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Book Review

‘Code Name Verity’

4/3/2013

Book 040413Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Reviewed by Julie Goodrich                

Hyperion Books

May 15, 2012

$16.99

Covid&HIV

343 pp.

There are times when simple description isn’t really enough to properly frame a book. Suggesting a young-adult novel to any adult is usually an exercise in frustration. Adding that it’s essentially historical fiction about a pair of best friends in World War II will likely cause most to mumble something noncommittal and promptly forget the recommendation. I wouldn’t blame them, but it would be a mistake.

This is a stunning, beautifully crafted thrill ride of book that transcends genres and tosses clichés out the window. It’s a spy novel that captures the essence of friendship, a war novel that can be laugh-out-loud funny, a novel of truth buried in lies. Airplanes, royalty, radio codes, farmland, rebellion, freedom, torture, bravery — this book encompasses so many themes and contains so many sharp, living characters, it lingers long past reading. It’s a haunting story, vivid and real on the one hand, while being just fantastical enough to keep the pages turning frantically.

The plot itself is a spoiler, making description even more difficult. Suffice to say, it is a novel of two British women — one a spy, one a pilot — put in impossible situations and who stand as models of what friendship really means. This book serves as a reminder that young-adult literature has a lot more to offer than vampires, can be exceedingly well-written and can indeed cross the generational gap. Don’t miss this one: You’ll regret it. CV

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