June 6, 2012

Book Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

At First Sight: After being caught behind enemy lines in Nazi occupied France, a young british female spy trikes a deal with an Nazi officer: She'll tell him all she knows about the war efforts, in exchange for... time. "Verity" is fully prepared to stick to her deal, but she shall do it in her own way, telling the story of how she came to be a spy.

And she can't tell her story without telling Maddie's. Maddie is an airplane pilot. She owns a bike. She's Verity's best friend in the world. And by the time Verity finishes her story, nothing will ever be the same. 

Second Glance:
I'm being deliberately vague because I don't want to spoil the book for all of those who are looking forward to reading Code Name Verity. And I suppose that finding out the full story about Verity and Maddie and what they were supposed to do in France, and where it went wrong, is probably what will make you keep reading this book. 

Code Name Verity is told from two different perspectives in two parts. The first one is "Verity", as she writes her confession in scraps of paper throughout the course of a few weeks. And the second one is "Kittyhawk" which is Maddie's perspective. 

From the blurbs, I wouldn't have ever suspected this, but I actually found it a welcome surprise because I found a lot of the first part to be very wordy and circular, as Verity said things... I felt there were a little too many words, lets say. In the end, it made sense why she did this but I was about a third of the way into the book and I was bored and I didn't care about these people Verity kept talking about. 

I had to put the book down for a few days and then finish it, not because it was hard for me to go on on an emotional level, I was just a bit bored. 

I found Kittyhawk's part more fluid but also plenty dramatic. I don't know why I couldn't connect with either girl, really. And while I usually don't like to read sad stories, I don't shy away from hard books - I read my first WW2 memoir when I was 9, and true I couldn't sleep a night through for 2 months straight, but I felt a connection there. I didn't feel it here. 

Bottom Line: "Verity" and Maddie are over all very brave and even likable girls. I can see why other people think this book is so great, I can see it's value but Code Name Verity is not a book I'll ever want to re-read, even though I do find the relationship between these two girls to be interesting in theory. 

If it weren't because so many of my blog pals loved it, I wouldn't have finished this book. And I'm not going to rate it because, while I can see the worth of the story, it really fails in one of my main criteria for rating (The Re-read factor). 

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