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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Code Name Verity

Title: Code Name Verity
Genre: Young Adult

Originally Published: 2012-06-02
Edition Courtney Read Published: 2013
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Random House of Canada
ISBN: 978-0-385-67657-1

The Story

Code Name VerityFrom the back of the book:

October 11, 1943: A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and its passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a shot at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

Harrowing and beautifully written, Code Name Verity is the story of an unforgettable friendship forged in the face of the ultimate evil.

The Response

I should always read everything that Rachel tells me to read immediately. This one was only on my TBR list for probably about 2 years. Plus, in 2013, it won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Novel, and was short listed or honoured for a bunch of other awards. So it’s kind of a big thing.

Also, hello! WWII novel? Yeah, I kinda dig this shit.

So. The first portion of this book is told from Julie’s point of view, when she is being held captive by the gestapo in France. It’s written like a report – the story is that Julie struck a deal with her captor and would give a written report of everything she knows about the British army and their war efforts, and in return she would have a few more weeks to live. Which means that for the first half of the book, it sounds like she’s telling the Nazis all of this secret stuff, which meant I wasn’t sure whether I liked her at all.

BUT! The second half of this book made everything awesome and amazing because it’s told from Maddie’s perspective, and we get to see how much of a genius Julie really is in what information she was choosing to feed the bad guys and how well she was really informing her own team. My goodness! It really shows how hearing only one side of the story doesn’t always give all of the information.

I will admit that I found the first half of the book a little slow – I wasn’t sure what the main character was really like, and it was hard to really get to like her… so reading from her perspective wasn’t my favourite thing. But, as soon as we changed perspectives to Maddie’s point of view, the pacing of the book really sped up.

The world that the author set her book in is both wonderful and terrifying – almost anything related to WWII is the same, but this one gets a lot closer to the danger than I normally read, what with having someone being tortured by the Nazis. It was sometimes vivid, but not through the torture of the narrator herself – more from hearing other prisoners being tortured, and from smells that came from the torture area. Erm. The author did a phenomenal job of making parts of the book highly uncomfortable.

The Bottom Line

Loved this – I definitely should have read this earlier! I would definitely highly recommend this to anyone who likes books that take place during WWII.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:13 am January 2, 2015.
Category: Young Adult
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  • Kailana

    I plan to reread this by audio this year! I still have to read her other book and she has another book out this year.