I am photographer and mother of two. I am a lifelong bibliophile and lover of stories in general, and I discovered audiobooks because I no longer had time to read. It has been a beautiful friendship.
Undoubtedly, though I would like to read in print just to test if this is true. This is one of those books in which it is very hard to distinguish the skill of the narrator(s) from that of the author, and between the three of them the characters absolutely come alive.
I had no idea what to expect with this, and I fell madly in love with the heroines of the story. It manages to delve deeply into the madness and gravitas of a brutal war engineered by brutal people, while also pirouetting gaily through the capers of the two women. Because it made me laugh it also made me very genuinely horrified and sad. When it was finished I turned around and listened to it again, both to hear them tell their stories once more, and to appreciate with wiser ears the deliberate path of the journey. While I do on occasion re-listen to books, this was first time I've ever done so immediately.
No, I have not.
So many, but to list them would be to give too much away. One of my favorites early on is when Queenie and Madi first meet. It is so thrilling to witness (even fictional) people being ingenious and supremely competent in outrageous circumstances.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
This is a moving book that should not be missed. It is so accurately based on historical premise that every word is not only believable, but personal. Loved the narrators and found the story to be compelling and intriguing. There are few "happy endings" in wartime, and this one is no different, although the reader can't help but be well satisfied in the end. Don't miss the author's footnote at the end of the recording. It will further seal the deal for you that this is a great work.
I intend to listen again, as I think there are a lot of things I missed in the first performance.
Verity, as there are so many shades to her character.
I wasn't positive I would get into this book, so started listening very tentatively. Before I knew it, I was totally into the book, and looked forward to my daily walks and other activities where I can listen. I was amused, shocked, disturbed, surprised, and ultimately fell in love with this book. The narrators did a stunning job, and I would listen to it again just to hear them. I can't imagine why this is being marketed as a YA book. If you don't have some years of experience in life, I think you would miss out on a lot of the content. But what do I know?! I recommend this book to EVERYONE!
This book has gotten much, much love from bloggers and Young Adult aficionados in general. Because girls! In World War II! And it's kind of a little bit dark with Nazis, toned down to YA levels.
Code Name Verity is a girls' adventure story about a pilot and a secret agent, both based in historical reality though the author admits in her afterword that she took a bit of fictional license to allow her young female pilot to fly a plane into occupied France.
As the book begins, Julie, the secret agent half of this best friends duo, is writing a confession to her German captors. She got caught as an enemy spy when she looked the wrong way crossing a street in France, and now she's in the hands of the SS. The first half of the book is her story. She is Scheherazade, trying to prolong her life by giving away secrets and playing mind-games with her captors, games she can't possibly win.
Then comes the second half, which is Maddie's tale, Maddie being the working class girl who became a pilot, who crashed in France, and now works with the French Resistance. She learns of Julie's capture and want to free her. Of course.
Much has been made in reviews of the "shocking twist," which I shall not spoil, but let's just say it is dramatic and moving but not wholly unexpected and certainly not as wrenching for adult readers who have read war stories before. Likewise, the horrors of the Nazi occupation are described, but the author spares the reader the worst.
This isn't a flaw in the book per se — not every war story has to be gory and brutal to excess, but I was constantly reminded that this was a YA novel meant to stir an emotional response. The focus is on Julie and Maddie's friendship and we are treated to long internal monologues regarding everything that passes through their heads.
The story was good and so was the writing, but despite the cleverness of an unreliable narrator, it seemed to be written to appeal to a different sort of reader. Code Name Verity tries very hard to yank your heartstrings and make you shiver with dread at appropriate times. For a teenage girl, this is maybe a near-perfect book. For me, merely decent.
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.
Oh – my – goodness. I haven’t cried at the end of a book since The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I mean, WOW. In this historical fiction filled thriller, we meet Verity who is writing journal entries while captured by the Gestapo. Now, let me be very clear that it WILL take you more than half of the book to get into this book, but other reviewers and readers are not exaggerating when they say that it will pay off. I, myself, was extremely skeptical – this book that was “meh” for over 50% – how could it possible turn around? BUT IT DID.
This book made me bawl like a baby and all I could think of was MY best friend, who I’m lucky to blog with, and what I would do if it were the two of us in World War II. If you don’t come away from this book thinking about your best friend, I don’t know what to tell you!
What can I say about Code Name Verity that hasn’t already been said? I agree with my friends here:
“Code Name Verity is one of those books that will be seared into my brain and heart” – Jamie
“This novel tells such a beautiful, moving tale of friendship that will be staying with me for a long while.” -Alexa
Please please make the investment of this book – it’s so hard to ask someone to give a book more than 50% when you aren’t really into it but I promise, it will pay out. (I have told the truth!)
Sometimes huge plot holes and hard to accept coincidences don't matter because a story is so compelling it overrides the reader's (listener's) normal capacity to suspend belief. Code Name Verity is one of those stories. I don't want to spoil any of the story so I won't list its faults. It has a few, hence the 4 stars. But in the end, they don't matter, at least they didn't to me. Code Name Verity is a tale of courage, friendship, stamina, strength, determination, acceptance, and sacrifice.
It is not for everyone. Several scenes involving torture are hard to stomach, although I have read worse. People, both good and bad, die. If you have trouble with strong women characters, it isn't the book for you. If you are looking for a tortured romance, look elsewhere. If you like your YA stories full of young women tormented by their bodies or their attraction to the bad boy, this isn't it.
There is a simplicity hidden in the twists and turns of Code Name Verity that is disarming. You accept it is true because you hope that in the same situations, you would have acted like Mattie or Julie.
The story was constructed in an imaginative way that gives insight into historical events and horror without succumbing to a yoyeuristic exploitation of horror or the maudlin in the intensity of the wartime relationship.
The book isn't flawless but overall well written. I had times when I got the sequence or characters confused, but that was probably my trying to multitask. I will probably give it a second read in a year or two, just unscramble my own confusions in listening.
I almost didn't buy it because the cover art while capturing key details in the story puts too much of a "sappy, emotional" take on the story. I hate "sappy" stories. I'm glad I bought this audible book and that the author kept the intensity reasonably in check.