Book Review: Code Name Verity
11th October 1943 A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a shot at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.
I recently finished reading Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Needless to say, I really enjoyed it. This book ranks among favourites. I have always liked stories about aeroplanes, pilots, spies and war. I think reading the Biggles series(well about 30 of the books anyway) years ago, started that love. But I did not pick up this book because of the aeroplanes, pilots, spies and war; I wanted to read this book because I had heard how well the characters and the story were written.
The story is masterfully crafted. The two main characters are, well I'll just say it is so amazingly hard to believe this is not a true story. Emotionally amazing and also a bit depressing, but perfect, real. Note though, you may not love this book quite so much as others do if you are bored with flying and piloting (there is a lot of that in there). But, as I said, I really enjoy reading about such things, so they only made me love this book more. The author says in the "Author's Debriefing" (I just liked that section title so much) that 'this book started off as a portrait of an Air Transport Auxiliary pilot', it became so much more. It is also not a "true" story, as in a factual story, but rather, a good story, a very good story at that.
- Torture is talked about, this book is emotional, and war is portrayed in it. People are killed. Though the torture is more hinted at or what actually comprised the torture is only found out long after it happened, there are not really any scenes of torture as such.
- There is one guy who is a sleazy pervert who goes around touching girls and saying suggestive/offensive things a few times.
- Also there is a little bit of language in this book.
But I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially writers. The characters in this story are so real, it is always good to read stories with characters such as we want to write in them. These girls are strong, have great courage, great friendship, they also bawl their eyes out, have many fears, are cowards, they are sweet and harsh, they are people. So I'd say this book is best for ages 14-16+ depending on maturity, so if you like stories of war or pilots or both, or just great characters, then you definitely need to read this!
Have you read Code Name Verity yet?
Is this book on your list 'too-read-some-day' now?