Monday, 25 June 2012

{eARC Review} Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
ebook, Canadian edition, 352 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Doubleday Canada
Source: NetGalley in exchange of honest review
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Buy: Amazon, Kindle, Book Depository

Goodreads Summary:
Code Name Verity is a compelling, emotionally rich story with universal themes of friendship and loyalty, heroism and bravery.

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.

My Opinion
A captivating beginning which starts with the main character's account of her humiliation during her imprisonment and her betrayal for petty reasons. She spewed codes for confidential locations for things she needed, like clothes... Not cool at all! What had landed her in this predicament? An obvious cultural blunder--looked the wrong way when crossing the road. Sounds really bad huh? But was it really what it seems to be?

The narrator begins her story by telling us a lot about Maddie. We only learn about the narrator's name and more about the narrator nearer to the middle of the book when she continued her story in third person's POV--Queenie. That's her name but that's only one of her identity. She has others and they're all revealed in the book. 

A mixture of first person and third person POV was employed in Part One of the book. The first person POV was mainly the narrator's thoughts when she was held captive. The third person POV was used when Queenie was telling us Maddie's story. This is such a clever use of POV change as the third person POV serve as a back story, telling us how the characters got to where they currently were. However, half of the time the jump from one POV to the next seems to be a little awkward and disrupts the flow of the story a little. It's a little confusing.

Part Two of the book focuses on Maddie in her first person POV and told us what happened after Queenie had jumped off the aircraft and how Maddie had landed the aircraft. I definitely enjoyed Part Two more than Part One. Maddie's story wasn't punctuated by back story, so it really flows smoothly. This is the part that had be tearing up at a heart-breaking scene and all emotions comes into play.

Although Code Name Verity is a book about war, it is not solely all about it. It tells us about true friendship and loyalty between two friends. Why else would Maddie risk it all for her friend if it isn't true friendship? I must admit that it wasn't the kind of book that I expected it to be but it was definitely an emotional read. Absolutely worth reading if you love historical fiction. Try it. Oh, and remember to keep some tissues by your side when you read it.

Quotes: (Taken from eARC and may be subjected to revision)
  • There was a lot of crashing and cursing in the rear cock-pit for a while. After a few minutes Maddie asked with a gasp of fearful laughter, "What are you doing?"
    "Tying everything down. I'm responsible for this lot whether or not I see it again tomorrow morning. If we bounce I don't want to be strangled in electric wire. And if I have to jump out before you try to land, I jolly well don't want it trailing out after me and smacking me in the head." 
  • "Don't know what we'll do without you, Princess," Paul said, squeezing her around the waist.
    "I'll come back," she said quietly. Not like julie at all, really--shy and soft-spoken. Must be every bit as brave, though. Can't imagine what nerve these people must have.
  • He dropped his bicycle and we leaped for each other like kangaroos. He burst out, "MA--"
    He nearly said my name. He caught himself and stammered a little, then smoothly cried out, "MA CHERIE!" and slung me over backward in a swooning Hollywood kiss.

About the author: Elizabeth Wein
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Buy from: Book Depository


  1. I've heard great things about this book. It seems like a wonderful but heartbreaking story.