Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity #1) by Elizabeth Wein [REIVEW]

code name verity

SummaryOct. 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, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction (WWII)

It’s truly difficult to write this review through my tears. This is one of the most captivating, intricate novels ever written. It constantly made you reevaluate and piece things together yourself, while still remaining explicit enough to understand. The twists and turns at play made this book what it was. But overall, it was so much more than what it appears to be. This book deserves every bit of love and attention it has received.

At the end of the day, this book had one main focus: friendship. The genuine love that Maddie and Julie had for each other, and the depth of their connection, is so special. Without the two of them, this book would not exist the way it does, and would not be nearly as heartbreaking. While it is understood going into it that certain things are going to happen, nothing can prepare you for actually reading the events. Maddie and Julie are two of the strongest, most complex characters, and to see women be the focus of a WWII novel is something that should not be overlooked.

While there were moments of confusion, specifically in the first half, by the end of the novel everything had been sorted out and put together. What you thought you knew, what you were sure you knew, was flipped in an instant once Maddie’s part began, and I loved it.The actual plot of this novel was breathtaking. Much of the specifics relating to aircraft and military strategy was lost on me, but it didn’t take away from the overall experience of reading the novel, which is what was important. I wasn’t sure I was going to love this novel as much as I did because I didn’t always understand it, but once I reached the end, I fully understood why the novel was written the way it was.

This is a hard book to write a review for, as so much lies in the experience and the writing of the novel. It’s hard to sit down and try to fully capture what this novel is while also not giving away too much. All I can say is, this book was a journey and one I’m so glad I took. If you haven’t experienced it for yourself yet, move this novel to the top of your list.

The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu [REVIEW]

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Summary: Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

This series continues to be one of the most fascinating out there. It’s incredibly rare to find villains as main characters, but Marie Lu has done it spectacularly. This book is everything the series needed in order to advance both the plot and the characters forward. It was dark, it was cruel, it was heartless. With small spots of light intertwined through the book, every heartstring was tugged at some point or another.

Marie Lu has crafted one of the most spectacular villains out there. Adelina is dark and cruel but has just enough light left in her to make you root for her no matter what her actions may be. There were times towards the end where she was downright frightening. The dynamic between the Daggers and the Roses was incredible. You see two groups fighting for the same thing in oppposite ways and the masterful way it’s written is breathtaking. The relationship between Adelina and her sister was also taken to new heights, and Violetta became fleshed out in a way she had not been before. Given what was seen at the end, their future as a pair is certainly something to look forward to.

The addition of new characters is what really made this book stand out. Magiano and Sergio added a new level to what the Young Elites really are and showed the scope (and subsequent danger) of their powers. However, old characters were still interspersed and developed at the same time. Without giving too much away, a certain character coming back added even more to the story. It took the book places you may never have seen coming, and will take it even further in the next installment.

The ending was spectacular, and led to so many questions to be answered in the final book. Marie Lu has always been brilliant in her conclusions, and the next book is sure to be anticipated even more than this one was.