Customer Reviews for

Code Name Verity

Average Rating 4.5
( 108 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

24 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

Every once in a while a novel comes along that captures your im


Every once in a while a novel comes along that captures your imagination, involves your every emotion, and provides a dollop of history that will live forever in your mind. Code Name Verity is such a book.

Set in England and France during WWII, two women volunteers in...

Every once in a while a novel comes along that captures your imagination, involves your every emotion, and provides a dollop of history that will live forever in your mind. Code Name Verity is such a book.

Set in England and France during WWII, two women volunteers in the the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) become unlikely friends. One is a Lady of the English peerage (most often called Queenie by her friends); one is Maddie, a child of Russian immigrants. Both have their own talents and by strange chance, they end up shot down over German-occupied France. Maddie manages to get away, but Queenie is soon captured by the Gestapo.

As Queenie writes out her confession of spying in hopes of preventing further torture, Maddie does her best to save her. The story comes in a thrilling conclusion certain to wring the hardest heart.

I’m convinced you won’t be able to put Code Name Verity down. The plotting is tight and exciting. The research is meticulous. The book, although marketed as a YA, is suitable for all ages twelve or so and up. CNV is definitely on my top ten best reads of the year list, and so far sits at number one.

posted by CKCrigger on May 16, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

I hate saying anything bad. But I couldn't get past the horrible

I hate saying anything bad. But I couldn't get past the horrible writing. The main character's confession is a narrative, then there is the question of who is talking since the narrator talks about herself in 3rd person. Lots of telling, no showing. meh. Plus, the autho...
I hate saying anything bad. But I couldn't get past the horrible writing. The main character's confession is a narrative, then there is the question of who is talking since the narrator talks about herself in 3rd person. Lots of telling, no showing. meh. Plus, the author says in the Author's Note how most of it is made up, there isn't much "historical" to the historical novel, and "frees" herself from getting some facts wrong (the few facts she does use) by saying some things are deliberate, some not.

posted by Anonymous on October 3, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    I do not have children, nor am I close with children who are you

    I do not have children, nor am I close with children who are young adults, and so given what I read about the decline of education and how young adults are increasingly self-absorbed and out of touch with the world around them, I'm very uncertain how this book ended up in the YA genre. This would be great summer reading for a upperclassman in high school or even college student, but I think it'd be disturbing for anyone under the age of 16. Just my two cents and again, not a parent.

    All that aside, this is an incredibly well-written story. You learn about best friends Maddie and Queenie through Queenie's confession/statement to the Nazis. Further into the book one may think she is incredibly self absorbed and/or flakey, but everything is quite deliberate in the end. You see the incredible strength of two young women trying to overcome sexism and prove that women are just as brave and honorable as men.

    And succeed.

    Again, incredibly well-written, detailed, and dramatic (in the good sense, not melodrama). As Lt. C. Carwood Lipton of Easy Company once said, "It was a different time back then."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Chapter by Chapter's review of Code Name Verity

    I love reading books about friendship. Sometimes I feel like with the craziness of life, a true friend is what keeps you grounded. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is one of those books that will have you looking back on the relationships you have with your friends, and has you wondering if you would be able to do what Maddie felt she had to do.

    Set in the era of WWII, where Hitler’s reign instilled fear in the heart and mind, we follow the lives of two girls, Maddie and Julie. Two girls, who in a world where there was no war, would not have met or have become friends. Thrust together in a time of great despair, Maddie and Julie build a friendship that even miles won’t separate them.

    I will admit, that in the beginning I was struggling through this book. Because Maddie was an aspiring pilot, and due to her love of flight, there was a lot of discussion about old airplanes. At times, it felt like the only constant that I was not able to get past was that there was no break from the descriptions of the planes. Once I thought that there possibly couldn’t be anything else left to say about planes, there would be more. But once I powered through the beginning, the rest of the book was what I was hoping it would be. A story of friendship, and the sacrifices that one would make to prevent a friend from pain and suffering.

    The story reads like a diary/journal of sorts, and split in two parts between Verity and Maddie. I LOVED that. Where the first part ended, the second part would start through the eyes of the next. I couldn’t help but be caught up in the whirl wind of emotion that poured out of the pages of Code Name Verity. Author, Elizabeth Wein, put in so much feeling in Code Name Verity. It was because of these little snippits of emotion that were in the beginning half of the book that had me continuing to read, rather than not finishing it. I, for one, am so glad that I decided to keep going.

    It was heartbreaking to read about the torture and pain that Verity had to go through when she was captured and held prisoner at Gestapo headquarters. To be forced to watch the torture of other victims as a way to have her confess codes and other military secrets to aid them in the war. To read about how she was tortured, and just how much more she could endure for another week of life….another day even.

    Code Name Verity is one of those stories that I won’t soon forget. It did reiterate to me the importance of friends, and how sometimes one must do, what needs to be done for the sake of friendship.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2014

    I thought that this book was a wonderful read. The beginning was

    I thought that this book was a wonderful read. The beginning was a little slow but it picked up quickly and I found myself getting very invested in the storyline and characters. (Slight spoiler alert), the ending was heartbreaking for me and it really stayed with me. Especially if you're into historically based fiction, this is a wonderful read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Complex themed mind game twist!

    This book was very unique and I enjoyed reading about the uncommon rolls women protrayed in WWII. Heroic female charaters, a female spy and pilot with loyalty to their counties and friendship. I like how this ended cleanly for a new start to the next book. It's more complex than the average YA book but I like that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    ama Amazing

    This book is absolutely great. I could not put it down for days. The characters and story line are well developed and interesting. Really one of the best books I've read. I highly recommend it.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    Inspiring book

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book even after I discovered that it was written for young adults and had a predominant bend toward achievements of women and I am not young or a woman. The story takes place in England and France during WWII and illustrates the important role played by women as civilian aviators. The suspense will keep you turning the pages, as you see the courage and intelligence of these young women as the suffer and risk everything to aid in securing victory for Great Britain.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Very good

    Keeps you guessing

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    I have to admit that I struggled with Code Name Verity at first;

    I have to admit that I struggled with Code Name Verity at first; it was a slow read for me, one that I found difficult to get into but one that with an ending so powerful and unforgettable that it redeemed itself and made my experience completely turnaround!

    Although this story is set in World War II, it's really a story about two girls who become best friends and what was most likely the period in their life that had the great impact on them. It's also written in journal format, which is something I've mentioned before that I never seem to take to well as a reader. But the story itself is a beautiful tale that leaves a mark on your heart.

    Reasons to Read:

    1.Lively, endearing characters:

    Maddie and Queenie are two of the most incredible characters I have ever read about; their personalities literally jump off the pages, and they're just fantastic young women to read about. They're so realistic and familiar, that it's hard to believe that they're no more than fiction. Queenie, especially, was one character that I found totally endearing and striking. The choices she makes, the stories she tells... she's one character you WON'T forget soon. And Maddie is equally brave, in her own unique-Maddie way. Gah, I love these two so much!

    2.An ending that'll make you go "WHAT?!":

    Yeah, it' sone of THOSE endings. I mean, you kind of figure that you know what to expect... but it's still so heartbreaking and momentous and just THERE, and you really don't want it to happen. Yet, it's shocking all on its own. It's a good thing though, I mean, I loved it even though it made me tear up a bit too. It's a good book with feeling is what I'm trying to say, I suppose.

    3.An interesing perspective of WW2:

    And that ending? I won't spoil anything, but I think it does a noteworthy job (as does the book) of offering us readers a very interesting perspective of World War II, one that we wouldn't often get to see. I mean, I don't think I've ever seen a movie or read a book that deals with female pilots or wireless operatives. But on top of that, Queenie and Maddie aren't overly concerned with the war. We see all the little ways in which a war like this tears lives apart. Beautiful and tragic, all at the same time.

    But I have to warn you that I struggled with the first half of the book. Queenie was easily my favourite character and I loved what she had to say, but I found the way it was written to be difficult to stick with. As I already mentioned, I'm not one to enjoy reading journal entries - I always find it lacking as a method of narration. Plus, I found Code Name Verity even more difficult to read as a journal because while Queenie's writing it, she's writing it from the perspective of her friend Maddie. Or, what she thinks Maddie's perspective/story would be and how to best tell it.

    I really enjoy historical fiction and this one is great- right down to the writing style and character voices/slang used. Another fair warning though: there's a lot of talk of airplanes and flying that went way over my head. A lot of it. I think it's more so to set an atmosphere and get into the character's heads but it can drag on to read about.

    This books is one of the few that gets better after you read it. The way it sinks in, and you can't get it out of your head. It isn't a book that you finish and forget about immediately afterwards.

    ARC/e-galley received from Random House Canada for review. (abridged from original review due to posting limitations)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 14, 2013

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