Sometimes a book's praises are sung so loudly before it reaches my hands I wonder if it will have any impact on me at all. How could it possibly when my expectations for it are so high? Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein was such a book. I don't care how many reviews and bloggers say how amazing, how beautiful, how shattering it is. It is near impossible for it to not meet your expectations. I dare you to read it and not be gobsmacked by its brilliance.
You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do, because that's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. After I write the confession, if you don't shoot me and I ever make it home, I'll be tried and shot as a collaborator anyway. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and this is the easy one the obvious one. What's in my future-a tin of kerosene poured down my throat and a match held to my lips? Scalpel and acid, like the Resistance boy who won't talk? My living skeleton packed up in a cattle wagon with two hundred desperate others, carted off God knows where to die of thirst before we get there? No. I'm not traveling those roads. This is the easiest. The others are too frightening even to look down.
I have so much I would like to say about this book, but so little I can say. It is a book one needs to experience. So go. Buy. Read. Experience. Bite your nails. Sit on the edge of your seat. Laugh. Cry. Let it break your heart and put it back together. That's what the best books do after all. And this most definitely falls into the best books category.
And if you still aren't convinced, also know:
This is a story about friendship, the true steadfast kind that can change people and the world around them.
It is a story about ordinary people who do extraordinary things in an exceptional time.
It is a story that captures the reality of war and the perseverance of the human spirit in remarkable ways.
It is a story that can be funny and sarcastic one minute and then slice open your gut with its razor sharpness the next.
This is a story that's characters become real. They will take up residence in your head. They will haunt you.
It is a story full of suspense, intrigue, and danger.
It is a story that simultaneously devastates and is hopeful.
It is surprising, shattering, brilliant in every way. And nothing I say about it is going to do it justice.
I read a copy received via NetGalley. The US release (with the top cover) is Tuesday, May 15. It is currently available in the UK (with bottom cover).