I had trouble connecting with this book, but I pressed on with it anyway. The positives are that it is very well-written, very detailed in regards to WWII aircraft and information (Which I enjoyed). But I just didn't like the story and I don't think it's such a superb book to have all these ews and awes about it. Women would probably get more out of it than men. I say that because there is a lot of emotion tied to it whereas other war books like Hemingway, etc. forego all the touchy feely bits.
Wine, food and travel writer, editor, and aspiring novelist.
I give Elizabeth Wein high marks for writing a compelling story, and the narrators are superb, but it's hard to give credence to the conceit of a confession written in literary style. There is another incredibly illogical action that I can't divulge without spoiling the book for other readers. But it makes no sense and that absolutely ruined the book for me.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
I usually really like historical fiction, particularly WWI or WWII timeframe. I found this one very fragmented, confusing and hard to follow. I don't feel that it's appropriate for YA readers or listeners. I kept trying to get in to the actual story line and just couldn't get vested in it,
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (historical fiction) - Code Name Verity is the story of two young women who each play a very important role in thwarting Hitler's advances in Europe. The first half is told by Verity, a radio operator who later becomes a spy. She is also referred to as Queenie, Ava Siler, First Officer Beaufort-Stewart and Julie, which can be a little confusing. She becomes a prisoner of war and is tortured into writing a confession, so her story alternates between her life in prison and flashbacks to events as they actually happened. (Her torture wouldn't have been a picnic, but I'm pretty squeamish and it didn't bother me to hear it.)
Maddy's story is approximately the last half of the book. She is a pilot who flies secret missions and is the one who flew Verity to Nazi-occupied France. Her story dovetails with and goes beyond Verity's.
I almost stopped listening several hours into the book because it seemed to be just the story of young women becoming best friends during the war, but as the secret missions started, etc., it got VERY interesting and intense.
PERFORMANCE - There are two young female narrators. Verity sounds Scottish and Maddy sounds more British, in keeping with their characters. There's also singing and a short performance by a male narrator. Everything is well-done.
OVERALL - (Actual rating 3.5) Very exciting book after the slow start. Since it occurs during World War II, there are mature themes. Guys won't like the female bonding part of the story but will enjoy the covert activities and historical background.
This book is so much fun! That's probably quite morbid-sounding considering the storyline, however the excellent and lively narrations coupled with the endearing and genuine friendship of the two female protagonists made it a very pleasurable read.
The plot is original and interesting, and it's clear Elizabeth Wein did her homework on the subject matter. I did not predict the ending at all - not even close. In fact, it was so masterfully woven together that I never even attempted to figure it out, instead just sitting back to enjoy the ride.
Morven Christie's narration for the first half of the book was significantly better than Lucy Gaskell's for the second half. I was sad when the switch occurred. Gaskell was not bad at all, but her voice lacks the coyness and versatility of Christie's. Nevertheless, they both did excellent jobs, and the narration fit the story and the writing perfectly.
I highly recommend this audiobook. I can't imagine this book without the narration of these two women along with it.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
For mature YA's and adults it's an award winning read, quite intense yet uplifting. Such a difficult story to tell right... Elizabeth Wein deserves accolades for her creative presentation. I was a little irritated with the point of view jumping around from first to third and back again... and also the inconsistencies in what Queenie should know of Maddie versus the great amount of detail she shares. Thus the four stars. However, once the tale is told the reader understands this and I found in going back and listening to previously irritating spots... knowing the end made them brilliant. WWII as experienced in occupied France as a prisoner and spy was new for me and I enjoyed the historical insight. The resilience of the main characters makes what they endure much more bearable for the reader. It has the feel of "The Potato Peel Pie Society." I will read again.
Addicted to Audible!
I listened to half this book, got confused, because I wasn't really paying attention and had to go back and start over. I am glad that I did or I would have missed a gem. This book was well written, great details and the author did not stereotype her characters, they were all multidimensional. It was hard to believe that the story was fiction. I liked the fact that 2 narrators were used, rather than one changing her accent, it made it less confusing. It's definately worth your time and credit
Two characters told the story and the narrative went back and forth between them. I liked both the characters and the story caught my interest. Both women are placed in extraordinary circumstances because of the war. They were amazing women but the author had me believing that it could be possible. I had tears in my eyes at the end and since I was running while listening to the story I might have looked a bit odd to fellow runners and walkers!
The book reminds me of other action adventure novels except the two main characters are women and men play only a supporting role.
I always think it is almost like a play when there are different characters to listen to.
This is an enjoyable, engaging listen.
Overall it was just too longwinded and boring for me. I know it was supposed to be "longwinded" in the fact that Verity needs to extend her tale as much as possible because she is a prisoner but there is only so much I can read about the different types of airplanes, controls, and flight patterns.
The performance was great actually in that she nailed the accent to my ear at least, was easy to understand, and not annoying.
Overall I just couldn't get into it, and sadly quit about a quarter of the way through. It's just that every time I tuned into listen I would get bored, easily distracted and pulled from the story, and then need to rewind to figure out what was happening. Especially as the main character has so many names and jumps from time to time.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I tend not to like YA books. I just don't. I never would have listened to this one if I'd known up front is was considered YA - and that would have been a pity. I would have missed a terrific listen.
While not history but historical fiction, I thought much of what happened was possible. It seems that more and more I hear about specific women and their role in WWII. I am astounded that their names are not well known to all of us. This is a perfect illustration of the kinds of things women did during the war - often without recognition.
There are plenty of plot summaries already written. They border on being spoilers and that's unfortunate. Listen to this book with an open mind and just let it take you.
The narration is spot on. I cannot imagine anyone doing it any better.