segunda-feira, 13 de agosto de 2012

Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein

I'm submitting this book to the 2012 YA Historical Fiction Challenge hosted by YA Bliss.


My thoughts: 

I have told the truth.

There is a reason why I tend to stay from any WWII books ou movies. It is not because I dislike that period, because when I read or watch a work of art about it that is beautifully done I am its greatest advocate. It is because anything about WWII has the potential to break my heart with its portrayal of the tragedies and horrors of the war. Code Name Verity is a shining example of this, yet it is so much more.

Code Name Verity is about two young women, their friendship, and their role in the war. Maddie is a pilot. She loves to fly and she strives to be allowed to use her ability towards the war effort. Verity (I'm going to use her codename, since using her other names might be a spoiler in itself) is intelligent, well-read, a polyglot and a chameleon - she can become anyone, anywhere. And yet, by a simple mistake, she is caught by the Gestapo in occupied France.

Verity is tortured, and to avoid further pain, she starts to write her and Maddie's story, of how they became involved in the war, and most of all, of how they became friends. Verity's narration is a bit hard to follow at first, but it is a reward to the keen reader. I was aware, through other reviews, that Verity's narration was, say, somewhat unreliable, and so I was suspicious at everything she said - but at the same time I never guessed what she was hiding until it was revealed. How brave and clever was this girl.

The second part of the book hands over the narration to Maddie, and it is through her report that we are able to figure out Verity's. It is also her report that ripped my chest open, dragged my beating heart out and stomped on it till it was a squishing mass of blood and muscle. I did manage to hold my tears, because I was convinced that since Verity was unreliable, Maddie could be as well, but I was only fooling myself and ended up crying harder as I was reading the end.

Why should you read this, then? Because it is worth it. It feels painfully real, it transcends genres and it makes you think and strive to understand what Verity is telling you. It warrants further readings. It also sticks with you long after you've read it. That is the sign of a great book in my book. (Also, the way it makes me write a review I'm proud of.)

We make a sensational team.

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