Review: Code Name Verity/Rose Under Fire

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
 Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 336 (Paperback) 
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis: I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine - and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France - an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.

My Review: I walked by this book in my local Barnes & Noble multiple times before I finally picked it up. I love reading about history and I love reading about kick-ass girls, even if the events and characters that are in the book didn't really happen.

Julie (Verity) is a great character. Some of the scenes were fairly graphic, but the strength and voice of her character is what makes you want to read more. She's pretty cocky for a girl who is being held hostage and that doesn't seem to deter her from her plan. If anything, being held captive makes her even more ornery. What Julie is supposed to be doing is giving up all of her government's secrets to the Nazis, but what is really doing is weaving a story of a beautiful friendship.

My favorite thing was Maddie and Julie's relationship. They worked together so well and sacrificed so much for each other. I loved that, at first, Maddie seems kind of fragile but by the end of the story she really becomes the hero. Maddie never gave up on Julie, no matter what the circumstances were. Their friendship grew even though they weren't together, and that was the heart of the story. Despite the fact that they were doing scary and important things during the war, they were still teenage girls and they still loved each other deeply.

That relationship makes the book.

"Kiss me, Hardy! Kiss me, QUICK!"

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
 Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 339 (Paperback) 
Genre: Young Adult
My Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads 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.

My Review: While this book didn't hit me as hard as Code Name Verity it was definitely emotional, too. Rose is an American pilot working as a pilot during the later years of WWII. I loved, loved that we got to read more of Maddie's story with Rose. The way that Verity ended was heartbreaking, so I was happy to see Maddie (and Jaime) again.

I'd watched a few of my friends' status updates on Goodreads while they were reading this, so I knew it was going to be tough going into. If I thought Julie's story was bad, then I don't know how to describe Rose's. It was hard to read much of this, simply because of the content, but Wein is a great storyteller.

I enjoyed the relationships that Rose made with the other women she met, even though they were all so different. The fact that they looked after each other was a certain degree. Some of the book might have seemed far-fetched, but it was nice to think that people can hold onto hope in times of great despair.

Rose's ending seemed much better than Julie's, but it definitely puts things in perspective for you. Each of them were brave and loyal, but neither one of them had it easy.

I loved both of these books, if not for the history than for the amazing (fictional) women portrayed in them.