Mundie Moms

Friday, January 10, 2014

Flashback Friday: Code Named Verity and Rose Under Fire, Book Reviews

By: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 7, 2012
Source: Purchased
Series: Code Named Verity
Purchase: amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
Code Name Verity

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars + all the stars up in Heaven

Synopsis: Oct. 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?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called "a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel" in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

You know that book that everyone tells you that you should read immediately, and everyone has as their number one favorite read of the year? Well, that was Code Named Verity in 2012. And as the recs came in, I ignored them. There I said it. I knew that the novel was set in WWII and let's just say that I didn't want my heart to be broken. Don't look at me like that, it's true. There are times when I do and then there are entire years when I don't want to go there even in a fictional landscape.

But then, something happened. Something wonderful. I READ THE BOOK. And darn it to pieces, KISS ME HARDY, I fell in love with its perfectly paced plot and the way it pulled me along and made me fall in love with Maddie and Verity. These brave, brave girls stole my heart.

Elizabeth made me want to learn more about the British resistance movement, because let's face it, my U.S. history classes were limited in scope. Now, I want to read every single thing Elizabeth has written. No seriously, I do. I have a feeling her shopping lists are interesting.

By: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Source: Publisher Provided
Series: Code Named Verity #2
Purchase: amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
Rose Under Fire

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

Synopsis: While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

"Slim, bright chance of survival?" I'll be honest, that's what hooked me. Sometmes, I hang all my hopes on slim chances. In school, I read about Nazi concentration camps and see my above disclaimer in the Code Named Verity review? You can already guess that I clutched my heart and thought, okay, I'll read up until the part about the camp just because I wanted to check up on Maddie. Yes, yes, I treat fictional characters as if they were my friends, don't you?

But then I met the American, Rose Justice, and she was so bold and determined that before I knew it I was reading about her experience in Ravensbruck. Rose, who worries about her ripped nylons and her pedicure as she is marched into a concentration camp. Rose, whose journey I had to finish. Rose. Rose. Rose. Even my please-don't-break-my-mama-heart concerns couldn't stop me from turning pages because I was caught in Elizabeth's web of a plot and I knew the only way to find out what happened was to read through it.

I won't post spoilers, so I won't tell you what happened to Rose. Let me just say that her story is different from the girls in Code Named Verity, and I loved every single page of it. I'll leave this review with a quote (there were quite a few that pierced my heartstrings):
But people need lift, too. People don't get moving, they don't soar, they don't achieve great heights without someone buoying them up.
So go on, allow yourself to read two books that will take you to places you may not want to go, but you will be so very grateful when you realize that what you've read has made you think and appreciate the journeys the real life Maddies and Roses have taken.

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