Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein, deserves all the hype it's getting. Amazon gave it Best Teen Book of the Month in May 2012. Reviews by the Biggies such as The Horn Book and The Washington Post praise this book to the sky and for good reason.
I don't even like historical fiction. It did take me a few chapters to get into it, I admit. And until about half-way through, I didn't feel the compulsion to never put the book down until I was finished. That's rare for me. I tend to be a read-in-one-sitting kind of gal. But there is a slow beauty at work here. There are startling twists and turns that make your mind feel like jiggly jello in the best way and the writing itself is carefully crafted and beautiful. Truly beautiful.
Ms. Wein's skill at developing an unexpected plot, with shifting point of views that WORKS, is incredibly impressive to me. It was also refreshing to read a novel for teens (although I think this book is for adults, too) that is not about romance. I loved the characters. These ladies have bigger fish to fry than worrying about getting a date for prom. They are fighting a war. Readers should know there are descriptions of torture, though it's
always past tense, never happening in the moment, so it's not as
difficult to read as I feared. And it will make you cry at the end. Be warned. But it's a fabulous, wonderful read! Go out and read it!