Thursday, September 1, 2016

Book Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

No opening paragraph for this review. Just. Read. This. Book.

It’s 1943, and “Verity” has just crash landed in Nazi-occupied France with her best friend Maddie in the back seat of her spy plane. After being arrested by the Gestapo, Verity has one choice, give up the details of her mission, or be executed. After the crash, Maddie also has one choice, join the French Resistance to save her friend, or die trying. Code Name Verity is a historical novel that is equal parts adventure, espionage, and, at times, horror. And yes, it will also rip your heart out.

Elizabeth Wein’s story is technically shelved in the young adult section, but do not let that dissuade you from this story. Code Name Verity is a well written novel that would fit comfortably into the adult section as well. There were three things about this novel that made it impossible to put down. First, Verity and Maddie’s voices are so brilliantly written that I never had difficulty telling them apart. Both girls have a unique personality, voice, and perspective on the events going on around them. Second, Wein builds the story on what is a rollercoaster of a plotline. Just when the reader believes there will be a modicum of relief around the corner, they are transported down a series of gut wrenching hills and turns that are unexpected. And finally, at the end of the novel, Wein included an “Author’s Debriefing”. The characters, places, and events became so real during my read that I had to know what happened after the novel ended. There are very few books in my personal library that have left me in a panic and desperate to find out what happened after the story.

(Imagine me now, sitting in front of the keyboard, desperately searching my brain for something to criticize.) Nope. I’ve got nothing.

Read. This. Book.

Emily is now on her way to Barnes and Noble to buy the companion book to Code Name Verity. If you need her, you’ll have to wait until after she’s finished Rose Under Fire.

Editor's note: Two years ago, Michelle also reviewed this book. Like our resident reviewer, Michelle truly loved it. No matter how many books we've read and reviewed in the past, we will not stop posting reviews from our Official Reviewer, Emily. She will be the Beyond the Trope "final say" when it comes to reviews, whereas the rest of us are enthusiastically recommending books with our reviews.


  1. Our downstairs neighbor lived through German occupied France, the stories she tells are hair-raising. Even though she is now in her 90s, you can tell the war still feels like it happened yesterday.

    1. Oh, wow. I could never imagine what she experienced.