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Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein

From AmazonOct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called "a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel" in The New York TimesCode Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

Genre: Historical
Audience: Young Adult (?) (It's listed in Amazon under Teens>Historical Fiction. I can't remember if it states Verity and Maddie's ages, but I believe they're in their late teens.)
Length: 368 pgs

Rating: 5 

Review: There was a point in the book where I was considering giving 3.5 to 4 stars for this. The writing was exquisite, very much so. I felt sort of like I did when reading Matched by Allie Condie--that technically this book deserved a very high rating, but I wasn't connecting. Then BAM. I connected. And I wanted to go back through those parts I wasn't connecting on and reread them. I have a bachelors degree in history and I spent the better part of my time earning that learning about World War II and spent some semesters specifically studying women's roles in WWII, so this is so obviously up my alley. While I was reading it, it made me want so hard to be able to write what seemed like effortless sentences in this book, but what I know is very talented word crafting. Where all of them mattered. So. Well. Done. And all the feelings, of course. There's very little you can say about this book without giving things away. This book. 

Sex - 1 (Some innuendo. Minor things.)
Language - 5 (Verity admits right off she has a foul mouth and she really does. Littered with damns, hells, and the Lord's name in vain. 7 instances of bas*, 7 instances of sh*, 2 instances of a*, 2 f-bombs--To be honest, I'm strict about language, and if I'd known the extent, I'm not sure I would have read it. And these are the instances I noted on my Kindle book. I easily could have missed some in the thick of it.)
Violence - 4 (I'm vacillating between giving it that and a 5...or a 3.5. I mean, it's a WWII book, and it's about a girl who gets capture behind enemy lines. She's tortured and it describes some of it--but it could have been a lot more graphic, so I'll just go with 4.)
Overall ratingI - PG-16 (It has heavy themes and heavy things happening. As conservative as I am, I wouldn't recommend it to my 18 year old sister for a year or two, but you all know that's how I roll.)

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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