Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein was my standout book of 2014. This was the year that I focused on reading. I was following Modern Mrs. Darcy’s blog and found a book community that I loved. Every month there would be a link-up called Quick Lit. I read every single blog post and my GoodReads “to read” list grew to over 600 books long.
It wasn’t my favorite book, but it was the most haunting. Whenever anyone asked me about the books I read that year, this was the book that came to mind. I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters portrayed and the choices they faced.
I almost gave up on Code Name Verity about 50 pages in. I hated it at first. I knew a lot of people loved it, but I couldn’t figure out why. Thankfully, before giving up on the book I read some reviews on Amazon. Based on the reviews, I found out that the beginning of the book isn’t very good, but if I skimmed that part and stuck with it I would be happy I did. I followed that advice, and ended up being very glad I did.
The book opens with a girl that was captured by the Gestapo. Right away you know it’s not going to be an easy book to read. However, it is very tedious for the first part. The main character is writing all her knowledge about the allies in order to stop the Nazis from torturing her. She writes from the perspective of a pilot so there’s a lot of information about planes. If you are really interested in planes and pilots during World War II then this might be interesting to you. It was way too much information for me.
The second half of the book is very good and moves at a much quicker pace; so don’t give up! Once I started skimming through the technical parts the book started to pick up.
This story has haunted me because it shows the actions of normal people put into extraordinary circumstances. World War II, especially from the perspective of people in Europe, has fascinated me for that reason. Normal, everyday people, are put into unbelievable situations. This is where you really see what the human spirit is made of.
There are some tough subjects dealt with in this book but I felt they were done tastefully. This book is marketed as Young Adult, which I appreciated because it keeps the torture tasteful. You understand what is happening, without being completely sickened. When you start a book with someone that has been captured by the Gestapo, you know that it’s not going to be an easy read. However, I felt the difficult subjects were dealt with without being too gory. I am very sensitive to violence against women, and I was able to handle everything in this book.
If you read this book, I don’t think you will forget it. There were some brave people caught in the middle of World War II and even though this story is fictional, it really highlights the courage of the people in that time period.
Have you read Code Name Verity? What did you think?