Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is YA historical fiction at its very best. The story takes place in World War II and is told from the viewpoint of a female spy who has been captured and tortured for information. She has been instructed to write down everything she knows and in the process, she tells the story of her remarkable friendship with a talented female pilot.
I am so completely in awe of this novel. It is at once exciting, heart wrenching, and compelling. The beginning starts off slow, but as the story unfolds you get sucked further and further in and there are so many plot twists and reveals that it’s as though the story completely changes as you move along. At the heart of the novel is a fierce, loyal friendship that is just so compelling and real, that it made me wish that there were more novels that concentrated more on friendship and less on romance the way this one does.
My only question: is this book really YA? If so, I would say it is definitely older YA, age 16+.
What writers can learn from this novel:
-how to seamlessly include research in historical fiction (and wow was this novel well-researched!)
-how to develop a strong friendship between characters
-how to craft an unreliable narrator without annoying your readers
-how to develop characters with separate and distinct voices