Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein Review

Code Name Verity Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends.

But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in “Verity’s” own words, as she writes her account for her captors.

I’ve never really been a fan of historical fiction. It’s really hard for me to relate to people who are living in a time so far removed from my own. The characters never feel real to me and I usually have a difficult time connecting with them. Because of these reasons, I was worried I wasn’t going to like this novel, but I absolutely loved it. It’s such a memorable and moving book.

When I read the book blurb, I was really interested in the idea. It’s by no means original and there are a lot of World War II books out there, but it still grabbed me and I wanted to find out what these two women would experience.

A lot of people found Verity’s story to be slow, but I didn’t. I thought it was extremely interesting and I liked seeing Maddie through her eyes. As she described her friendship with Maddie, I felt like I knew Maddie as well and was becoming friends with both of them. The characters felt real to me. I empathized with them and I loved reading about their friendship. I loved how it revolved around the friendship of two young women. Usually young adult novels are so romance heavy, but this was such a breath of fresh air in the young adult genre. It was so completely unique. The details about the places and the airplanes all felt really well researched. I don’t know if it was all true or accurate, but I felt like it was.

I loved both the characters of Maddie and Verity. They were both so different, but their friendship was so honest and genuine. It was heartwarming and it made the fact that Verity was captured so much harder to take.

The best part about this novel was watching Part 1 and 2 come together. The book made me gasp multiple times and it also made me burst into tears, which is not something that’s ever happened to me.  It was actually quite overwhelming at certain points and there was one part that RAVAGED me. In fact, this book has stuck with me to such an extent that even days later, I still feel like I’m recovering.

I can’t recommend this book enough. You MUST pick it up.

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