Before I launch into a review that will probably make no sense (because this book has destroyed me), I want to clear up a few things:
1) I am not Scottish, unfortunately. But “Verity” is.
2) I want to thank Lydia, for telling me to read this book (gosh, you are cruel and I’ll never forgive you).
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?
I’m going to be upfront with you: I DNF’ed (did not finish) this originally. I sent it back to the library! Half of me reckons I should have left it there. Gosh, I’d be in less PAIN. But, noooo, I borrowed it out again, this time as an audio book.
Farewell, sweet innocence and blitheness of heart. I am destroyed. Just kidding. I’ve never been blithe in my life.
The audio book was the best! There were two readers, one for Part I and one for Part II. It’s the best way to hear this story. (The amount of times I was tempted to peek at the end…but I couldn’t. I have never been tempted to peek before, blogglings! You see what a mess I was?!!) The readers had the best accents ever! Scottish, French, German, English…it was amazing! (It came from Bolinda Publishing, courtesy of my library.)
The rest of the book was horrible! And I mean that in the best way possible. Let me put it to you this way: I can handle zombies. I can handle world wars over jewellery. I can even handle unfair treatment of orphans. BUT I CANNOT HANDLE BOOKS ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST. Because, though these stories are fiction, they could be true. The holocaust happened and the Gestapo did horrible things. And the book doesn’t have to add in details, because my freakish imagination will put horrible ones in anyway.
Am I okay? No, no I’m not, but thanks for asking.
The writing is a little slow. Yes, I admit it. Without the audio book, I probably would have skimmed a little. But the details are excellent. It all feels so real! I started to believe that Maddie and “Verity” existed because it was written so convincingly. The authors note brought me down to earth (again, dang it).
It’s split into 2 parts. The beginning was all about Maddie! That had me miffed. “Verity” was writing, and she only put in snippets about where she was (in the Gestapo building) and what was happening to her (I wanted to know her story!). I got kind of annoyed listening to Maddie’s flight career in WWII. I WANTED TO KNOW THE END. Ah, patience, grasshopper. It was an epic build up and so. very. convincing.
Part II was written by Maddie. Which of course, left “Verity” in an awful cliff-hanger. I complained to my Goodreads friends. And they laughed at me. No sympathy from that lot.
All in all, this is Maddie’s and Verity’s story. At the beginning I thought it was Maddie’s story…but now I know it’s both of theirs. It’s written in an unbelievably gripping style. It’s wickedly wonderful (emphasis on wicked). It’s heartbreak (for me) and confusion (for them) all in one.
I loved the reality of Verity’s character! I mean, heck, she’s being tortured by the Gestapo, but she was so real. She wasn’t Nerves of Steel or something equally daunting that I could never aspire to. She. was. real. And I loved Maddie and Verity’s friendship. It was so sweet and — gosh, they made a sensational team.
There are just some books that always stay with you (read: haunt you) and affect you for the day or month or year. CODE NAME VERITY is definitely a 5-star read. It’s good storytelling, with a hint of reality, and…okay, okay, I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.
I’m just going to go lie on my bed and regret the loss of my destroyed soul and feels.
Cait is no longer functioning. If you’d like to reach her, please leave a message below (though no promises she’ll answer logically). If she’s out of her mind for more then 24 hours, she will engage a replacement robot that answers to code name: “I will give you cake”. She’s now (pretending) to read FRAGMENTS by Dan Wells. It isn’t a patch on CODE NAME VERITY.