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Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity (edition 2012)

by Elizabeth Wein

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,9992173,361 (4.35)262
Title:Code Name Verity
Authors:Elizabeth Wein
Info:Hyperion Book CH (2012), Edition: First American Edition, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:WW II, Verity, Kittyhawk, France, Nazis

Work details

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

  1. 30
    Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal by Mal Peet (faither)
  2. 20
    Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction by Sharyn November (Herenya)
    Herenya: Firebirds Soaring contains "Something Worth Doing" (by Wein) about Theo, a pilot and minor character from Code Name Verity.
  3. 20
    Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith (rarm)
    rarm: Set on opposite sides of the pond, but both are about wartime aviatrices and wonderfully depict female friendship.
  4. 31
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (amysisson)
    amysisson: Both are about the unusual ways in which women may impact the tides of war
  5. 10
    The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (ebr_aumkw, kgriffith)
  6. 00
    How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (amysisson)
    amysisson: Young adults struggling to survive in war-torn England -- although different wars (one real, one fictional) in different times! These books are different, yet I really feel that if you love one, you'll love the other.
  7. 00
    Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  8. 00
    A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper (calmclam)
    calmclam: Both focus on girls in/around England adapting to the changing circumstances of World War II via their journals.
  9. 01
    Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley (saraOm7)
    saraOm7: These are both about teenage girls working as spies in France during WWII, though one has a much happier ending than the other.
  10. 01
    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (keeneam)

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» See also 262 mentions

English (216)  German (1)  All languages (217)
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
RGG: Very confusing story about a friendship between a female pilot and a female spy in WWII German-occupied France. The amount of contextual knowledge needed about war-time England and France maye be too much for most students. The story does become compelling if one makes sense of it and sticks with it. Reading Level: YA+
  rgruberhighschool | Mar 28, 2015 |
Really compelling story about two friends serving in combat during WWII in Britain and Occupied France. At first, the narrative was confusing. The protagonist doesn't refer to herself in the first person, even though she is obviously narrating the story in first person. In several instances, I couldn't figure out who was talking or about whom they were talking. It got very frustrating and I feel that I missed some of the book's more poignant moments because I couldn't figure out what was going on. But once the second protagonist began telling her story, everything fell into place and the story took shape. If you can make it through the first half, the second half is totally worth it. ( )
  Lokweesha | Mar 25, 2015 |

“Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein is a smart and heartrending young adult novel about friendship and courage during World War II. In October, 1943 a British airplane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and a passenger, two girls who also happen to be best friends, have come here on a secret mission. But the mission is in danger as Nazis capture “Verity,” one of the girls, and make her write out a confession. “Verity” tells the truth, but it might not be the truth the Nazi interrogators want to hear.


1) All worth it in the end.
“Code Name Verity” is one of those books that are very hard to evaluate. Although it is NOT a fast read and quite often it was easier for me to put the book down than pick it back up (obviously, not a good sign), I am glad I read it and would actually recommend it, as the story is thought-provoking, complex and heart-wrenching.

2) Realistic and educational.
Even though “Code Name Verity” is fictional, Wein’s thorough research made the characters, events and random details in the book seem not only plausible but also very realistic (the author also does a great job pointing all this out in the Author’s Debriefing). Reading this book I learned quite a few things about World War II, which is ALWAYS a good thing. In addition, Wein masterfully recreates wartime atmosphere, showing rather than telling the reader how horrible, pointless and unfair the war is and how such hard times bring out the best - and the worst - in people.


1) Slow-paced and effortful read.
I needed to put quite some effort to get through the first two thirds of the book, mainly because there were way too many details about British air force during WWII, different types of aircraft and flying in general. It is educational, yes, but, unfortunately, not something I am particularly interested in. Later the speed picked up a little as there was more action and the puzzle pieces started coming together, but I wish the whole book was like that, not only the last hundred pages.

2) Not very engaging.
I am not a fan of war novels or historical fiction in general and I am not into spy stories or aviation either so it might be me, not you, but I found “Name Code Verity” neither thrilling nor mind-blowing. It might be due to a painfully slow beginning, but, even though towards the end there were quite a few suspenseful moments, and I even unexpectedly burst into tears a couple of times, I actually never felt fully drawn into the story. Although the characters are very realistic and multi-dimensional, I had a hard time relating to and caring about them. In the end, I was VERY surprised how much the story actually moved me, because throughout most of the book I didn’t feel like I cared at all.

3) Unrealistic format.
Although it didn’t really bother me, I cannot but notice that the story format is not very realistic. For example, I don’t think Nazi interrogators would have let anyone write a confession as a super long essay (think a few hundred pages) consisting mostly of irrelevant personal memories, insults and detailed descriptions of imprisonment experience.

VERDICT: 3 out of 5

Although“Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein is quite a slow and not very engaging read, it is a realistic, thought-provoking, complex and heart-wrenching young adult novel, which, in the end, makes your efforts worthwhile.


It’s neither an advantage nor a disadvantage, but this book doesn’t seem like a young adult novel to me, at least not in a typical way; even the protagonists seem older than usual (check out Chuck Wendig’s article "25 Things You Should Know About Young Adult Fiction” to see what I mean). On the other hand, maybe that’s why this book appeals to so many adult readers… ( )
1 vote AgneJakubauskaite | Mar 20, 2015 |
I absolutely loved this book. No spoilers here - just wanted to state it is impeccably written, a page-turning historical thriller with two of the most memorable heroines I have come across. Here's the women who helped win World War II, and here's the Elizabeth Wein for creating a masterpiece. ( )
  kimtaylorblakemore | Mar 17, 2015 |
I absolutely loved this book. No spoilers here - just wanted to state it is impeccably written, a page-turning historical thriller with two of the most memorable heroines I have come across. Here's the women who helped win World War II, and here's the Elizabeth Wein for creating a masterpiece. ( )
  kimtaylorblakemore | Mar 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 216 (next | show all)
If you pick up this book, it will be some time before you put your dog-eared, tear-stained copy back down. Wein succeeds on three fronts: historical verisimilitude, gut-wrenching mystery, and a first-person voice of such confidence and flair that the protagonist might become a classic character if only we knew what to call her. Alternately dubbed Queenie, Eva, Katharina, Verity, or Julie depending on which double-agent operation she's involved in, she pens her tale as a confession while strapped to a chair and recovering from the latest round of Gestapo torture. The Nazis want the codes that Julie memorized as a wireless operator, and she supplies them, but along the way also tells of her fierce friendship with Maddie, a British pilot. Though delivered at knifepoint, Julie's narrative is peppered with dark humor and minor acts of defiance, and the tension that builds up is practically unbearable.
added by kthomp25 | editBooklist, Daniel Kraus

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Weinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Christie, MorvenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaskell, LucyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manger, WhitneyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
November, SharynEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Passive resisters must understand that they are as important as saboteurs." –SOE Secret Operations Manual, 'Methods of Passive Resistance'
For Amanda

we make a sensational team
First words
I AM A COWARD. I wanted to be heroic and I pretended I was. I have always been good at pretending.
I have told the truth.
"Kiss me, Hardy!"
The soaring mountains rose around here, and the poets' waters glittered beneath her in the valleys of memory - hosts of golden daffodils, "Swallows and Amazons", Peter Rabbit. (p. 28)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Official Book Trailer

Two young women become unlikely best friends during WWII, until one is captured by the Gestapo. Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a special operations executive. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted to each other. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in "Verity's" own words, as she writes her account for her captors. Truth or lies? Honour or betrayal? Everything they've ever believed in is put to the test...
Haiku summary
Two girls, one friendship
we concealed in blood and ink.
I have told the truth. (octopedingenue)

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In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.

(summary from another edition)

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