Book Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Title: Code Name Verity
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Genre: YA historical fiction
Publisher: Hyperion
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: I am a coward.

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-Hauptsturmführer 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.

Normally, I wait a few days before I write a review of a book I’ve just finished, but I don’t want to wait with this one. I’m wiping away tears, and I feel like gushing. Everything you’ve read in the rave reviews of this book? It’s not over-statement or hype. It’s true. As I read, there were times when I actually forgot that this wasn’t a true story. I held my breath, I winced, I smiled, I sighed, I cried. Oh, I cried.

When I finished the last page, I read every single word of the acknowledgements, author’s note, author bio – anything to delay actually closing the book and realizing I was done reading it. When I did, I immediately felt this compulsion to pass my copy on to someone. Right. Now. Because someone else should be reading this book.

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I felt such an emotional, visceral connection to a book. And you want to know the best part? There is no romance in this book, let alone a romantic triangle. There is, however, a deep and authentic friendship, the kind we all long to have, and which once we find, we hold on to with both hands. Finishing this book made me want to call my own real life best friend and tell her I love her. It’s that kind of book.

I know this isn’t really a coherent review, and for that, I apologize, but I am not sorry for my unabashed gushing. This is the best book I’ve read so far this year, and the bar is set pretty high for any other book to come close before we ring in the New Year. Just read it. Okay?

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24 Responses to Book Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

  1. Kim says:

    I love gushing reviews, they make me want to rush out and pick up the book ASAP! 🙂

  2. jenn aka the picky girl
    Twitter: picky_girl

    Yes, yes, and yes. I’m still trying to articulate (in review form) why I loved this book so very much. I’m trying to be careful because I’m one of those who shies away from books everyone talks about. But this one? Gah, so much I want to say.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Jenn – I know what you mean – I decided to just go ahead and blurt out everything I was thinking without the typical thinking time. Hopefully, it wasn’t too incoherent.

  3. Kelly (Kailana) recommended this book to me and now to read your review . . . I look forward to reading it!

  4. bermudaonion (Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    Wow, you’ve sold me! I can tell this book touched you and now I feel like I need to get a copy of it soon.

  5. Yay! It really is a beautiful book, and it has so much heart. And you’re right that the friendship trumps any silly romantic triangle by a long shot.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Amy – I hope that we see many more YA books like this in the near future – something different and spectacularly written.

  6. Susan says:

    Quite a ringing endorsement: best book of the year so far. I will look for it. thanks carrie.

  7. Will definitely get a copy for myself and daughters. 🙂 Thanks for reviewing it. That’s why I love your blog. 🙂

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Beverly – you’re welcome – I hope that you and your daughters all enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

  8. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads

    I have wanted to read this book ever since I first heard of it. I need to force some time into my reading schedule to just read it!

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Marg – yes, this is one that is very worth clearing the schedule for.

  9. Kailana says:

    I am so glad you enjoyed this one! I loved it and am so happy I read it. 🙂

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kelly – me, too! I have a feeling it will be showing up on a lot of “best of” lists at the end of the year.

  10. I was so glad to have reading time on the camping trip…and I made time to finish this one. Getting up early and reading by the lake, and staying up late in the tent with the book light. So worth it!!

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  13. Laurie C
    Twitter: baystateRA

    I just read about this one in a piece by Maggie Steifvater today on the NPR site, too. Sounds so good! I’ll add it to my overabundant TBR list.