Thursday, 29 March 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Review of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


Verity is a collaborator. Captured by the Gestapo in France in 1943, she agrees to give up information about the war effort – not even in return for her life being spared, but to gain just a few weeks and a quick and merciful death. She tells the tale of how she came to be in France, from the moment she met her friend Maddie, the pilot whose plane she bailed out of, right up until her capture. It’s a gripping tale of friendship, courage, patriotism, love, and family. And nothing – but nothing – is quite as it seems.

I have no idea how to review this. In fact, the only reason I’m even attempting to do so is that I already wimped out of trying to review Looking For Alaska this year and I figured that while not reviewing one of my favourite books of the year was just about forgivable, failing to review two would seem rude.

Anyway, the best advice to give you would be to go and read this NOW. Yes, I could ramble on about Verity and Maddie, the two wonderful heroines, and the way their friendship is handled so beautifully. Yes, I could talk about Weir’s phenomenal writing style, and the superb narration by Verity, which veers between heartbreaking, brutal, gorgeous, and surprisingly funny. I could even tell you how many times I burst into tears reading it. (Actually, the last one’s a lie, I lost count at around page 250.)

But at the end of the day, I’m so terrified of spoiling this incredible novel in even the most minor of details that I think I’ll avoid doing any of that, and just tell you to go and read it.

Highest possible recommendation and a probable front-runner for book of the year.

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