It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme created at Book Journey to catalogue everything read in the past week, what you’re working on now, and what you hope to get to in the coming week.

The Past Week

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart

The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Reading Now

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

The Week Ahead

Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

It pains me to know that there is so very much that probably should be said about this book, and that I really have so very little to contribute to that conversation. Reviewers and critics are already hailing Code Name Verity as a perfect novel, the best of the year, and I certainly got the sense while reading that this is likely to join the ranks of novels like The Book Thief as a modern classic. I can envision many a classroom discussion tailored to exploring the intricacies of device and theme, which I can admit I don’t envy students. Intellectually, I concede that Code Name Verity is a success of carefully crafted narration, and so my rating reflects that understanding. Technically,

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

this is a fine novel. Unfortunately, I can’t say I enjoyed the experience of reading it, nor can I really explore the reasons why it failed to capture me emotionally. For the novel’s great success is also the aspect that would be ruined if not discovered on one’s own.

I willingly acknowledge that my ambivalence is just as likely explained by my disinclination to read historical fiction as it is by any failing of the author or her writing. Long-winded passages filled with technical description of flight patterns and protocol are not my literary forte, though it is very clearly of personal significance to Wein. I appreciate the spotlight the novel attempts to place on women’s role in war, one which is too often overlooked. Still, I struggled to stay interested during much of the narrative, and found myself drawn much more to those portions of the story detailing the imprisonment. To say more would be to give away too much; suffice it to say that, while I was rather enraptured by the slow evolution of one portion of narration, I could barely manage to skim through the other, and this imbalance in narrative impact sorely detracted from my immersion in the story. At its core, Code Name Verity purports to be about the stalwart bonds of friendship, yet when I struggled so to connect with one of the women involved, ultimately I couldn’t invest myself as thoroughly as the story demanded.

I realize this is a wholly inadequate account of my thoughts, but at risk of revealing too much to those who have yet to read it, I find I must stop myself here. There’s no doubt that Code Name Verity is worth reading; I simply don’t count myself among those equipped with the interests necessary to fall in love with the story therein.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme created at Book Journey to catalogue everything read in the past week, what you’re working on now, and what you hope to get to in the coming week.

The final exams rage on, but despite it all I’ve managed to get in more reading than I thought possible.

The Past Week

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

Jenna Starborn by Sharon Shinn

The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Reading Now

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The Week Ahead

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta