Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: Code Name Verity

Have you ever been SO SURE about how you feel about a book for, like, the first half of it, only to be proved completely wrong by the second half? Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein grew on me like no book has for a long time.

The story starts as the written journal/confession of a British (Scottish, NOT English, thank you very much!) spy (code name Verity), captured in France during World War II. She was captured near a plane that held many radios, so her captives expect information from her about wireless codes and the like. What the end up getting is a rambling story, not about Verity herself, but about her best friend, Maddie.

I spent a good portion of the book begin confused about why she was talking so much about Maddie. Verity was found with Maddie's papers instead of her (forged) own, but I couldn't quite tell why she was spending so much time on her. And without giving anything away, it's hard to tell you how important the stories about Maddie end up being.

All I can safely say is that I ended up reading the last 100 pages at 2 in the morning, culminating in a sobfest like I haven't experienced from a book in a long time, after which I had to play dumb games on my phone for an hour to calm down. The next day, I read the first few chapters again and loved them. This was one hell of a book to start 2013 with, and it's going to be hard to find others to measure up.

Final verdict: Read this. Read this now.