Wednesday, October 16, 2013

16: Wild Card Wednesday - Code Name Verity

There is a ton of buzz floating around about this book.  I waited in a long virtual line for it to become available from the library.  I purposely didn't read anything about it (including the jacket flap) because I prefer to go into most books blindly.  I only knew that Code Name Verity recounts the friendship of two extraordinary women during WWII, one who was taken prisoner by the Gestapo.

I will try to write this review in a way that allows you that same freedom.

I was prepared to love this story.  But, truthfully, it was a strenuous read.  Sometimes tedious, brutal and painful.  If not for the silver Printz Honor seal on the cover, I might have abandoned ship by the half way point.  I kept telling myself that there must be a reason that it was honored, that something must happen to bring more to the story.  The more I read, the more I lost hope as the pages slipped away.  With only a third of the book left, the tide begin to shift and I began to see the why behind the chatter about this book.

I just finished it this evening, so perhaps I need more time to process.  A debriefing of sorts.  It was a rough read, but I am (hesitantly) glad I read it.  Even if solely for one specific moment of revelation that awed me.  Sometimes that's all it takes for greatness.  However, it's a book that requires patience, mental fortitude and the ability to endure allusions to the horrors of war.  I have a bit of trouble with the classification as Young Adult; I would have been destroyed reading this as an adolescent.

Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity is the kind of story that, for better or worse, will live in your brain forever once you've read the words.

*** After a good night's sleep and reflection, I am leaning more strongly toward the genius of the book.  Though I personally prefer a book that also rewards you line by line, this one rewards you as you take it in, in its totality.  

What was your opinion?  Make sure to clearly mark a spoiler... but I'd love to hear what other people thought of it.  Any other books you can recommend where the glory is in the whole, not in its parts?

Click the image below to read Day 17:
Before-it-hits-the-theater Thursday - Divergent

Or click the image below to read
the series from the beginning:


  1. I have this book sitting under a giant stack on my bedside table. I think I'm afraid to read it.

    1. That's how I was with Maze Runner for some reason. I checked it out twice...both times it sat on my stack and I could never make myself read it. If The Book Thief depressed you, I don't know if I could recommend this one. I couldn't decide if I loved it or hated it. I felt it had less redemption than Book Thief. But, at the same time, I was awed by the story and won't ever forget it.


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