My Catchphrases

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Guest Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: 6 Feb 2012

Synopsis from Goodreads

I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do. 

That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine - and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France - an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.


This novel was a slow starter and quite long in comparison to some of the others I receive from Emma but this did not detract from my enjoyment. Once I realised what was going on the harrowing story began to unfold and I questioned whether this was even children’s or young adult fiction. Code Name Verity deals with the darkest elements of Nazi occupied France; it deals with torture, Gestapo interrogation and an enduring friendship between two young women.

Code Name Verity is heartbreaking, for the main part of the novel it’s told from the point of view of ‘Verity’ (or Queenie or Julie depending where in the novel you’re up to) as she ‘confesses all’ to her Gestapo captors. It’s intriguing as whilst we’re led through Verity’s story, she tells us as much about her best friend Maddie as she does about herself and despite her decrying that she’s a coward, she is far from it.

It’s impossible not to like ‘Verity’ she’s strong willed, powerful and stubborn even in her most difficult times and her strength of character makes seeing her beaten down and tortured all the more horrendous.

The second part of the novel comes from the point of Maddie, ‘Verity’s’ best friend from home and a trained WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) pilot. The reader then follows Maddie as she tries to find her friend in occupied France and is met with brick wall after brick wall until the heart breaking ending.

This novel is a brilliant example of how women’s role in the world wars should not be underestimated and they were involved in more elements than just the Home Front. This review comes at a timely moment as March is Women’s History Month and this book is definitely one that everyone should read as a reminder of what women are capable of. Similarly, this book should be added to the curriculum to educate everybody on the inner workings of the Gestapo as well as the British forces.

A Must Read. 


  1. I've got this planned in to read next week. I've read such amazing reviews for it.

  2. This one sounds really good. I love that time period in history and of course I always loved learning women's roles in history. Women really were more than just housewives and it is time that is really shown.

    Can't wait to get a copy of this one. Thanks for the great review!

  3. This is a book that I already had on my must read list. I am always glad to see others reiterating that though!

  4. I already REALLY wanted to read this and your review has just made me want to read it EVEN MORE!!! But, it's ok I think it's available in my school library so tomorrow I'll be there first thing and take this out!
    By the way, I left you a little something on my blog :)


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