Thursday, December 13, 2012

Book review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

If aliens one day enter my home to empty my bookshelf Code Name Verity is one of the books I will hold on to for dear life. I will fight the aliens with every fiber in my being, that's how much I loved Code Name Verity. This is book will be high on my Top 10 Reads list for 2012, I loved to bits and if you don't pick it up soon then you're in danger of missing out, BIG TIME.

I love this cover, it says so much about the story.

No spoilers

The setting for Code Name Verity is France (and partly England) during WWII. It is a story about female friendship, adventure and women/girls with rather unusual occupations during the war (spy, pilot and mechanic). And that my friend is about all I can tell you about this wonderful story. Why so little you say? Well my dear friend for me to answer that question I need you to answer this question: Have you ever read a book where the whole story will fall apart if you reveal the slightest thing about it? If you have then you know how hard it has been for me to write up this review. There is so much I'm longing to talk about but I cannot  bear the idea of spoiling this amazing story to new readers.

It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.
A beautiful quote on friendship from Code Name Verity.

Female spies and pilots

Code Name Verity is an epistolary novel(see I learned myself a new word, yaaay), that means the story is being told through letters and diary entries. Our narrator is a young lady imprisoned by the Germans in France. The story changes between being told from a 1st POV and 3rd POV and it works surprisingly.

Our dearest narrator has a bleak future ahead of her, as she is labeled a Night and Fog(Nacht und Nebel)prisoner, that usually means prisoners who disappear into thin air and is never seen or heard from ever again. The narrator is well aware of this and she swaps whatever she can for the chance of a longer life, even if that means turning traitor.

I am no longer afraid of getting old.
Indeed I can't believe I ever said anything so stupid. So childish. So offensive and arrogant.
But mainly, so very, very stupid. I desperately want to grow old.
From Code Name Verity.

A puzzle or a crossword

This book is like a puzzle or a crossword and we all know how freaking annoying it is when you're this close to the solution and someone looks over your shoulder and gives you the correct answer. Author Elizabeth Wein has sprinkled her story with some very nicely hidden hints for the outfall of this story and I couldn't connect the dots at all until she spelled it out for me. Well done you! I love stories that keep me guessing until the very end and when it's revealed I could almost smack myself for not understanding what was going on before my very eyes earlier.

Code Name Verity might all sound very confusing, but I promise you that it is not. On the surface the story is well put together, there is no holes there but there is secrets there that you just cannot see before the author spills it.

This is a story that is perfect for rereading, it is not necessary but I'm willing to bet that I'll discover a whole new story the second time around. The first time I devoured the book, the second time I'll take my sweet time and discover all the little clues that was hidden for me the first time. I'm not much of a rereading kind of gal' but for this one I'm willing to make an exception. 

I am a coward.
I wanted to be heroic and I pretended I was. I have always been good at pretending.
Quote from Code Name Verity.


The main character is living on borrowed time, as long as she writes, she lives. The MC, I cannot name her, read the book and you'll understand why, does the unthinkable and becomes a traitor. It might seem a bit unrealistic that the soldiers doesn't just torture the information out of our MC spy, but to believe in this story this was just something I had to accept. This situation is made credible due to the fact that author Elizabeth Wein makes all her characters are human and complex, even the enemy has his weak spots . Very few of the characters, if any, is portrayed as just good or just bad.

Book trailer

Code Name Verity is fiction and at first glance one might believe there to be some historical errors in this novel. If you take a closer look at the information that exists in this novel you might be surprised to learn that some of the things that sounds unreal actually was very real. The things that aren't historical correct is being explained in an authors note at the very end(I learned some interesting facts in this note and I recommend that you read it if you ever read the book) and I think she has done a wonderful job writing about things that very well could have happened during WWII.

This story is both beautiful and heartbreaking and I L O V E it DEARLY! The story will appeal to young and old alike, especially women as this is also a story about strong women and friendship.

Did you know?
That 166 female pilots flew for the ATA during WWII?
15 of these 166 women died on the job.
The ATA pilots mission was to transport planes from one place to another and sometimes they also flew passengers.

That the ATA allowed disabled pilots to fly?
It didn't matter if you missed an arm or an eye, ff you could fly safely the ATA needed your help.

That a female pilot needed twice as many pilot lessons as a male pilot before they were allowed to fly on their own?

Well... look at all the lines I managed to use when I could have said it in such a simple way; I loved Code Name Verity. You don't want to miss out on this one.

This cover is just not to my liking at all. Looks more like a book in
the same genre as 50 Shades, which Code Name Verity most definitely is not.

Have you read Code Name Verity, if so did you enjoy it as much as I did? If not is it at least on your wishlist?

I purchased the audiobook from Audible. En innbundet utgave er på vei hjem til meg også, jeg må ha en fysisk kopi i bokhyllen.

I HAVE TOLD THE TRUTH! And for those of you who has read this novel already you know what I mean.


  1. Great review, Mari. I read Code Name Verity this spring, and loved it - definitely one of my top books read this year.

    1. Thanks, Ann Kristin :) I might have to look over my list for 2012 once more but I'm pretty sure this is going to be my favorite this year.

  2. Its nice that this book is about strong women (yay) haha.. ill give this one a try soon! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

    1. I do love a story about strong women :) I was planning on ending the review with the words GIRL POWER really.

  3. I love stories that are told through letters/diary entries. For some reason I feel I connect better to the main character.

    What high praise. I'll definitely have to check out this novel soon.

  4. I read the 1st line of your review, and instantly knew that this book is going to my wishlist. Awesome review.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)