For our YA Historical Saturday pick, we're sticking with a book which absolutely broke our heart and made us rave for months on end last year: Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity.
YA Historical Saturday is a rotating segment with YA Sci-Fi Saturday, and YA Supernatural Saturday.
So, I started hearing about this book in January 2012.
The Book Smugglers posted one of their "On the Smugglers Radar" features, and mentioned this book. I remember reading the blurb and thinking to myself, "Huh. Female fighter pilots and spies in World War II. That sounds cool", but didn't give it more thought.
Then, the hype started. People started posting reviews, saying that they had sobbed their way through the book; the book was the true meaning of friendship, etc. And that's when I knew I needed to get my hands on this book.
Luckily, I was able to obtain an ARC through NetGalley and Disney Hyperion.
I could rave on and on about how much I loved this book, so I'll try to keep this quick and simple.
Code Name Verity is, in a word, sensational.
It starts off the first-person perspective of "our" Verity, who declares in the first sentence, "I am a coward".
"Verity" (or Queenie) has been captured by the Gestapo in France, and she's been tasked by her captors to explain just how she ended up in their hands. Her story involves a recounting of her training and her background, but most importantly, of her friendship with Maddie - the Airport Transport Auxiliary (ATA) pilot.
Verity knows that she's going to die at the end of her tale - it' s a chronicle of a death that has already been foretold. (With apologies to Gabriel Garcia Marquez).
However, she still tries her best to drag out the story, and we see her struggle in every sentence, every memory that she recalls. And she simultaneously breaks our heart, gives us hope, and helps us fall in love with her friendship with Maddie, as she does it.
Final conclusion: This is a book about the truest form of friendship, and of the courage and sacrifices that individuals will display when faced with impossible odds. Read this. You won't regret it.