Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein
368 pages
Middle School/High School

Verity is in a horrible situation.  She's in Nazi-occupied France as a English spy and has been captured.  Now she faces the worst possible scenario: reveal all her secrets or die.  Slowly, day by day, she writes her story on whatever scraps of paper they give her.  As each day passes, she is more and more sure that each note will be her last.

Verity decides to start at the beginning, telling how she joined the war, revealing aircraft types, locations and codes for the wireless along the way. Each little note tells more secrets, more of her story, and gives more information to her captures.  But will it be enough?  Will they still send her away, never to be heard from again?  Or will her loyal friends be able to help her escape?

First of all, prepare for your heart to be broken.  Again and again and again.  When I read this, I was at first stunned, had to go back and make sure I read it right, and then proceeded to deny that it really happened.  It happens.  Get over it, keep going.

Despite the harshness (it is war, after all), I really did love this book.  I loved the friendships: watching them develop, sacrifices made, and everything else.  Such an amazing book on friendship and what it really means to people.  Great book just for that aspect.

Add to that the historical setting: France in WWII.  Great way to learn about a different aspect of the war, how it affected not just the typical people, but lots of other points-of-view.  This book gives a great foundation for the war- how people felt leading up to it, how common people got involved, and more.

Overall, this was simply amazing.  Action and adventure, but a lot of emotional connections, too.  The narration style from Verity is awesome- such sass coming through, it made me laugh a lot of the time.  The switch to Maddie threw me for a moment, but once I read a little and got into her style, it was fine. Because of what happens toward the end plus the grisliness of the situation (war captive being tortured for information), I would hand to more mature readers.  Awesome book, just be ready to be overwhelmed by the emotion of it toward the end!!!

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