Code Name Verity by Elisabeth Wein
I really enjoyed this book but for some reason I’m having a hard time writing about it. I heard that it was a good YA book about two women during WW2 and it is just that. Although it is a WW2 book and definitely deals with dark topics, it still manages to not be a super dense depressing book (perhaps part of why it is YA). Although it can’t be said that this is a happy book, it was a really good book. Good enough that I would recommend this to anyone really.
It is the story of two women (Maddie and Julie). The first part of the book is told from one perspective and then half way through we switch to a different perspective which was really interesting. I appreciated how complex both characters were and how deep their friendship was even though it was a time of war where everything is uncertain. I also really liked how Julie was Scottish (not English!) and she’s supposedly a descendant of William Wallace (I went to the Wallace monument when i was in Scotland!). Anyway, I appreciated her Scottish spunk although I’m definitely more of a Maddie myself.
I’m not sure how much else I can say about this book without giving anything away. A lot of the coolness about this book is how unexpected a lot of it was (at least to me). It doesn’t have a happy ending (I mean, what war book does) but I was very satisfied with the ending. Apparently the book has a sequel or rather a companion book (Rose under fire?) but I didn’t finish the book feeling like I needed more. I finished it feeling like things were more or less complete which I appreciated.
I will say there is a lot of smoking in this book. I guess that’s just how people coped and also people just used to smoke a lot more. Also although terrible things are done to the characters (or one of them in particular), they aren’t described in a gruesome way, are are more alluded to than explained.
Also the entire book is people writing it down. It’s very much like someone’s journal or someone is telling you the story and it’s beautiful and elegant in that way. Very raw and real while also obviously filtered. This is not a gritty WW2 book but it is a heartfelt one. Also if you like reading about friendship and planes and spies and radios etc. It was cool. Definitely recommend.
# 5 of 2017