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Monday, April 8, 2013

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Book Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Book Type: fiction, YA, WWII England, girls helping the war effort, spies, pilots

Predictability Factor: Um, no.  We don't even know who wins the war.

Cover Art: Hold on!!!! 

Bed/Bride/Bludgeon: Jamie, Maddie, von Linden/ Etienne Thibaut

Character Score: 8 out of 10 Mr. Micawbers

What's the Story?: YA novel set in WWII England/France where two best friends work for the war effort in very different (or are they?) capacities.

X-Factor: English-ness, SUPER FRIENDS

Predictability Factor: Not in this book.  The whole time you're wondering who is dead and who could potentially die in the near future.  Nail-biter for sure.

Cover Art: I get the two hands tied together.  These two friends have a bond stronger than any I've ever witnessed in real life.  Nothing can tear them apart.  Not plane crashes, being tortured by Nazis, or even being bombed by the Royal Air Force.  NOTHING.  Makes for a stark cover, but not all that interesting or pertinent to the book.  Whatever.  It's what's inside that counts here, folks.

Bed/Bride/Bludgeon: Oh Jamie.  You seem like such a jaunty English (erm, Scottish) chap.  Even when you got stuck out in the ocean and had to have a bunch of fingers and toes amputated you're still charming and sexy.  Maddie.  Maddie, Maddie, Maddie.  I can't wait for you to grow into a confident woman pilot who finds a handsome rogue of a husband.  Perhaps Jamie... von Linden and Etienne? Those bitches have got to go.  But not before I get a chance to burn them with metal and wash their mouths out with acid.  An eye for an eye and all that

Character Score: OMG.  I just want to cry I love you all so much.  Also, there's no possibility of a sequel so I am even more distraught.  Oh Verity.  You are so freaking snarky and sarcastic and a FABULOUS actress.  We would be BFFs in real life for sure.  Maddie, oh Maddie.  I love you.  Charles Dickens who?  It is quite possible that Elizabeth Wein just created my new favorite characters in all of literature.

What's the Story?: The first part of the book is told from Verity's point of view.   She is an English (well, actually Scottish) spy who has been caught after just parachuting into France (she looked the wrong way when she attempted to cross the street which, if I were a spy, is EXACTLY how I would get nabbed).    She is being held in a secret Gestapo headquarters and is, of course, tortured and forced to tell the Germans everything that she knows: wireless code sets, names of airplanes, air fields, commanding officers etc.  She writes everything down for officer von Linden and though she feels that the more she writes, the longer her life may be (hours, days longer?), her thoughts continually go back to her best friend. Verity's account of how she ended up in France is more of a memoir and a story of her friendship with the awesome female pilot, Maddie and less of a collection of English military secrets.  Her story jumps around a lot, but you really get a great picture of these two girls who are trying to help the war effort and how their friendship strengthens into the stuff of legends as time goes by.  

The second part of the book is told by Maddie.  She can't stop thinking of Verity. For nearly the whole book, poor Verity is convinced that Maddie has died in a horrible plane crash and poor Maddie is convinced that Verity has been shot by the Germans.  Will Verity really be killed by the Nazis?  Will Maddie perish in a terrible plane crash?  There are so many awesome twists and turns to this book that I simply CANNOT give you any more specific plot points because I don't want to ruin it for you.  But trust me, READ THIS BOOK!!!!

X-Factor: Englishness.  

Seriously, y'all.  It's like Downton Abbey times 100.  With more airplanes. And also spies.  

Also, Verity and Maddie deserve the SUPER FRIENDS award.  

Guys, they are true kindred spirits if ever such a thing existed.  Maddie proves that she is the ultimate friend by doing some pretty amazing things and I only wish that there could be years and years full of more Verity/Maddie adventures.  

ReadthisbookReadthisbookReadthisbook.  That is all.


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