Code Name Verity

( 98 )


Oct. 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 ...

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Code Name Verity

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Oct. 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 Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

Winner of the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult
A 2013 Michael L. Printz Honor Book
A 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Fiction Honor Book

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
This heart-in-your-mouth adventure has it all: a complex plot, a vivid sense of place and time, and resonant themes of friendship and courage. Practical Maddie and mischievous Julie are brought to life through their vibrant narrative voices and intriguing backstories…In this powerful work of historical fiction, Julie and Maddie need never fear "flying alone"; the reader will soar with them until the final page.
—Mary Quattlebaum
Publishers Weekly
Wein (The Empty Kingdom) serves up a riveting and often brutal tale of WWII action and espionage with a powerful friendship at its core. Captured Scottish spy Queenie has agreed to tell her tale—and reveal any confidential information she knows—in exchange for relief from being tortured by Nazis. Her story, which alternates between her early friendship with a pilot named Maddie and her recent sufferings in prison, works both as a story of cross-class friendship (from an upper-crust family, Queenie realizes that she would likely never have met Maddie under other circumstances) and as a harrowing spy story (Queenie’s captor, von Loewe, is humanized without losing his menace). Queenie’s deliberately rambling and unreliable narration keeps the story engaging, and there are enough action sequences and well-delivered twists (including a gut-wrenching climax and late revelations that will have readers returning to reread the first half of the book) to please readers of all stripes. Wein balances the horrors of war against genuine heroics, delivering a well-researched and expertly crafted adventure. Ages 14–up. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (May)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Tension builds from the first line that Julie Beaufort-Stuart (code name Verity) writes after she is taken prisoner by the Gestapo in France. A small gesture led to her capture and now she is writing to extend her life. Torture, and the mere threat of torture, play a part in this tale, and Julie recounts that in her writings. She has promised to tell all she knows about the British War effort. What's more, she knows the gruesome death that awaits secret agents. Her wartime friendship with Maddie Brodatt and how their plane was shot and crashed are recounted in the notes she makes. The second half of the story is told from Maddie's perspective, and the two friends find themselves back together in a stunning conclusion. This World War II novel is rich in discussion material: the setting; the characters; and the themes of heroes and cowards, friendship and hatred, irony, truth, and more. Nothing is quite as simple as it seems, however. Wein deftly weaves their gritty, compelling, complex story which lingers long after the last page is read. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
VOYA - Susan Allen Schulman
Captured by the Gestapo after her plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France, Verity's only chance of survival is collaborating with her Nazi interrogator. Initially told from the perspective of Maddie, Verity's best friend and pilot of the crashed plane, her detailed confession reveals the transformation of two ordinary girls into integral parts of the English war effort and their journey to adulthood in an increasingly volatile world. Maddie and Verity's extraordinary bravery is reflected in frank narrative as they both fight against time and a horrific, powerful enemy. Although Verity is portrayed as a character mature beyond her years, her language sometimes seems childish and inconsistent with the individual described in her confession. The reading level could be appropriate for high school students. The graphic torture scenes, adult themes, violence, and some profane language place it firmly in the high school demographic. The themes of hope, friendship, and determination even in the most impossible situations are relevant to all readers. Although the depiction of Nazi practices throughout may be disturbing to some individuals, they are historically accurate and will lead to thoughtful discussion. The conclusion is unexpected and heartbreaking but altogether fitting with the premise and the novel's classification as "a World War II thriller." Reviewer: Susan Allen, with teen book club and Anya Schulman
School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 9 Up—Wein's award-winning novel (Hyperion, 2012) is a brilliant story of two young women during World War II who are brought together to support the British RAF. Though from opposite stations in life, Maddie and Queenie (Verity) are both brash, confident, and beautiful, and their friendship is heartfelt. The story unfolds gracefully through written confessions of one of the women who was captured by Nazis after their plane went down in France. The friends are separated after this tragedy, and they (and listeners) are left to wonder if both of them have survived. The prisoner's testimony is crafted to confess the truth, while misleading her Nazi interrogators. At times details about airplanes, mechanics, incendiaries, and such leave listeners feeling woefully inadequate. Graphic accounts of torture and death are put forth in explicit detail. Wein is a master at recounting both horrible events and the emotional subtleties which define the lives of these two heroines. Narration by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell is superb, especially with Scottish, British, French, German, and English so beautifully spoken. An excellent choice for thoughtful, mature listeners.—Robin Levin, U.S. Holocaust Museum Teacher/Fellow
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—What is truth? The significance of Julia Beaufort-Stuart's alias, "Code Name Verity," takes on double meaning in this taut, riveting, thriller. When the story begins, Julia is an unnamed prisoner, formerly a wireless operator for the British, held captive in France by a seemingly sadistic Nazi interrogator. She has supposedly "sold her soul" in exchange for small bits of freedom, giving pieces of code in exchange for her life. Interspersed with the story of her fierce fight for survival is a different tale: that of how she came to be in France and of her friendship with Maddie Brodatt, a British civilian pilot. Their unlikely friendship-Julia is a noblewoman, Maddie a commoner-forms the backbone of the novel, and Wein seamlessly weaves its threads throughout the book, tying them like the knots of a rope. As Julia tells their story, she also reveals small bits of her attempts at survival and escape. In the second half of the book, Maddie narrates, telling of her desperate attempts to rescue her friend and revealing both the truth of what happened to each of them, and the truth of Julia's bravery. This intricate tale is not for the faint of heart, and readers will be left gasping for the finish, desperate to know how it ends. With a seemingly unreliable narrator, strong friendship, wonderful historical details, and writing that fairly crackles on the page, this is an excellent book for thoughtful readers and book-discussion groups.—Necia Blundy, Marlborough Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Breaking away from Arthurian legends (The Winter Prince, 1993, etc.), Wein delivers a heartbreaking tale of friendship during World War II. In a cell in Nazi-occupied France, a young woman writes. Like Scheherezade, to whom she is compared by the SS officer in charge of her case, she dribbles out information--"everything I can remember about the British War Effort"--in exchange for time and a reprieve from torture. But her story is more than a listing of wireless codes or aircraft types. Instead, she describes her friendship with Maddie, the pilot who flew them to France, as well as the real details of the British War Effort: the breaking down of class barriers, the opportunities, the fears and victories not only of war but of daily life. She also describes, almost casually, her unbearable current situation and the SS officer who holds her life in his hands and his beleaguered female associate, who translates the narrative each day. Through the layers of story, characters (including the Nazis) spring to life. And as the epigraph makes clear, there is more to this tale than is immediately apparent. The twists will lead readers to finish the last page and turn back to the beginning to see how the pieces slot perfectly, unexpectedly into place. A carefully researched, precisely written tour de force; unforgettable and wrenching. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781743105672
  • Publisher: Bolinda Audio
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Wein

Elizabeth Wein was born in New York City, grew up abroad, and currently lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She is an avid flyer of small planes. She also holds a PhD in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. Visit her at

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 98 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 98 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2012

    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 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.

    22 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great book set during WWII about friendship and strength

    Code Name Verity
    By: Elizabeth E. Wein
    Genre: YA Historical Fiction
    Pub Date: May 15th, 2012
    Rating: PG-13 for scenes of torture
    Coffee Beans: 5/5
    Spoilers: No way, José!
    Favorite Line: "It was cozy in perhaps the way you'd be cozy in hell." (ebook, pg 62)& "It's like being in love, discovering your best friend." (ebook, pg 80) & "And that I don't believe in God but if I did, if I did, It would be the God of Moses, angry and demanding and OUT FOR REVENGE,and…"(ebook, pg 318)

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review

    My Review:

    There's not much I can say about this book without giving away the plot—which I don't want to do. This book is about the strength and love shared between best friends. About people banding together, risking everything to fight for strangers because they believe that they deserve more than what they have. It's about the deep, deep hollow that's created in one's soul at the pain someone they love is suffering through.

    My throat tightened, my heart ached, my fingers kept turning pages. And at the very last page, I mourned the losses and I cherished the victories and I had hope for the lives of those who survived.

    This is a fictional story, but the events that happened—the war, the Holocaust, the killing, the torture, the loss of so much—that is what I mourned at the last page of the book. Because in the end, what happened between these covers is only one of a million stories or possibilities of what some of our grandparents, parents, great-grandparents lived through. And like Wein's very last words: LEST WE FORGET.

    Now, on to a more specific review. I'm not a fan of historical fiction, normally, but I decided to give this one a go (mostly because I was in an ARC requesting frenzy), and I'm so glad I did. I'm also pleased as punch that I'm reading so many good authors, as of late. Elizabeth is one of them. She is, in one word, brilliant. The story she wrote is astounding in its complexity. But you don't realize it until the last third of the book. And here's why:

    The last third is told from someone else's point of view.

    I'll admit, at first this really threw me for a loop. I didn't like it. I thought it was dumb. Why the heck do I want (excuse me while I obsessively save my work in Word, lest we have another melt down), why the heck do I want to read this story from another pov? I like the one I'm in (she's funny and snarky and very specifically random). And to be honest, I don't like the new voice. At first. Then I fell in love.

    Both parts of the narrative are distinctly different, but neither is whole without the other. You start to pick up on clues with what the first girl had to say and how it plays into what's said in the second part. Then you start to think about the brains Wein has to construct both parts to make them independent but then a terrific mind puzzle when they're together. So brilliant.

    I won't say anymore, sorry for the abrupt ending, but I don't want to risk saying anything that would ruin the story. Please, I implore you, if this book sounds even remotely interesting to you, pick it up and read it. And share it with others. It's that good.

    Happy reading, my friends!


    14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    Great book

    As a guy, I didn't expect to enjoy this book. I was pleasently surprised when I found that not only did I enjoy the book, I couldn't put it down. The author manages to weave two independent stories together, believably, and supposedly insignificant things are found to be important later on. I'm a man who works hard, drives a large truck, and fixes pipes. Despite all this, I loved this book from it's sarcastic begining to it's heart-breaking climax. The characters are so well written that for the first few chapters I thought that I was possibly reading a biography of some kind. All in all, Code Name: Verity is a very complex and enrapturing tale of friendship that'll keep you reading until the very end and then some. Final note: I've never written a review before so please forgive any errors, I wrote this review to show that this book is more than a "chick" book.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012

    Friendship story with a twist

    This book was chosen by my book club, and at first I couldn't get into it. Maybe I was just busy or something, but it took me a bit to get into the story. But there's a particular point in the storyline that gives a huge twist and then it's surprise after surprise for the rest of the book. I loved the little historical details the author gives, and that she chose to write about an aspect of WWII that's not as popular to talk about. Overall, an awesome read.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Queenie, daughter of an upper-crust family, is a wireless opera

    Queenie, daughter of an upper-crust family, is a wireless operator
    captured as an Allied spy and facing execution if she survives six weeks
    of medical experimentation in a Nazi camp. In an odd twist of fate, she
    is being interrogated in Ormaie, France, where she used to visit her
    grandmother and where her great-aunt still lives and is a part of the
    French Resistance. Maddie is a pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary,
    ferrying planes and pilots but never allowed in a combat zone until the
    fateful flight that ended in disaster. Maddie is Jewish. In any
    circumstances other than war, these two women would almost certainly
    never have known each other and yet they have become the best of friends
    and trust each other completely. That trust will lead to a moment of
    devastation and sheer love. KISS ME , HARDY! Kiss me, QUICK! To say
    this is an engrossing story is to put it mildly. Much has been written
    fictionally about World War II but there is always room for more because
    we’re so fascinated with that piece of history. Having the horrors and
    the everyday routines of wartime built into the friendship of two women
    who find themselves in unbearable circumstances is nearly too much and I
    literally could not stop reading until I’d finished and then I wished
    for more. Ms. Wein tells a great tale and she does so by making the
    reader feel that these two women are much like most of us, willing to do
    our part in a bad time but still just ordinary people. Little things
    make the story come alive, such as the detail of the first successful
    ballpoint pen, licensed to the RAF in 1943 and manufactured for pilots
    who needed a way to write at high altitudes where increased pressure
    frequently caused fountain pens to leak. There are also the women’s
    lists of top ten fears which, not surprisingly, change as they learn
    what is really important to them. Above all, this is the story of what
    one person can mean to another and the sacrifices they’re willing to
    make for each other. Even Verity’s Nazi interrogator has shades of
    humanity, something the author didn’t have to do but still a touch that
    lifts this book above many other World War II novels. Is the ending of
    this tale a happy one? Most would say “no” but it’s an appropriate
    ending, one which will remain with me for a very long time. I’ll be
    including Code Name Verity in my top 5 books of 2012. KISS ME , HARDY!
    Kiss me, QUICK!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    World War II will never be forgotten. This fictional tale takes

    World War II will never be forgotten. This fictional tale takes the
    reader to WWII and introduces history in an entirely new way. Verity was
    captured by the Gestapo on a mission in France for the Allies. An expert
    actress with a can-do attitude and a mastery of the French and German
    languages, Verity was thought to be the perfect candidate for the
    mission that went so horribly wrong. While writing her confession for
    the Gestapo, Verity tells the story of her friendship with the female
    pilot who flew her to France. The pilot’s name is Maddie; she is brave,
    loyal, and goodhearted. Maddie has always been fascinated by flight,
    being a pilot is her dream job. Through their initial work as radio
    operators, Maddie and Verity met when guiding a German pilot to their
    air field to be taken as a prisoner of war. Then, the girls became
    friends after waiting out a German raid on their airfield and discussing
    their worst fears. Although they have very little in common, Verity and
    Maddie consider each other sisters and help each other grow and develop
    their skills. Maddie becomes a civilian pilot, shuttling pilots and
    damaged aircraft all over Brittan, and Verity’s missions become more and
    more complex. Writing her confession feels like a horrible betrayal to
    Verity’s home, but after weeks of mental and physical torture, Verity is
    pushed to her limit. According to the Gestapo, Maddie died after their
    plane was hit and Verity parachuted to the ground. Mourning Maddie and
    writing her confession, Verity struggles to survive. Written as a
    diary, Wein did an incredible job becoming her characters. Verity is
    spunky and wry even when all hope seems lost. Maddie is sincere,
    talented, and kind. Both girls are noble and easy to admire, Elizabeth
    Wein’s writing makes the reader feel as if she knows the characters.
    High school girls will love this novel. An audience of teenage girls
    would enjoy reading Code Name Verity. This book was excellent; five out
    of five stars!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Where do I even begin with this? I finished this book in JUNE a

    Where do I even begin with this?

    I finished this book in JUNE and it’s been over 7 months and I still can’t get myself to form words great enough to praise this
    MIND-BLOWING experience of a book. I was left emotionally wrecked after finishing Code Name Verity.

    It was written in such a way that I felt every single emotion and hurt right along with them. I WAS A COMPLETE MESS.
    No matter how hard I tried to close the book and sleep I couldn’t because the writing made me so invested in the story and the
    unbreakable bond of Verity and Maddie. Their friendship was like no other and I became emotionally attached to them both.

    Even after all this time I still can’t fully form the words to describe this book. I’m not exactly sure how I handled the end of the story,
    but I knew it involved ugly sobbing and a lot of ice cream. I wasn’t able to read another book for DAYS! Code Name Verity is most
    definitely one of my favorite books of 2012, if not one of my favorite books I’ve read so far.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014


    Where's that darn 6th star when you need it?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Loved this book

    One of the best young adult novels I've ever read. You do not need to be a fan of historical fiction to enjoy this book.

    Read if you like books with: female friendship, espionage, puzzles, mind-games, history, WWII, strong female characters, planes and flying, love, etc.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    I¿ll just be really honest here¿I don¿t know what to write or s

    I’ll just be really honest here—I don’t know what to write or say about Code Name Verity. I can’t reveal too much of the plot. In the other hand, I have to write just enough for you to want to pick up this book. I’m afraid if I start writing about how I felt while and after reading this book, I might accidentally include unnecessary spoilers (and I guarantee that you will hate me for it, maybe). I’ll write as much as I can and I shall try my best to not include any spoilers.

    Code Name Verity is a story about two best friends, Queenie and Maddie. Although they are quite the opposite, Queenie being born from posh lineage, Maddie, a bike shop owner’s granddaughter, that didn’t stop them from becoming best friends while serving together in WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) and staying like that even when the war separates them. These two have very little in common, but deep down they are incredibly strong, intelligent, loyal, and compassionate women.

    All Maddie ever wanted was to fly airplanes. When the war started, they didn’t accept female pilots but soon enough, they did. Queenie is fluent in both German and French. She has the ability to able to fleetingly change into different roles. She can be herself one second and someone entirely different the next.

    I admit that Maddie and Queenie are very unique and fascinating characters but the character that fascinates me the most is Queenie’s capturer and interrogator, SS-Hauptsturmfürer von Linden. I thought of him as a pure evil guy (even his name sounds scary) but as the story progresses, I learned a few about his life which changed the way I see him and which will cause the readers to be as confused as Queenie.

    It was a bit confusing at the beginning because Queenie tells her present story in first person, but switches to third person and focuses on Maddie every time she talks about the past. It was a little strange at first, having the narrator talk about herself in third person, but soon enough, I realized that it was an exceptional way for the author to help her readers adapt to constant alternations between the past and the present.

    The story starts off when Queenie gets captured by the Gestapo in France. Weeks passed and I think you can already guess what would happen to someone captured by the Gestapo—tortured. She made a deal with von Linden. He allows her to live for a few more weeks in exchange to writing down all the events that led her to him.

    n. /`verit¿/
    A true principle or belief, esp. one of fundamental importance; truth

    Most people (myself included) don’t know what verity means. I only knew what verity meant when ‘they’ asked her (Queenie) what the truth was—is. That’s when everything started to make sense. Imagine a person reading a book. Imagine that that person doesn’t know the real identity of the narrator is or what the book is really about until…half of the book or almost half. Code Name Verity is a strange book, in a good way. I didn’t know or care whether it was the truth she was saying or if it was really her who says she is. I am very sure about one thing though; everyone—I mean every person—who has the ability to read must read this. Code Name Verity is one of those rare books; heart-breaking yet uplifting.

    Code Name Verity is a remarkable work of fiction.

    (I’m very sorry for not being apparent and for continuously switching tenses.)

    I won a copy of this book from a giveaway hosted by Read My Breath Away. All my reviews are my honest and personal opinion and are not influenced by anyone in anyway.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    This was a lovely book of heartbreak, defiance, and humor. Code

    This was a lovely book of heartbreak, defiance, and humor. Code Name Verity was an amazing tale of two best friends trapped in the chaos of WW 2. This book is appropriate for ages 10 and up, and was neither an easy nor difficult read. I enjoyed it, and I am so exited for the next book to come out!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    Not A Summary

    This book was extrodinary. I am not giving a summary of this book because 1. I don't know how and 2. Others have. All I will say is that when I checked this out of the library I didn't expect what I read. I laughed and I cried, a lot, and I was utterly amazed by this book. It was one of those books that I got connected to and at times it made my heart ache. I recommend this book to everyone. It wa so good I had to go iut and buy my own copy because I want to read it forever. I mean I'll admit that at times I had to reread some things because they were confusing, but this book was so good it was worth it, it was so good I read it in 4 hours. I highly recommend you read this book beacause it is magnificent and worth the time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    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 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.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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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 December 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Dark, gritty and strangely compelling are just some of the words

    Dark, gritty and strangely compelling are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about this book.

    Code Name Verity is the story of two young women who live in the World War II era.  Each are doing men's jobs as the war in Europe continues.  When their plane gets shot down behind enemy lines, or should I say, Nazi-occupied France, it becomes a story of torture, sorrow, survival and maybe even treachery.

    When I first started reading this book, I will admit to having been slightly confused about the 'voices' of the book, and it was only as I read further that I understood the complexity of it and the book itself.  Written in first voice, but alternating between that and third voice as the story continued, there is no denying that this book had the power to suck me into its murky depths, and, yes, I drowned.  I cried.  There.  I said it.  My heart broke as much as Maddie's did when I read the last few chapters.  The slight bit of hope I had during the story was squashed flat - flatter than a pizza base.

    I fell in love with these characters - Julie and Maddie.  They were both very strong female characters - each doing their best to survive in one of the harshest times you can - during war.  Their characteristics seemed so real and their pain and turmoil became mine.  That's the sign of a good book.  When a reader has a deep connection with the characters it's hard for them not to like, even love, the book they're reading.  Yeah, that's how I felt.

    What made this book even more compelling were the fields the women had chosen to work in during the war effort.  I know enough about the Second World War to know that there was a shortage of men so women had to step up and take over their jobs to keep the country running, but these two women went one step further.  One was a pilot - the other a spy. 

    And the writing was done in such a way that it felt like there was a story within a story.  When it was written in the third voice that was where I learned about the dynamics between Julie and Maddie's friendship and the events that lead up to the crash-landing and capture.

    There was a lot of information about planes and other things, which I kind of brushed over, even though it was really interesting to learn about things I didn't know much about.  I was too caught up with the friendships between the women and the tension and mystery flowing throughout the book.  I think as far as the plot goes, it was sensational.  Historical fiction, good historical fiction, always knows how to get to me.  This book was no exception.  I love historical fiction, even if I don't read enough of it.   And what's also rare about this book was that there was no romance in it - none, and even though I love romance, I didn't care there wasn't any in this book.  It would have felt wrong if there had been.

    I would recommend this book to everyone.  Everyone should give this book a chance so they can discover if it is for them or not.  As for me, I loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Loved it

    This book and its characters are endearing.. not one that I will forget about for some time.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    Clever and compelling

    Original loved it

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012


    I read this book and relized i am glad that i have such great friends and so does verity. I loved this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I am not a fan of historical fiction. No, I've never particularl

    I am not a fan of historical fiction. No, I've never particularly enjoyed the genre. I've always been a fantasy and sci fi girl through and through, but I decided to give Code Name Verity a chance for two reasons: (1) I thought it was about time that I tried something new and (2) this book was so hyped-up and I was curious.

    Admittedly, I don't like hyped-up books. I always like rooting for the underdogs, so whenever I see a hyped-up book, I want to read it to prove everyone else wrong. I want to prove that another book--one of the underdogs--is better. Sometimes I do finish the book and think, "So-and-so book was better." And sometimes I finish the book and think, "I was wrong."

    Code Name Verity was one of the latter.

    The first few pages of this book were a bore. I was looking for an excuse to drop it, but I decided that I'd give it fifty pages before I'd start another book. The narrator--"Verity"--seemed to draw out her words, making her sentences much longer than they had to be. I had trouble deciphering her eloquent language, and I mostly skimmed over the tedious descriptions she provided.

    Somewhere in those fifty pages, I realized that the writing was just her style.

    Fifty pages along, I got too caught up in the plot to even think about her writing style.

    Even though I have never been a fan of history (hey, this A+ student here is a whiz in math and science, all right?), World War II has always been such an interesting topic to me. War is just so horribly fascinating. Not the machinery and aircraft used, no. (I get bored to death, hearing about those.) No, it's the people. The spies. The interrogators. The pilots. The soldiers. They fascinate me, these people who are willing to lay down their lives for a cause they believe in. And the people in this book are just so plausible. They could be one of my friends. And they all have their faults and imperfections, but they also have their good aspects. I loved Verity and Maddie and Jamie. I loved how Verity always took offense when people called her English (she's Scottish), I loved the feeling Maddie had when she was in the air, I loved how understanding Jamie was. These people--HOW ARE THEY SO BELIEVABLE.

    And the complexities in this novel! ELIZABETH WEIN, YOU ARE GENIUS. Surprises hitting me AT EVERY TURN, and clues being passed EVER SO SUBTLY. Just absolutely genius. I really wish I could say more on the subject, but there would be simply too many spoilers.

    And perhaps the most important aspect: Verity and Maddie's relationship. I have a best friend, you see, who's been with me for eleven years of my life. (Considering that I'm only a teen, that's more than half my life.) And I get it. I really do. The knowing someone like the back of your hand, the emotions behind everything that you do. I get it. It's hard to explain--it really is--but Wein captures it so perfectly.

    Code Name Verity was fabulous. It's more than a book about the hardships of war. It's a book about a bond so deep that death can't sever. The name of that bond? Friendship.

    Source: ARC/galley received from publisher for review

    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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