Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Code Name Verity Book Review

Summary from Amazon:
Two young women become unlikely best friends during World War II, until one is captured by the Gestapo.

Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat. But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in “Verity”’s own words, as she writes her account for her captors.Truth or lies? Honour or betrayal? Everything they've ever believed in is put to the test . . .

A gripping thriller, Code Name Verity blends a work of fiction into 20th century history with spine-tingling results. A book for young adults like no other.

“This is a remarkable book” Daily Mail

I love, love, love, love this book. I love it.

What I Liked:

  • Verity's voice. She's so resilient and somehow makes a book about an Allied spy caught by the Nazis almost funny in some places. 
  • The characterization. Verity is Verity throughout the book. In fact, I just reread the beginning, and something that might seem a bit outlandish at first is actually just so very Verity. 
  • The setup. The way this book is set up is amazing. It's so amazing, in fact, that I can't really tell you anything about it without spoiling everything
  • The title. I love the title. It fits the book so well, and I can't tell you why without, once again, spoiling the entire book.
  • The emotional plot. There is, namely, one big twist in this book that, I think, took every reader for a loop. It's one of the worst (emotions-wise) twists in book history. And it makes this book amazing. 
  • The cover. The cover fits this book so, so well. There are multiple covers and they're all awesome for different reasons. 
  • The theme. It's not about romance or anything like that. It's about friendship, something that, I think, is a bit overlooked in today's YA books. Most tend to focus on the romantic relationships, and sure, I'm a hopeless romantic, but this was a nice change of pace. 
What I Didn't Like:

There was some cursing in this book as well as some vulgar talk that I didn't really appreciate. That's my only real complaint, though.

In short:

This book is just plain awesome. Elizabeth Wein is so creative with the simple way she tells this story, and Verity is such a great character throughout it all. I absolutely love this book!

"I have told the truth." -Elizabeth Wein, Code Name Verity
*squeals and dances around giddily because I just made a reference that you people won't understand until you read the book!!!!* =D

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Favorite First and Last Lines

Once again, I'm joining in the Teens Can Write Too blog chain! The question for this month: "What are you favorite book beginnings and/or endings?" I decided that I'm just going to talk specifically about first and last lines.

First Lines:

"I am a coward."
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I looove this first line. It's so blunt, and it gives you a hint as to the narrator's voice and a common... theme, I guess, throughout the novel.

"They called the world beyond the walls of the Pod 'the Death Shop.'"
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Now that just sounds interesting. The Death Shop? I's gots to know mores!!!

"Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death."
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Oh, Hazel. That line gives you a perfect glimpse into Hazel's voice. 

Last Lines:

"I do." 
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

SQUEEEE!!!! That is soooo adorable!!!!!! :D:D:D:D

"This isn't happily ever after. It's so much more than that."
The One by Kiera Cass

This just works so adorably amazingly for this series. I looooove it!!!!!

"But they would be looking for a ghost."
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I love it. It's just so.... AMAZING!!! :D

"But there are much worse games to play."
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Okay, those are my favorites. What are some of y'all's?

 Make sure you check out the rest of the blog chain!

September 2014 blog chain prompt/schedule:
Prompt: “What are your favorite book beginnings and/or endings?” 
and (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Monday's Minute Challenge

Today, I am treating you to the joys of reading yet another one of my short stories! You may applaud now. (That was a joke. Kind of. XD) This is for the Monday Minute Challenge over on Christ is Write. I'm doing the picture prompt, which you can see over on the Monday's Minute Challenge page. :D

The boy stretched out his hand, tapping exactly the right spot. The green web illuminated the night forest, stretching as far as the eye could see.

“Yes, yes, yes!” I shrieked as I sprinted forward to the nearest bubble-like circle. Finally, I had my way in. “Here I come, Mom,” I whispered under my breath.

The green lines of the web grew closer and closer until they glowed right in front of me. I made the final jump. One moment, trees stretched up above my head and the sounds of the jungle filled my ears. The next: silence, complete and utter silence. And a stark whiteness. Absolutely nothing. This had to be right, though. I knew that was the portal. What else could it have been?

My heart started pounding in my chest. Forget the questions- I was floating in thin air. I had to find something, anything, to place my feet on.

Then, a field of burnt grass flashed before me, the horizon meeting with a charcoal gray sky spotted with dusty clouds. I dropped a couple feet to the ground. Having landed on my knees, I didn’t even have time to clamber to my feet before the world around me flashed away and the gravity-less whiteness returned.

What was going on?

Something green- the same shade of green that the portal was made of- flashed in front of me. I reached out, swatting at it, but it had already disappeared.

I was just about to throw my hands and shout in hopes that something would hear my frustration, when I heard a shrieking sound. I craned my neck towards it, trying to decipher the words.

“Our world is fading. We need Melody.”

Melody. My mom. 

And that is all for today! :D Let me know what you think in the comments! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Dog's River

If I decide to stick with this, I am going to periodically (weekly, maybe?) post a little short story I've written. There will be a theme between all of these, but because I don't want to give anything away, I'm not telling you guys anything! Mwahahaha!!! XD Anyways, this first one is something I wrote for my creative writing class. Here goes...

Mom's quiet sobs draw me in to the kitchen. There, her fluorescent patterned robe stands out against the dim lighting. She slides the blade of the knife through the Wal-Mart Bakery Cake, her head tilted downwards so that her blonde hair forms a curtain that separates her from the world. A curtain that keeps me from seeing her somber expression, one that only I can really empathize with. 

"You okay?" I enter the kitchen, walking past her to slide into one of the chairs lined up around the kitchen table. 

She gives me a one-shoulder shrug in response. 

"We'll get used to it. It'll take some time, but the pain is bound to pass, right? It has to."

Mom sniffs. She places the knife on the cake platter and swipes a tear away from her eye. She doesn't respond until she has taken a seat across from me, where I can see the glisten of tears in her eyes, making the green of her irises more vivid. 

"Will it, Chelsea? Will it?" She barely manages to get the question out before the flood gates open. Her entire body wracks with the downpour of tears that comes bursting out. No, they aren't even tears. They're sobs. Real sobs, no exaggeration. She buries her head in her arms as her sobs only grow louder. 

"Mom, it's going to be okay." I get up and walk around to her side of the table. "Hey, why don't you go finish cutting that cake? It'll be a good dessert. Maybe it will even help us keep our minds off..." I shudder. "Off it." 

She lifts her head, sniffling a couple of times in an attempt to reign the tears back in. After looking around as if in a daze for a moment, she gets up. "Yeah." She nods. "Yeah, that sounds like a pretty good idea. I'm going to go do that."

As if in slow motion, she makes her way back over to the cake and finishes cutting it as I pull two plates out of the cabinet. Just after Mom and I each take a piece of cake and sit down, Dad bursts through the door, briefcase in hand. 

"Did you two hear that they cancelled A Dog's River?"

Before he can even finish his question, Mom breaks down again, this time with even greater force than before. 

I shoot Dad a look. "Yes. We've heard. Thanks for reminding her."

"Oh, sorry."

I sigh. "It'll take some time, but eventually she'll find a new show. It'll get better." Or, at least, I can hope. 

Alright! That's it for the first story! Let me know what you guys think! Be honest! :D