Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Published: 2012

Genre: YA historical fiction

Length: 339 pages

Setting: England and France, WWII

Font: Goudy Old Style

Interest: I’ve seen it reviewed and lauded a number of places. I first saw it in a Simple Homeschool post on YA historical fiction.

Summary: Julie (aka Verity) has been captured by the Germans soon after flying into France on a secret mission for Britain. She’s then tasked with writing down all she knew about the British War Effort to five to the Germans. She tells the story of herself (in the third person) and Maddie. Maddie worked herself into becoming a pilot during the war, against all odds. The second half of the story is told by Maddie, who was also stuck in France (the plane she was piloting to bring Julie to France crash-landed) trying to find Julie. Julie’s translator sneaks Maddie Julie’s written confession. Turns out, all the intelligence (but not the relationship with Maddie) was made up. Maddie’s part of a plan to rescue Julie and blow up the German headquarters in the nearby town. While they are able to blow up the building, with information hidden in Julie’s confession, they are unable to rescue Julie. Eventually, Maddie makes her way back to England.

Final thoughts: This book matched my expectations. I totally felt for Julie – tortured and forced to spill her secrets. (We never see the torture, which is one of the few concessions to the YA audience I noticed.) Then, in the second half, we find out all the secrets were made up! I was completely shocked! I thought Julie was broken, but she was playing the victim and still trying to get information out to the Resistance. So many of her actions and words seemed innocent but turned out to convey information to the Resistance. The saddest part of the book was when Maddie shot Julie to prevent Julie being sent to a Nazi “research” facility. I thought for sure it was another trick on Julie’s part, but no – she was really dead. Overall, an excellent book and the twist of the second half had me going back over the first half to see the events in the new light.

Title comes from: The code name of Julie (the main character and narrator of the first half) was Verity.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 78/100 in my 100 Book Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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3 Comments

Filed under Book review

3 responses to “Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

  1. Pingback: Best of 2014 | Fill Your Bookshelf

  2. Pingback: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein | Fill Your Bookshelf

  3. Pingback: Recommended War Books | Fill Your Bookshelf

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