Book Review

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein


31st December 2016 to 2nd January ~ Audio ~ Link to Goodreads

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


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 and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.


I have DNF’d this book 3 or 4 times before this attempt so when my little sister picked this book to be unwrapped I was gutted! I adore historical fiction set in WW2 and I’d heard so many great things about this book which is why I have tried it so many times before.

I decided to go for the audio version I had because I could then listen while doing housework and on my lunch breaks. The narration was good overall but at times when the narrator was doing someone else’s voices it tended to sound a little like someone acting in a children’s tv programme.

One of the things I’ve heard the most about this book is how heartbreaking it is but I just didn’t care. I was listening and it felt so much like the character was keeping us on the outside that I couldn’t feel connected enough to care what happened. The main character is telling the story of someone else so there is a disconnect there from the beginning, because she isn’t telling her own story she can’t really tell you how the person felt.

Throughout the whole book I felt like I was kind of on the outside of a building and everything was happening on the inside. Almost like I was looking through a narrow window and I could only see a little. I feel it had amazing potential to pack an emotional punch and it was just let down a lot by the writing choices.

Another thing I really disliked was that it seemed full of completely useless information. It could have spent half the time describing planes and training sessions etc that ultimately had no relevance and put a little of the time into fixing the issues with the emotion and the 1 dimensional characters.

Overall: I was just really let down by this book. Ultimately if I don’t feel connected to the characters or the plot the book will always be a bit of flop.

Have you read Code Name Verity?

What’s your favorite Historical Fiction book?

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