Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review: Code Name Verity

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

Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Electric Monkey/Egmont
Date of Publication: February 6th 2012
Pages: 447
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads | Amazon

Before reading this, I'd waited for it for a whole six months in the library before it turned up from somewhere on the other side of the city, so when I finally got it, I almost squealed in the middle of the library. But I didn't as it was a library.

I love historical fiction, even though I don't regularly read it, particularly WWII. I found every single page interesting from the start, and there was such an amazing balance of description, dialogue and action that I couldn't tear myself away till I had to. Another thing that made it grip me was the different medias in it, such as newspapers, forms etc, the underlining of words that made it seem like a real diary.

It was very obviously a war setting from the second page. Throughout the book there's a lot about propaganda, women's rights, culture... But Wein set the scene, and the war, so well that you knew exactly what was going on, and felt almost at home with it. There's also a lot about the funny side of the war, the taking the mick out of some of the political developments and having some light-hearted fun in the heavy tension of the war. A lot of it was slightly adult, ironic humour, but I understood and enjoyed it anyway.

The fact that Verity has been captured and is having to write about the war doesn't affect it. It appears like she's writing it at the time, and just running out of paper then and there. It shows the pressures of the war, the events and times, and I can imagine a lot of research went into the book.

I think the only negative thing about it, to me, was the length. But that's really just me; I have trouble getting through books over around 350 pages, especially in this category of writing. 

Verity as a character was a perfect protagonist to me. She was very transparent, but had hints of mystery and bitterness where needed, and showed her emotions so clearly it made me cry. I also loved Maddie! She was funny, accomplished and just all roundly lovely. I loved the fact that Wein had created her characters so perfectly.

A few quote loves...

"They have WASHED MY HAIR...... Now I stink of explosives, 
but I have not got nits."

"(You see- it was just like being in school)." 

I thought these two quotes had that ounce of irony and light-hearted humour that just made this book for me.

So overall, this was very almost perfect to me. I loved the transparency of it, and how beautifully written both the plot and the characters were.

Charli x


  1. I haven't read this yet. I KNOW. I'm just not sure its really my thing.... one day though! Everyone has such awesome things to say about it.

    1. WHAT?! You must! Haha, it's amazing but not everyone's genre :D

  2. I feel so bad, I haven't commented in so long! Blame school... and homework... and all my coursework and revision!

    How are you? Long time no see! ;D Anywho, I'm glad you enjoyed this book as I LOVED it so much when I read it this time last year! I see what you mean about the length, but I'm currently reading an 800 page book so I'd swap for 350 pages any day!

    Great review Charli, like usual, and I love the new review layout!

    1. No worries! I get it :)

      I'm good, you? Hope we can catch on Twitter perhaps?!

      Thank you Ruby! :)

  3. Yay, glad you liked this Charli! I am not going to read it, despite all the hype, because I'm not a huge fan of hist-fic. But I believe everyone when they say it's amazing! Fantabulous review! :)

    1. Well, hist-fic isn't for everyone! But yay! Thank you so much!

  4. I have heard so much about this book!! I MUST give it a read! Thanks!! :)


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Charli and Tori