Code Name Verity (audiobook review)

April 17, 2013 Uncategorized 0

Code Name Verity

Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: May 15, 2012
Pages: 343
Source: Purchased audiobook and hardcover
Read By: Morven Christie & Lucy Gaskell
Audiobook Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Length: 10 hours, 7 minutes

About the Book: 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? 

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York TimesCode Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. (goodreads)

My Thoughts: Incredible. Simply incredible. I finished Code Name Verity the night before I’m writing this and I can’t… I just can’t. It had such a profund impact on me. I was a wreck when I finished reading it. A sobbing emotional wreck. And even now, twenty-four hours later, as I sit here and try to marshal thoughts I am tearing up. I simply cannot put everything I’m thinking together without spoiling your reading experience or breaking down again. So I won’t. This is not going to be a typical review. I’m giving you a few general thoughts and reactions 

* The audiobook was simply amazing. Amazing. Amazing!!! Like, I can not stress this enough. The narration was perfect. I think the fact that I listened to it added to the experience. The readers were the characters in the book. Queenie and Maddie were so incredibly real to me. I had to keep reminding myself that these were people reading a fictional story, not actual recordings of historical figures. Man, I love these girls.

* Typically when I am listening to an audiobook and I love it as much as I loved this one I get a physical copy and just read to the end. I did buy a hardcover part way through the story. I knew I’d want it on my shelf. And I did open it to where I was listening and begin to read. But I didn’t read ahead. I did something I haven’t done since I don’t even know when. I sat listening to the audio and following along in the book. Something about the story made it so I had to follow along to see if I was really hearing what I thought I was hearing. Seeing the words as “Maddie” said them… it just added to the story for me.

* On a related note, I really had to process the story. Like, I would hear something and then it would really sink in a few minutes later and tears would just start streaming down my face. And every time I thought I had myself together I’d start all over again. I cry all the time in books but not like this.

* The only other books that have ever had me this broken up were The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington.  All very different books but, goodness, they got me. 

* What a superbly crafted story. Elizabeth Wein is a steller storyteller. I would love to go on and on and on about this. I was so engrossed in every nuance of Queenie and Maddie’s stories. I don’t want to give a single thing away so I’ll leave it at that. Just be prepared to be impressed. 

* I loved the ways that the two narrators tell us the story. I love how we get to meet the other characters and see them through the eyes of whomever is talking at the moment. And I love, love, love the way that Maddie and Queenie talk about one another. 

*The friendship between these girls. All the love. I just want to draw hearts all around their story. It was so, so beautiful. 

And really that’s what I want you to know. Code Name Verity is a beautiful story of friendship and courage. There are so mant other facets to it but that, that is what touched my heart and soul. I have to stop now as I am getting weepy all over again. This is a book and a reading experience I will never forget.

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