Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I am not head over heels in love with historical fiction as a general rule, but I love Elizabeth Wein's Mark of Solomon series, set in sixth-century Ethiopia, and when I saw that she had a book set in WWII Europe coming out, I knew it would be good.  And indeed it was.  It was excellent.  It was the best historical fiction I've read in a long time, the best friendship story, the best adventure story, the best short, the best book I've read in a long time, period. 

Here's the publisher's description:

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 and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
If that doesn't make you want to go immediately to your local library and track Code Name Verity down, I don't know what's wrong with you.