing. Highly, HIGHLY recommended for fans of historical fiction, twisty and unexpected plots, WWII, and moving stories with sparkling characters.