Book Review: Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Published: February 6th 2012 by Egmont Press
Source: Barnes and Noble
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3 out of 5

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.

I wish I loved this book more. I heard such good things about how heart wrenching it is but I wasn't feeling it. Does this mean Code Name Verity isn't a great book? NO! This book is amazing! It has so many perks but it was super slow to get there. There are two parts of the book and my review will also be split because my feelings did a total 180 flip at the change.

Exactly what the summary promises. "Queenie" is a war prisoner who cuts a deal with the Nazi opposition to have a merciful death. Part 1 contains all of Queenie's written reports to the enemy. It is written through her best friend Maddie's perspective, which I admit was a bit strange at first. Because they are reports, it is filled with information. I felt like a majority of her story is an extensive description of pilots. The story started to get really slow because there was no drama. There were multiple times in which I thought of dropping the book but was encouraged to continue for the ending.

Something I appreciated is the friendship between Queenie and Maddie. Although it did drag on at certain parts, the two really love each other. Together, they are sensational. With each their own talents, they climbed the success ladder and with their jobs came secrets.
It's like being in love, discovering your best friend.
Throughout Queenie's entire story I felt uneasy and I couldn't figure out why! I expected her to suddenly reveal that she was Maddie all along or laugh at the end and say that it was all lies. Even with my uneasiness, I couldn't help but believe her. I could feel the emotion in her voice. Queenie is broken from the torture. She hates herself for telling the secrets of her country. I felt her shame and pain. She could have told me that she sold chocolate to turtles and I would've believed her.

I DON'T EVEN WANT TO TELL YOU ANYTHING ABOUT PART 2 IN CASE I SPOIL IT. Part 2 is what won this book over. I literally screamed at the first words. The story picked up significantly and there was TONS of drama. I think the problem with part 1 was that I knew no matter what Queenie did, her death was inevitable. In part 2, I had no idea where the book was going. I felt excitement, terror, love, and betrayal. There is more life in the voice. It has a different feel compared to the depressing tone from a prisoner sentenced to death.

But for some reason I wasn't crying. At THE scene that I know everyone was raving about, I couldn't cry. This is big for me because I literally cry at anything! I think my inner thoughts of groaning at the slow beginning snubbed my feelings for the ending. I felt sad and I was definitely shocked at the plot twist but I wasn't connected enough to the characters to cry.
The New York Times review on the cover described the book as, "A fiendishly plotted mind game of a novel."  Since part 2 didn't start until two-thirds in, for a majority of the book I was waiting for the game. I was disappointed when I wasn't getting anything UNTIL PART 2. Everything that happened had me whispering, "Oh. My. Gosh." and flipping back to part 1 to reread certain parts. It further more confirmed my beliefs that Queenie is a badass.
My review may be mixed and probably an unpopular opinion but honestly I appreciate the book. This is a total "it's not you, it's me" moment. I just don't do well with slow books and maybe historical fiction isn't my jam? The characters are very real. There is an amazing, strong friendship. The story is emotionally filled. I think that people who love historical fiction should give this book a shot. Heck not just those fans, if you read the summary and found it interesting, READ THIS BOOK. Keep in mind that the beginning is slow but you have to wait! The ending IS worthwhile.

I DON'T want to give up on this genre.

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