Book 11 of my 2016 Reading Challenge
read from October 2015 - January 22, 2016
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Summary (via Goodreads)
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 rated this one neutrally in the middle because I'm not sure how my way of reading it affected how I felt about it and I didn't want to be unfair.
I started off reading this aloud with my 12 year old daughter. It was very slow and confusing (it's a journal but written in third person but we didn't know how she was able to know so much about her friend's perspective) but it's hard to know if it was the story itself or if this isn't one that can be read aloud.
After limping through my daughter gave up around page 128 and I finished the rest myself in about a week. It did read faster when I wasn't reading aloud but I don't have any interest in continuing the series.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"It's awful, telling it like this, isn't it? As though we didn't know the ending. As though it could have another ending. It's like watching Romeo drink poison. Every time you see it you get fooled into thinking his girlfriend might wake up and stop him. Every single time you see it you want to shout, "You stupid ass, just wait a minute," and she'll open her eyes! "Oi, you, you twat, open your eyes, wake up! Don't die this time!" But they always do."
"I wonder how many piles of paper like mine are lying around Europe, the only testament to our silenced voices, buried in filing cabinets and steamer trunks and cardboard boxes as we disappear - as we vanish into the night and fog?"
"I didn't understand before - really didn't understand. Being a kid and worrying that a bomb might kill you is terrible. But being a kid and worrying that the police might cut your head off is something else entirely. I haven't words for it. Every fresh broken horror is something I just didn't understand until I came here."