June 5, 2012

Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein)

So I thought I was going to be able to do huge in-depth book talks every week, but (at least at the moment) I just don't have the mental bandwidth to do that and beat my WIP into submission at the same time. (More on that tomorrow.) In the absence of a big long critique, I'm just going to point to this book and tell you all to read it:

Oh my WORD, Code Name Verity (by Elizabeth Wein) is amazing. It's about two girls in service in the United Kingdom during World War II. One is a pilot (sort of), the other is a spy (sort of). There's only so much I can say about this book because of its twisty nature -- saying too much about the plot would give away some of the revelations I found most interesting. But at the very least, here are some reasons you should read it:

1. Female friendship (of the kicking-Bechtel-into-the-dirt variety). Queenie and Maddie meet under unexpected circumstances and become the closest of close friends. Their relationship is real and tangible and wonderful, and it made me cry.

2. Historical accuracy. Okay, so obviously there have to be some inaccuracies (many of which are addressed in the author note at the back of the book). But altogether, Code Name Verity is extremely well-researched and really creates an immersive experience for the reader. If you like well-done historical fiction (particularly WWII), this is your cup of tea.

3. The twistiness. Again, I can't tell you much about it. But I can say that I am a fairly well-read person. I tend to see plot twists coming a mile away...but Code Name Verity fooled me. Multiple times. Elizabeth Wein sets up certain expectations only to undermine them to great effect, and I thought it was marvelous.

In fact, marvelous is an excellent word for this book. Also devastating. And rich. I didn't float through this book in an hour -- I read every single word on every single page, because I didn't want it to end. If you like: engrossing young adult fiction, sensational female friendships, and/or historical fiction, this book is for you. Read away.

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