Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Book review: Code Name Verity

I know today is Tuesday but I spent yesterday writing so had no time to blog. Today though you're getting a book review.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

When I saw this sitting on top of a library shelf something about it seemed familiar, as if I'd heard about it but not paid much attention. So I picked it up along with Judith Kerr's "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit." which created an unintended theme to my recent reading. 

Code Name Verity is written basically as two journals. The first by Verity herself who is writing the story of her friend Maddie as a sort of confession while being held prisoner in German occupied France. The second is Maddie writing her own journal from where Verity's writings end.
And that is about all I can say without completely spoiling the book. That's not because it's badly written and full of cliches, it's because it is so well written and so well thought out that even the tiniest hint of what goes on will spoil the thrill of it all. I could compare it to a famous film that uses the same sort of techniques but even that gives too much away. What I will say is that you'll want a paper copy of this, and you'll probably want to read it more than once to see exactly how well Wein has pieced her story together.

Essentially Code Name Verity is about the friendship that arises during the Second World War between two young women from vastly different backgrounds, and the lengths they will go to protect each other. It's a thrilling ride with heartache, a lot of heartache, some laughter and some rather gory bits. I really enjoyed it, more so than I thought I would enjoy a book that spends half it's time focused on a prisoner being tortured into betraying her country. I definitely think it's worth a read if you enjoy strong female leads, historical fiction or even just a piece of very well written literature.

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