A lot has already been said about the greatness of Code Name Verity, but ever since I’ve finished reading it, I keep on finding myself thinking about it. Therefore, it seemed only right to make a post highlighting the awesomeness of this book.
Code Name Verity is a work of young adult historical fiction by Elizabeth Wein, but it’s clearly a book that’s going to appeal beyond the usual fans of the genre. This can be seen in the fact that it’s made such a splash in the book blogging world, which is not something that usually happens for a YA historical fiction work. What makes the book work so well is the combination of lovable characters, strong writing, and surprises that really sneak up on you. Code Name Verity tells the story of a Scottish girl named Verity who has been kidnapped by the Nazis during World War II. After being tortured, she has agreed to tell her captors everything that she knows. Only, the confession she begins looks a lot more like a story, and it’s not even about Verity, but a pilot named Maddie. The further you get into the story, the more you begin to wonder: Verity swears she is telling the truth, but is that nothing more than a lie?
Code Name Verity is an example of a book (like Chime by Franny Billingsly, The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan, and perhaps even Seraphina by Rachel Hartman), that really challenges our perception of what makes a young adult work. Yes, Code Name Verity stars teenaged heroes, but it is not written in the fast paced manner that we typically see from YA (not to say that it’s slow, but most of it does move at a more sedate pace then say, Divergent). It does not feature typical YA tropes such as a love triangle. In fact, even though there is a romantic storyline, it’s nowhere near as important to the story as the friendship between Verity and Maddie. Regardless of why we are seeing more sophisticated YA books on the shelves (is it because YA is where there’s a lot of money, so adult books are being sold as YA? Or perhaps due to the fact that more adults are reading YA, and therefore demand more?), I’m curious to see what it means for the future of young adult fiction.
Previous “Must Read” Posts
Nancy’s Must Reads: The Works of NK Jemisin