Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publication Date: May 15, 2012
Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.
When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
There isn't really anything more I can tell you about this book without giving away important plot points so I'm just going to tell you how I felt about it. I had seen this book for the first time a few months ago and was anxious to read it. I love WWII stories and this one sounded especially promising. A pilot and a secret agent, both girls and best friends? Oh yea, sign me up! So I picked up a copy as soon as possible and sat down to read.
What I thought was going to be an amazing and heart breaking read was anything but. In fact, I was extremely bored through most of it. It wasn't until well into the book, I'm talking 200 pages in, that it even began to gain my interest. Why did I continue to read up until that point? Because I seem to be the only person on the planet who did not absolutely love this book and I was desperate to finish it in hopes that it would change my mind. That, and it is very hard for me to not finish a book. There have only been three or four books that I can think of that I didn't finish.
I think the main reason why I was so bored throughout this story was the technical talk. I had no interest in what planes Maddie flew, or anything related to that. I wanted more story between her and Verity. Sadly, there is little. I found it hard to believe that these two girls became such great friends after only seeing each other few times. There was very little interaction between the two and even those scenes weren't enough to get me past all the boring airplane details. Yes, I understand why those are completely important to the story, but it just wasn't working for me.
I really wanted to love this story, honestly I did. It just wasn't for me. Too much of the book was spent on war specifics, airplane details and pilot talk. But I seem to be in the minority here, so perhaps you will have a different view. I will say that the second half of the book is far more interesting than the first, so if you find yourself in the same situation as me, desperately trying to get through the whole thing, keep reading.