Monday, July 1, 2013

Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein) Collaborative Review

Kelly, Kimberly and Jen did a buddy read of Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Each of us loved the book! We have so many praises for Code Name Verity but it's so hard to go into detail without revealing the jawdropping plot twists. Instead of a traditional review we decided we would each write about an element of the book that we loved.


I love that this is a female adventure story. Our two main characters, Julie and Maddie are fearless. I wish I was half as brave as they are! Julie is a spy for the British and gets herself into some dicey situations. She is unable to tell her best friend about the things she has done (after all, "careless talk costs lives"). Maddie is a pilot. One of the few female pilots during the war, and if I remember correctly she was a better pilot than some of the men.

I admire their strength and resourcefullness.  Even though the characters of Julie and Maddie were not based on specific women there were women who did the same things these two did. I hope I would have been as courageous as they were.


The first rule of Code Name Verity: you don't talk about Code Name Verity. Extreme sneakiness was just one of the countless things I loved about this book (war, history, plot twists, badasses, etc). However, in my opinion, one of the most striking things is the fierce BFF-ness between Maddie and Julie. The cover is very appropriate -- they never once let go of or abandoned each other, no matter their circumstance. Code Name Verity passes the Bechdel Test: two individual women have a conversation that does not involve a man (you'd be surprised how many things DON'T pass this test). Maddie and Julie don't have romantic subplots - this is simply a story of survival and deep friendship. Boyfriends would just get in the way, these girls have more important things to do.


Okay, now that I've stopped giggling over Kelly's reference, I have to tell you about this book. Or at least, what little I can tell you. Kelly and Jen both read the book, I listened to the audio. (Which is fantastic, by the way) I love Julie and Maddie.  They are each other's best friend. The type of friend that is closer than a sibling, someone who is somehow very nearly closer to you, than you are. That friendship is what won me over. However, the historical aspect of this story was facinating. I come from a military family. The majority of them are/were in the Air Force, so I've grown up hearing the war stories. This book gave me a different perspective than you normally get of WWII. You hear about the Americans, you hear about the Germans, the Japanese... But how often do you get the story of two women from the UK? Maddie and Julie are both incredible women. They are brave, very smart, and determined to do what they believe is right.

*While the three of us were discussing the novel we got a little off-track and somehow it came up that Jen had only read the first Harry Potter book. Kelly and Kimberly were appalled by this and convinced Jen to read the second book rest of the series this summer. Jen also joined Pottermore where she was sorted into the house of Slytherin. Kelly is also a Slytherin and Kimberly is a Ravenclaw.


  1. I think I just pushed this up to #1 on my TBR list! :D

  2. I totally agree with all of you that the most magical part of this novel was the friendship between the two women. For some reason I feel like female friendship is so underrepresented, particularly in YA. Any suggestions for other books with great female relationships? Off the top of my head, I was thinking maybe the Smoke and Bone series, but that's clearly not the focus.

  3. Great review - I recently read this book and loved it enough to stay up way too late finishing it.

  4. OMG, I LOVE this review! I, too, very much loved this book. *I also am appalled that someone who loves books this much has not read the entire HP series! Thank the Lord you convinced Jen to finish the series!

    Ashley @ Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous

  5. Absolutely loved Code Name Verity, and the sequel Rose Under Fire is just as good. Different, but still amazing.

  6. Dude, I love this review!! I cannot wait to start reading this book(:

  7. I'm a Slytherin, too. Go Slytherin!

  8. Wonderful review! :) I've always wanted to read this novel and I'm so happy to hear that the three of you enjoyed it as much as you did. Sounds like I need to keep my eye out for it the next time I'm at the bookstore.

  9. This has been on my to-read list forever, but I've been avoiding it because I feel like everything is a war story lately. This sounds like something different, though, despite the themes. I'll definitely be moving this one up on the list.

  10. To comment on the little side note...yay Harry Potter! yay Pottermore! I almost wish I could just play around with the different quizzes right in the beginning again, though I wouldn't want to change what I ended up with. I hope she enjoys the books! :)

    Michelle @ Playing Jokers

  11. This was my favorite book of 2012 and I think it's exactly because of the female friendships! I sent it to my three best friends for Christmas and they all appreciated that element too :)

  12. Wow, that book is truly a must read! I believe tends to convey a message of truth on how women are talented, fearless and powerful, don’t you think? Reading from the reviews makes me wanna hook my nose and eyes into it. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful book!

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