Katherine Longshore 3 Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I first heard about CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein back in March when I was in England. I had just been dragged invited to yet another airplane museum by my aircraft-crazy family.  I bypassed the nosecones and tailgun turrets and technical details and went straight to the tiny section of the museum dedicated to stories.  More specifically, to the stories of women agents who parachuted into occupied France during World War II.  And I had thought - why doesn't someone write a YA book about these women?  And then I thought - why don't I?

The answer came to me the very next day in the form of a book review in The Guardian (hands down my favorite broadsheet newspaper in the world).  I went out that afternoon and bought CODE NAME VERITY (lucky me! it wasn't published in the US until May).

The story follows two girls - Maddie is a pilot and Queenie is...a chameleon.  Which sets her up nicely to be dropped behind enemy lines.  Except things don't quite go as planned.

This novel is unlike any YA I've read in recent years.  It is full of twists and turns and has to be read carefully or you (literally) start to lose the plot.  Each anecdote has a purpose and each phrase a reason and even the way the book is printed comes into play.  But ultimately, this is a story of friendship and one which can't be broken by Nazis or war or doubt or bloodshed.  It is the story I wanted to read as I stood in that little air museum on the English coast.


I just reviewed this book on my own blog. I had a bit of trouble with the narration at first, but like you said, it was so different and mysterious, I kept going. It also felt important to read the stories (although fiction) that are based in some truth on female pilots and spies in WWII.

Must have been awesome to get this book and read it since the idea of it intrigued you. Sounds like a book to add to my TBR list. Thanks for the recommendation.

I'm glad you liked it, too, Stephsco! And you're right, it wasn't an easy read, but definitely worth reading.

And Angela, it was one of those things that fate just drops in your lap - a concept that caught my imagination and a writer who expertly executed it.

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