4/15/2013

Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

Published February 6, 2012.
Published by Egmont Press.
Source: Won from Manda-Rae Reads a Lot. Thank you!

Goodreads Blurb:
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-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer 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 Review:
What a beautiful novel. It was powerful, it was heart-wrenching, and it kept me up until the wee hours of the morning reading because I just could not put it down.

Despite a bit of a slow start, this novel is exactly what I look for in historical fiction. It is written like diary entries as Verity's information reveal to her German captor and is one of the most emotional novels I have read in a while. It really brought me into the mind of a girl kept in what for many today would be an unimaginable situation.

I loved Verity as a character. She is a very likeable narrator who loves to throw some twists at her captors (and therefore at the reader as well). It was really interesting to me how self-deprecating she was while also remaining so endearing. She has wit and she is amusingly clever, even though she is in the worst of circumstances, which are certainly not glossed over. The harsh realities of being a prisoner-of-war in German-Occupied France during World War II are explored through Verity's convincing and terrifying fears and really helped to bring the horror of the time alive. Her story is absolutely heartbreaking and it's so easy to let it get to you, but because Verity as narrator is so entertaining, she doesn't let you wallow in it. She reveals something absolutely horrible and then makes some remark or tells some story that you can't help but enjoy until the horror begins to slip your mind. The way she was written truly makes for the perfect combination of humour and heartbreak that this kind of novel set in this time period deserves.

There were a few other aspects about the story that I loved. Since it is written as Verity recording her past like flashbacks, there was an interesting blend of her memories from then and her comments on the situations from now that made for a great flow. I found it very cool how I would learn something and immediately want to go back and read the last section of the novel again with this new information or perspective I had. Also, while I was reading, I would find myself with a question only to have it answered soon afterwards, which really encouraged me to keep reading and learning more. Not to mention the unexpected twists later in the novel that turned everything on its head. That I absolutely loved. It really was an amazing novel in all its aspects.
5 stars!

Elizabeth was kind enough to provide a signed copy of Code Name Verity to one lucky reader!

Some Rules (aka the not so fun but important part):
~ This giveaway is open Internationally.
~ No P.O. boxes.
~ Must be 13 or older to enter.
~ Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email. The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email, otherwise they forfeit their prize and I will choose another winner, who must abide by the same rules.
~ Neither Elizabeth nor I are not responsible for lost or damaged packages.
No cheating! In this case, I have the right to disqualify entries as I see fit.
~ By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to these rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

32 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to read this book for forever! Something inside of me has always loved fiction about WW2. I think it was after I found out I was Jewish that it all started. I wanted to learn more about my history and so I started reading up on WW2 and fell in love with war novels! I'm so glad that you liked this one and had so many awesome things to say about it! Great review! Fingers crossed that this ends up in my hands!

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    1. It's nice to find someone else who has the same fascination with WWII novels! I always find myself drawn to them, though I'm not entirely sure why. This one is definitely a stand-out among them all, though.

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  2. Ooooh! 5 Stars! This is the kind of book I would read. Verity sounds like a character I--everyone-- would love. Great interview and I actually read a book that "encouraged me to keep reading and learning more" because of the questions that circled around my head while reading the book! If a book makes you stay up until the wee hours of the morning, then it's a great book!
    Thank you Elizabeth for this great giveaway!

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    1. I definitely agree; there is so much to like about this book, and Verity probably takes the cake. It was so wonderfully written and totally worth losing sleep over!

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  3. I really need to read this. I have heard so many great things about it and I think this review might just do me in. :)

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    1. I hope it does! The book is absolutely worth the read :)

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  4. I have been wanting to read this book for ages. So glad you enjoyed it!! Need to move it higher up the list for sure :)

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    1. I definitely think you should, Megan. It was incredible. So worth making time for it.

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  5. I still have yet to read this book, it is sad but true! It sounds so good, and I love when flashbacks are involved to help understand/explain what's going on.

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    1. That was a really interesting aspect because it made for a great mix between her memories and her current commentary on them. I personally loved the format :)

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  6. I'm so happy you enjoyed CNV! It's one of my very favorites, and I'm dying to read the companion novel.

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    1. I can totally see why it's a favourite! I too am dying to read Rose Under Fire... I'm hoping I can snag a copy early!

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  7. Wasn't this one powerful?? Wow, I can still remember all my emotions from reading it, even though it's been months since I read it. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. It was incredibly powerful! I think this one will leave quite the lasting impression. Definitely going on a favourites list for me.

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  8. Books like these you don`t get to read every day. I like it when there is powerful and brave female lead. I am glad you loved it Jessica.

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    1. Very true. A book this strong and powerful doesn't come around all the time, so I am so happy to have found one I really loved.

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  9. Oh this book has been highly praised by so many people. I'm a huge history-lover yet I've not willed myself to pick this book up! :+o (Shame on me).

    I like how you describe Verity as witty, because that is precisely why I enjoy spy movies/TV shows. They are always so quick on their feet and their witty comebacks makes me want to yell "Buuuurrrnn!"

    Thanks for doing a giveaway for this book. Hopefully I'll get to read it soon.

    - Stella.

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    1. I have seen so much good praise for this one and I think it is worth all of it. I think that especially if you love history you should absolutely pick this one up. Completely worth it. And I totally agree with you about the wit being so enjoyable. I hope you like Verity as much as I did :)

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  10. This book keeps catching my eye on teh shelves and i've been wanting to read it forever. I have always been a little hesitant about Historical fiction novels for some unknown reason, so it's good to hear what you thought about it.

    Thanks for the great review!

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    1. I think that even if you're hesitant to read historical fiction, you can still find something you'll enjoy about this one. Yes, it is clearly set during WWII, but there is SO MUCH MORE to the story than just that. Give it a shot :)

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  11. This is the book I was saying I need from my library. DYING. FOR. IT. My historical buff side is like obsessed with the idea and premise and EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BOOK! So glad you loved it!!

    <33 Inky

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    1. You SO do need it, Inky. Absolutely. It was beautiful and moving and historical and everything I wanted it to be. I hope you read it soon and love it :)

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  12. This reminds me of a short story I wrote in seventh grade about being a spy on the British side during the American Revolution. Can't wait to pick it up!

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    1. Ooh, that sounds interesting! I am a complete war-set-history-novel buff so I probably would have enjoyed your story ;) But definitely read this one. So worth it.

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  13. This book reminds of TAMAR by Mal Peet in a way! I don't read a lot of WWII fiction, just because I feel like I know what I'm going into from the start. This sounds like a book that handles the issues sensitively and honestly and that makes me want to read it. And of course, a fantastic narrator helps.

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    1. I haven't heard of that one but I'll definitely need to look it up! I think this one really stands out from other WWII fiction I've read because there was just so much to it, and it was the story of a girl and her best friend, not the story of a war between countries.

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  14. I love both WW2 historical fiction and books written in diary-format, so I think I'd really enjoy this one! Thanks for the review.

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    1. I definitely think you'd enjoy this one, in that case! I hope you do :)

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  15. You had me with the first paragraph! I've been wanting to read this book for awhile and it just gets pushed back on my to be read list. I love many genres including historical fiction. I have always been interested in WWII and have read a few heart wrenching holocaust novels. Thank you for the warning that it is a slow start. I'll keep that in mind and not give up.

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    1. I definitely think you should move it way up on your TBR and not let anything get in its way! It is absolutely worth the read, even with the slower start.

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  16. I love historical fiction. This one is on my wishlist. Thanks for the review.

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I'd love to hear what you think!