I've been trying hard this weekend to wrestle my book into submission. It has two things it needs to be ready for fairly soon: submission of the first 15 pages for critiques at the NJSCBWI annual conference at the beginning of June (due April 30th), and submission of the first 5,000 words for the Greenhouse Literary Funny Contest (due at the end of July). I may well have to submit for the critiques before my first draft is complete, but I truly hope that it will be done before I submit for the contest.
But when I haven't been writing this weekend, I've been reading, and crying over, Elizabeth Wein's CODE NAME VERITY (Hyperion 2012). There are so many brilliant plot twists and surprises in this YA novel that I'm afraid to say anything about the story for fear of revealing something I shouldn't. Loose talk costs lives, as the two heroines are wont to say to each other - tongue-in-cheek, but not. But I can safely say that the book is set in 1943 in England, Scotland and occupied France, and it follows the paths of two young women and their soul-deep friendship through their various roles in the Allied war effort. Each of them in turn tells her own story for her own reasons, and the reasons may not be as they first appear. But that's all I feel I can say other than: please put this book high on your reading list. Right now I'm feeling as if I've lived through the War myself over the course of this weekend, and that as grueling as the experience has been, I wouldn't trade it for anything. It isn't often that I read a book and come away feeling honored to have met the characters.