Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Genre: Young adult, adventure, fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
Summary: (from the back cover) 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.
So I first heard about Code Name Verity at LeakyCon this past summer. During the panel on gender in YA, the authors and agents were talking about the structures that dominate girl-centered novels. There is usually romance or a badass heroine saving the world or supernaturally-toned werevampangels fighting over a sassy lady. Then someone (whose face escapes me 5 months later because I am getting old, y’all) said we needed to read Code Name Verity, because it did not conform to the de facto rules dominating YA. “Bah, a girl YA novel without werewolves abs? I have never heard of such a thing!” I thought to myself. And because grad school ruined my life for the past 15 months, I finally got around to picking this book up.
Confirmation: You all need to read Code Name Verity. Right now.
But first – I am going to be slightly spoilery in the review, because I can’t really talk about some things without revealing an interesting bit of plot structure. So, if you want the book to be a complete surprise, stop here. All I will say is: be prepared for a heart-stopping wartime adventure, two truly likable and beautifully developed protagonists, and a tightly twisting plot.