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Source: Personal library
Rating: ★★★★★

I am no longer afraid of getting old.  Indeed I can’t believe I ever said anything so stupid.  So childish.  So offensive and arrogant.

But mainly, so very, very stupid.  I desperately want to grow old.

(from Code Name Verity, page 114)

This is probably the hardest review I’ve ever had to write.  How do you convey how much you absolutely, totally, completely, and fiercely loved a book while saying as little about the plot as possible?  Because, seriously, you need to dive into this book blind.  So no spoilers here.

Code Name Verity is the story of two young women, best friends, set in Nazi-occupied France in 1943.  One is a secret agent captured by the Gestapo after parachuting into France, and much of the book is her confession.  The second is the pilot of the downed plane.  The Gestapo captain gives the first woman two weeks to tell her story, and she takes readers on a wild and heartbreaking ride.  But amazingly, she is so snarky and feisty that at times you also can’t help but chuckle…and that’s what makes this the most unique World War II novel I’ve read thus far.

Hands down, this is the best book I’ve read so far this year, which is saying a lot given all the great historical fiction I’ve read since January.  I finished it last week during my camping trip, and I still can’t stop thinking about it.  I’ll have to re-read it at some point to see if it rivals my love for The Book Thief, but I have no doubt that it’ll end up on my shelf of all-time favorites.

Code Name Verity is a book about war and friendship.  It’s shocking, haunting, and brilliantly paced and structured.  The characters are believable and endearing, and the narrative is fresh and on-the-edge-of-your-seat exciting.  I could keep gushing, but you really just need to get your hands on a copy and lock yourself away for a few hours because you won’t want to be disturbed.

Book 27 for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Disclosure: Code Name Verity is from my personal library.

© 2012 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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