August 20, 2012

"Kiss me, Hardy. Kiss me quick."

Literary tattoos are nothing new -- see here, for example, and in the book, The Word Made Flesh -- but I've never really been tempted to get one until I read Code Name Verity. (I do have tattoos, just not text ones. And the only other time I was inspired to use words was ... after hearing a particular Fall Out Boy song. I love you, Pete Wentz, but I thought better of it.)

Code Name Verity, though -- a few different lines are stuck in my head, but the one I would can see in ink is, "Fly the plane, Maddie," which is something I could stand to say to myself a couple times a day. If you've read it, you know why. If you haven't, seriously, pick this book up and find out.

I love historical fiction, but WWII is not usually the era I choose, so I was a little hesitant. But with an adventure story about two teenage girls during the Great War, how could I resist?

It's not a homefront story, either, not entirely. These are girls using their skills as a pilot and a translator and wireless operator, among other things. This is a story about girls who meet by chance and realize within minutes that finding your best friend "is a little like falling in love." These are girls who don't have the luxury of afternoons spent at the movies or reading magazines. They're girls at war.

When the plane Maddie is flying crashes in Nazi-occupied France, her best friend is on board and scheduled to work a mission. Instead, she's arrested by the Gestapo -- and what we read is her attempt to save her life with a confession,  written between brutal tortures and bought with every last ounce of her will.

You can't say more without ruining it. But I will say what I think I loved most was that this was a book about friends. Two girls from different backgrounds and educations finding the thread that made them willing to do anything for the other. No romance, no vampires, no government conspiracies (uh, aside from the Nazis'), just two girls during one of the most monumental events of the twentieth century who refuse to go down without a fight.


  1. Why am I just now finding this post? Good stuff, Amy. And I totally agree. Code Name Verity was fantastic.

    If I ever get a tattoo, "Fly the plane, Maddie" would be pretty cool.

  2. Once I finally finished it, I was in love, and I am SO glad I wasn't spoiled for the end. Just fantastic.

  3. Oh my goodness, I am totally thinking of getting the same tattoo! I'd never been tempted to get one before that quote.