Thursday, October 4, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is an extraordinary book. A YA historical adventure set during WWII, the novel has received a great deal of buzz. I was a bit hesitant to read it, fearing that with all the hype my expectations would be too high, but the book lived up to its reputation. This is a page-turner.

The difficulty is trying to review it without giving anything away, because this is a multi-layered book and you’ll want to unravel its mysteries yourself.

The protagonist, "Verity," is a young female spy caught in France by the Gestapo. She is being tortured for information about Britain. She has finally cracked under the pressure. Aware that she will be killed when her interrogators have wrung everything they can from her, she is drawing out her confession. She writes everything down, weaving a tale, from the very beginning, of her involvement in the war effort. This includes her friendship with the female pilot, Maddie, who delivered her to France but crash-landed.

The friendship between the two women makes for a richly emotional story. "Verity" and Maddie are dedicated to their tasks and to each other. Their bravery is truly inspiring. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, yet the pace of the book gets faster and faster as the plot becomes more and more complex. Code Name Verity is billed as a YA novel but adults of all ages can get caught up in this gripping story. I look forward to reading more of Elizabeth Wein’s books.