Truth and Lies, War and Friendship

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

First Look:

Dramatic and intriguing.  An artistic representation of the story as well.

Jacket Copy:

I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.
That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.
We are a sensational team.


No, and it’s perfect that way.

Worth Reading?

It is very, very worth reading, but it is not an easy, cheerful book.

Notable Things:

Lady spies!  No spoilers, but clandestine work is pretty obviously part of the plot.

Unlikely Friendships!  The prisoner and Maddie probably wouldn’t have been much in each other’s company if it weren’t for the war, but it’s clear that they make wonderful friends.

Difficult Decisions!  There are a lot of them, and it’s not always easy to see which is the “right” one, which is always more interesting to read about than the clearer kind.

Well-rounded characters! (Ha, ha!)  Even many of the secondary characters are quite complex, and it’s done with more showing than telling.  (BTW, don’t google image search “obese people”.  The results are not pretty.)


It’s difficult to write a review without spoiling anything, because the way that the story unfolds is perfectly timed and crafted, but suffice to say that the prisoner and Maddie seem to be real people, with a strong and true friendship.  It’s a mystery story as well as an adventure and a character study.  I consider it one of the best books I’ve read this year.




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