Best of the Year: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


Code Name VerityCode Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know those books you fall so hard into that you resent every minute spent away from them? Code Name Verity was one of those for me. I was not prepared for it; the book was passed to me with a simple, “This is the latest recommendation from Michele Landsberg,” which was good enough for me. I didn’t anticipate the rush of adrenaline and the genuine anxiety for the characters that occurred every time I was away from them.

Code Name Verity tells the story of two young women, one a civilian pilot and one a wireless operator/special agent in the Second World War. I’ve been reading a mystery series recently by Charles Todd that features a nurse on the front lines in World War I, and this was a nice segue into something more substantial. Written as YA it is most definitely a crossover book.

The story begins with a plane crash in occupied France, one young woman captured by the Nazis, the other’s fate unknown. With no papers to prove who she is, Verity (code name) avoids death by writing out what she knows for the Nazis. But does she? Through her notes we learn of her friendship with pilot Maddie and their exploits in the war to that point. Her strength and resilience see her through episodes of torture and humiliation (recounted with few details) and her account of the Nazis who interrogate her and keep her prisoner is humorous and insightful and poignant. Though she insists throughout her report ,“I am telling the truth,” the reader is not so sure.

I did not see this story coming and was blindsided by the plot twists. I haven’t been able to leave this behind. Quite easily the best thing I’ve read this year.

View all my reviews

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