Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.The books you never think you're going to read are often the books that surprise you, whether that surprise is good or bad. Code Name Verity sat on my shelf for well over a month and it was never my intent to read it in the first place. After a terrible reading streak (nine of the last ten books I've read were either jaw-droppingly terrible or underwhelming), I remembered a 10/10 review Code Name Verity got from one of The Book Smugglers, aka two of my favorite reviewers ever, and gave it a shot.Good surprise, everyone! Good surprise! Oh my gosh, this book. If I could, I would drop a bunch of crying GIFs and squeeing GIFs here and call it a day, but that won't make anyone understand why I've hardly let go of the book since I started reading it. Wein's story of friendship and survival during World War II tore my heart into pieces.Told in two points of view (Verity's for the first two-hundred or so pages; Maddie's for the rest of the book), Code Name Verity is occasionally funny despite the subject matter and all the torture Verity goes through. As she writes of being forced to endure pencil shavings in her eyes, three days of little sleep and almost nonstop torture, and burns all over her body alongside the story of show she and Maddie met and how Verity ended up in France, she tends to display a wry sense of humor. The average person would have gotten that tortured out of them, but not her. She understands that clinging to humor any way she can may be the only way to keep hold on some semblance of her sanity.But how much of what Verity says is the truth? Could she be lying through her teeth with every word she says in order to stay loyal to her country? Has she really been broken to the point of giving up everything she knows? Since everything she writes will get back to her captors, she can only write down so much. There could be much more going on during her time in prison than she is able to write down. Verity's unreliability as a narrator gives the novel a compelling angle.Maddie's part of the novel is a little weaker, but her faith in her best friend nearly made me swoon. When someone claims Verity is a collaborator, Maddie has to be knocked out so she won't hurt him any worse than she already had. Where Verity is wry and a tad long-winded, Maddie is direct and very emotional. It's funny how despite Verity's side of the story being the stronger one overall and detailing some of her torture, it wasn't until Maddie took over that I started bawling.Sure, the descriptions of pilot life and how planes work and such made my eyes glaze over a little when I was reading, but that is something I easily overlooked in my quest to make it to the end of Verity's story. Anyone looking for a World War II romance won't find one here--not in the usual sense. This is the platonic love affair of two intelligent girls who become close friends while serving their country and are forced to make difficult choices in the middle of one of the fiercest wars ever fought. Difficult choices indeed.Code Name Verity started out as an ARC I rescued from a used bookstore so I could pass it on to another blogger who would love it. Now I'm more reluctant to let it go. If you think this is the kind of book you can read, read it. It made me blubber and it made me laugh (but not at something that would make me blubber) and I'm going to love it forever.