Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein So here's the truth: I loathe war stories. To me, they are depressing reminders of senseless violence and destruction. Depicting events that led to the deaths of millions and millions of people in the creation of a page-turning story discomforts me; in the hands of an unskilled author, it is almost like capitalizing on the deaths of these people in order to write about cool bombs and airplanes. The few successful war novels I've read use war as a mere backdrop for non-war related plots and themes. For instance, WWII features heavily in Ian McEwan's Atonement, but I enjoyed it because it focuses on themes of forgiveness and truth. So though I loathe war stories, I loved Code Name Verity for its beautiful treatment of a friendship between a pilot and spy during WWII.Code Name Verity follows the friendship of Maddie Brodatt and a girl who goes by many names. It's difficult to write a review for fear of spoiling any of the twists this book takes. The story begins slowly and a bit confusedly, for the narrator chooses to write from the perspective of another narrator, if that makes any sense. At first, it seems like a status quo war novel--there are airplane names and initalisms galore. I was not enjoying it much because I kept forgetting the significations for ATA, WAAF, RAF (well, RAF was the only one I recalled). I am so glad I stuck with it though because we begin to see the friendship unfold in this time of uncertainty and I don't want to spoil, but just promise to stick with it, because it gets SO good. The writing style is also brilliant. Wein clearly did her research and succeeds in maintaining the complex narrative framework of the novel without sacrificing the true feeling behind it. One minor complaint is I didn't quite believe the authenticity of the voice at times--the girls sounded a bit too modern for the 1940s. Everything else seems authentic, though, and it is incredible that Wein pulled off this puzzling war novel about friendship. For twists and turns, literary and historical allusions, believable and multifaceted characters, you must read Code Name Verity. And when you're done, you'll gasp, "How did Wein do that??" and want to reread it to understand how it all brilliantly came together.