I just finished reading Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. J had borrowed the eBook from the library, pretty much couldn’t put it down, and suggested I would probably like it as well. It is a great read, particularly if you like historical fiction. After finishing the book (which I’m not going to tell you much about) I went looking for more by the same author and to my surprise found that I had been tricked into reading young adult fiction.
Normally, I wouldn’t browse this category when looking for something to read. Reading this one made me wonder what it was that puts books into the category. It can’t be the age of the main characters because all of the characters in this book are at least nineteen and likely in their early to mid twenties. The work they are doing in World War Two is definitely adult work. The sounds and smells of the Gestapo information extraction machine left enough to the imagination to actually make the experience the stuff of nightmare. Again pretty adult.
Code Name Verity may be young adult fiction because it does not have the obligatory three pages of steamy sex every four chapters, or even an angst charged love triangle, but there is enough hints to make the book somewhat titillating while still leaving the reader wondering what indeed the relationship between the main characters really is. Are they just good friends or was there more going on?
Wein’s work is not long, but neither is most of what Hemigway did and I don’t think you would categorize his work as young adult fiction. It is easy to read,but it is not simple. At the end you wonder if you should go and read it again because the book is so wonderfully crafted that you need the end to understand what is really going on at the beginning.
If this is young adult fiction I want to read more of it!