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Code Name Badass: The True Story Of Virginia Hall

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Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this riotous, spirited biography of the most dangerous of all Allied spies, courageous and kickass Virginia Hall. When James Bond was still in diapers, Virginia Hall was behind enemy lines, playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Hitler’s henchmen. Did this shero have second thoughts after a terrible accident left her ne Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this riotous, spirited biography of the most dangerous of all Allied spies, courageous and kickass Virginia Hall. When James Bond was still in diapers, Virginia Hall was behind enemy lines, playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Hitler’s henchmen. Did this shero have second thoughts after a terrible accident left her needing a wooden leg? Please. Virginia Hall was the baddest broad in any room she walked into. When the State Department proved to be a sexist boys’ club that wouldn’t allow her in, she gave the finger to society’s expectations of women and became a spy for the British. This boss lady helped arm and train the French Resistance and organized sabotage missions. There was just one problem: The Butcher of Lyon, a notorious Gestapo commander, was after her. But, hey—Virginia’s classmates didn’t call her the Fighting Blade for nothing. So how does a girl who was a pirate in the school play, spent her childhood summers milking goats, and rocked it on the hockey field end up becoming the Gestapo’s most wanted spy? Audacious, irreverent, and fiercely feminist, Code Name Badass is for anyone who doesn’t take no for an answer.


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Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this riotous, spirited biography of the most dangerous of all Allied spies, courageous and kickass Virginia Hall. When James Bond was still in diapers, Virginia Hall was behind enemy lines, playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Hitler’s henchmen. Did this shero have second thoughts after a terrible accident left her ne Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this riotous, spirited biography of the most dangerous of all Allied spies, courageous and kickass Virginia Hall. When James Bond was still in diapers, Virginia Hall was behind enemy lines, playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Hitler’s henchmen. Did this shero have second thoughts after a terrible accident left her needing a wooden leg? Please. Virginia Hall was the baddest broad in any room she walked into. When the State Department proved to be a sexist boys’ club that wouldn’t allow her in, she gave the finger to society’s expectations of women and became a spy for the British. This boss lady helped arm and train the French Resistance and organized sabotage missions. There was just one problem: The Butcher of Lyon, a notorious Gestapo commander, was after her. But, hey—Virginia’s classmates didn’t call her the Fighting Blade for nothing. So how does a girl who was a pirate in the school play, spent her childhood summers milking goats, and rocked it on the hockey field end up becoming the Gestapo’s most wanted spy? Audacious, irreverent, and fiercely feminist, Code Name Badass is for anyone who doesn’t take no for an answer.

30 review for Code Name Badass: The True Story Of Virginia Hall

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Why aren't all history books written like this? This was rollicking good fun, like sitting around a fire with a bottle of wine and a friend telling you all the craziest stories from history. Virginia Hall's life keeps getting more and more dangerous and thrilling as you get deeper into the book, and it's truly astounding what she was able to pull off. With no training whatsover, she taught herself all manner of sabotage, explosives, jail breaking for dummies, and went on to lead her own unofficia Why aren't all history books written like this? This was rollicking good fun, like sitting around a fire with a bottle of wine and a friend telling you all the craziest stories from history. Virginia Hall's life keeps getting more and more dangerous and thrilling as you get deeper into the book, and it's truly astounding what she was able to pull off. With no training whatsover, she taught herself all manner of sabotage, explosives, jail breaking for dummies, and went on to lead her own unofficial armies. A civilian woman. Leading armies. In the 1940s. I kept having to read one more chapter, then another, then another until I ran out of wars and pages. Wish this was an entire series of lady spies. This is nonfiction that reads like the most page-turning of novels. If you like tough women taking out Nazis, this is the book for you!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Margaret (xoxoLibro)

    I hereby nominate Heather Demetrious to rewrite every textbook ever! I estimate that the average testing scores of high school students would rise 110% across the board. No, seriously. Ever since I read the opening line of the synopsis, I knew this book was going to be EPIC... "When James Bond was still in diapers, Virginia Hall was behind enemy lines, playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Hitler’s henchmen." Oh, and the author got security clearance to do research in the CIA?! WHAT. WHAT M I hereby nominate Heather Demetrious to rewrite every textbook ever! I estimate that the average testing scores of high school students would rise 110% across the board. No, seriously. Ever since I read the opening line of the synopsis, I knew this book was going to be EPIC... "When James Bond was still in diapers, Virginia Hall was behind enemy lines, playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Hitler’s henchmen." Oh, and the author got security clearance to do research in the CIA?! WHAT. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED, PEOPLE? To be honest, I'm a fan of everything Heather writes, so I knew I'd love this book too, but I don't think I was prepared for just how much I would LOVE it. It is saucy and feminist and full of curse words (all traits I admire), but it was also beautifully researched and informative. It taught me so much about an incredible woman who's been nearly lost to history and the entire French Resistance. It was fascinating! Who knew history could keep you on the edge of your seat? There's also this special layer woven into these pages that is a little harder to describe. I got the sense that the author found a deep bond with Dindy, a love and respect for this friend she'll never truly meet but knows so well. I think this is what truly brings the book (and Dindy) to life. All around 37 out of 5 stars. Could not put it down. Immediately yelled at 3 different people to pre-order it. And I will be rereading. Many times. Actually, I get the sense that this is a book I could pick up, flip to a random page, and read for a quick injection of strong, feminist, idgaf vibes. Goddamnit, this book is so good!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I really wanted to love this, Hall is such a fascinating figure and really needs more recognition. The choppy, overly conversational tone of the narration removed me entirely from Dindy's story though. I don't want to detract from how cool Virginia Hall actually was, and I still recommend this book to anyone that get through the narration. I'm just not sure that Hall was done justice with this. I really wanted to love this, Hall is such a fascinating figure and really needs more recognition. The choppy, overly conversational tone of the narration removed me entirely from Dindy's story though. I don't want to detract from how cool Virginia Hall actually was, and I still recommend this book to anyone that get through the narration. I'm just not sure that Hall was done justice with this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Well y'all it happened. For the first time in my life, I read half a book and didn't finish. This is the one and only book with the tag dnf in my goodreads list because I had to create a dnf tag for this book. A bit of explanation about me: I have what I term "completion syndrome". Once I start a book I feel compelled to finish it. It doesn't matter if I don't like it, or am annoyed or bothered by it, I must finish it. I'm like this in other aspects of my life--TV shows, jigsaw puzzles, movies, Well y'all it happened. For the first time in my life, I read half a book and didn't finish. This is the one and only book with the tag dnf in my goodreads list because I had to create a dnf tag for this book. A bit of explanation about me: I have what I term "completion syndrome". Once I start a book I feel compelled to finish it. It doesn't matter if I don't like it, or am annoyed or bothered by it, I must finish it. I'm like this in other aspects of my life--TV shows, jigsaw puzzles, movies, work projects (I have a very hard time delegating tasks to other people or transitioning projects in the middle of a cycle) etc. I've read numerous articles and see posts all over this site and on social media extolling the virtues of abandoning books that don't bring you joy, but I have a very hard time doing it. I always think I picked this book up for a reason and there's got to be some merit to it or it's going to get better by the end. It doesn't always happen though. I'm getting better though. I am able to watch 5 seasons of a show and give it up once it no longer brings me joy (this is huge for me). My husband and I abandoned a jigsaw puzzle in the middle because the colors were muddled and the picture was no help (again, huge for me). Except I just couldn't do it with this book. I would have abandoned it far earlier if it wasn't a book that someone had chosen for my book club. I was so relieved when the person who chose it contacted the group via text last night and said "I'm 40 pages in and I'm recommending abandoning this choice in favor of something else". Whew. Not only do I have completion syndrome, but I've always finished book club books. Always. So when the text came in I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I could abandon this book and not feel bad about it. I didn't like it from the start. I suspect that whether or not you like this book depends solely on how you feel about the narrative/author's voice. The book is told in a very colloquial and casual style. This is not necessarily a bad thing--a casual, colloquial style can sometimes help a reader to better understand the topic, but that was definitely not the case with this book. The author peppers pop culture references and phrases in liberally. She uses phrases like adorbs, whatevs, on the regular/on the reg, which doesn't endear me to the book or to the subject matter. The author is also fond of reiterating things in shouty capital letters. The book is about Virginia Hall, a very kickass spy in WWII. The author wants to convey a "you go girl attitude", but then often calls Virginia (and other women in the book) gal, or dame, or broad. It would be one thing is the author was trying to write the book in a 1940s style, but with her use of modern slang and pop culture references these terms for women are even more jarringly annoying. And I know that I am so far from the demographic of this book (by a lot), but the thing is I read YA books all the time and love them. Just not this one. The author makes references to Virginia's looks, her "smirk" in photos, and other kind of degrading comments about this woman that convey an odd sexism even though you can tell the author admires the hell out of her subject. The book is well researched, but it's cited/noted to death. A 5-page chapter at one point has 43 end notes. It just seems excessive. Then on the other hand, the author speculates about things that Virginia might have done in a very stereotypical manner. Maybe it's because I come from a reference book/publishing background and we're taught to write as if a book will sit on a shelf for many years. Do I think this book will hold up in 10, 20, 30+ years? Even 5 years? Unfortunately, no. I don't think it holds up even now. I don't mean to rag on this book. The author has done something that I could never do: written a book and gotten it published. I just feel like Virginia deserved better and it's a shame, because it's obvious the affection the author feels for her subject. 4.5 stars for the subject (Virginia Hall--look her up) 1 star for the writing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mayela

    Heather Demetrios is one of the rare authors who can do it all. She can write heart-wrenching contemporary, inventive fantasy, prose that reads like poetry, and now a feminist, fun biography. Code Name Badass is written as if you were having a conversation with a very knowledgeable friend. It's nothing like the stuffy, pompous biographies we're used to so I'm sure anyone 14 and up will enjoy it. There's wit and fire enough to keep you reading for a long time. Virginia Hall was an impressive woman Heather Demetrios is one of the rare authors who can do it all. She can write heart-wrenching contemporary, inventive fantasy, prose that reads like poetry, and now a feminist, fun biography. Code Name Badass is written as if you were having a conversation with a very knowledgeable friend. It's nothing like the stuffy, pompous biographies we're used to so I'm sure anyone 14 and up will enjoy it. There's wit and fire enough to keep you reading for a long time. Virginia Hall was an impressive woman who sadly is not as well known as many of her male counterparts from the WWII period, I'm glad Code Name Badass is setting out to change this. Highly recommend to anyone, literally anyone. Whether you like history or not, consider yourself a feminist or not, like biographies or not. There's bound to be something in here for you, be it the intrigue, the action, the badassery, the power grabs, the suspense. Or maybe it's the footnotes. Some of us really like footnotes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Imagine if the Steve Buscemi “Hello Fellow Teens” meme and a Buzzfeed article got together and decided to try to write a biography for teens. This is what it would be. Cringey. Not sure what the author was intending but I would never hand this to a teen to read unless I wanted to insult them.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tanvi

    Enjoyed this more than I thought I would but not as much as I'd hoped - I was listening to the audiobook and so, I found it kind of hard to follow along at times but the writing is engaging with a touch of sarcastic humor and the narrator did a great job bringing the author's words to life. I probably would have preferred this in a visual adaptation. Overall, I did enjoy hearing about this badass lady's life story a lot! Enjoyed this more than I thought I would but not as much as I'd hoped - I was listening to the audiobook and so, I found it kind of hard to follow along at times but the writing is engaging with a touch of sarcastic humor and the narrator did a great job bringing the author's words to life. I probably would have preferred this in a visual adaptation. Overall, I did enjoy hearing about this badass lady's life story a lot!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    This was an awesome read. I often avoid books about WWII because I feel like there are so many with such similar plots and themes, however, I am so glad I read this one. Virginia Hall was an incredible person, and it was fascinating to learn about her. And I immensely enjoyed the writing style - it turned a biography into more of a conversation with the author. I can't wait to read a section of this to my students tomorrow. This was an awesome read. I often avoid books about WWII because I feel like there are so many with such similar plots and themes, however, I am so glad I read this one. Virginia Hall was an incredible person, and it was fascinating to learn about her. And I immensely enjoyed the writing style - it turned a biography into more of a conversation with the author. I can't wait to read a section of this to my students tomorrow.

  9. 4 out of 5

    S.A.

    This is a biography that doesn't feel like your typical biography. You feel like you're sitting next to Heather, drinking as she tells you these true stories about an amazing woman: Virginia Hall. The immense amount of research that went into this book really shows and I especially appreciate that Heather seemed to capture some of Virginia's own tone, voice and unique turns of phrase (Cowardly salad!) In this book, you'll also explore institutional racism, sexism and abelism in our society. This is a biography that doesn't feel like your typical biography. You feel like you're sitting next to Heather, drinking as she tells you these true stories about an amazing woman: Virginia Hall. The immense amount of research that went into this book really shows and I especially appreciate that Heather seemed to capture some of Virginia's own tone, voice and unique turns of phrase (Cowardly salad!) In this book, you'll also explore institutional racism, sexism and abelism in our society.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Barbra

    This account of Virginia Hall is uniquely told in conversational pop style, complete with tons of humour, and mature content, which includes some profanity. Nicknamed Dindy, she worked as a spy for Britain’s Special Operations Executive and the American Office of Strategic Services. She also was the first female civilian to win the Distinguished Service Cross in World War II. Dindy was smart, courageous, and determined to fight, even with a wooden leg. This highly readable historical account inc This account of Virginia Hall is uniquely told in conversational pop style, complete with tons of humour, and mature content, which includes some profanity. Nicknamed Dindy, she worked as a spy for Britain’s Special Operations Executive and the American Office of Strategic Services. She also was the first female civilian to win the Distinguished Service Cross in World War II. Dindy was smart, courageous, and determined to fight, even with a wooden leg. This highly readable historical account includes code names, bibliographies, and extensive end notes. A wonderful tribute to a most extraordinary lady.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    I found this book hard to read. It's told very conversationally with a lot of speculation on the part of the author. It's obviously well researched. It just ended up being difficult for me to stay entertained by. I found this book hard to read. It's told very conversationally with a lot of speculation on the part of the author. It's obviously well researched. It just ended up being difficult for me to stay entertained by.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Camille DeAngelis

    Easily the most entertaining biography I've ever read! (More TK.) Easily the most entertaining biography I've ever read! (More TK.)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    “I’d say most of what we celebrate Virginia Hall for is audacious courage and the ability to stay calm, cool, and collected in the face of personal tragedy and under enemy fire…” Anyone who says they hate nonfiction should give this one a try. Snarky, saucy and at times hilarious, Demetrios is no neutral narrator but a great champion of Virginia Hall and commenter on all the problems of the time she faced as an ambitious woman attacking the world of foreign service in the theater of WWII and the “I’d say most of what we celebrate Virginia Hall for is audacious courage and the ability to stay calm, cool, and collected in the face of personal tragedy and under enemy fire…” Anyone who says they hate nonfiction should give this one a try. Snarky, saucy and at times hilarious, Demetrios is no neutral narrator but a great champion of Virginia Hall and commenter on all the problems of the time she faced as an ambitious woman attacking the world of foreign service in the theater of WWII and the Cold War after a partial leg amputation. As a former history teacher I deeply understand the power of engagement with topics that feel absurdly removed from real life. I appreciated the accessibility of Demetrios’s storytelling. Engaging readers in their emotional core guarantees the story never gets boring. Because she harnesses the assessment of context from the perspective of 2021 while acknowledging the realities of the period in which Hall lived, Demetrios deftly writes the importance of Hall and other women back into the events of WWII without falling into a revisionist trap that would detract from the value of her telling. “What made her a trailblazer in the field was her strategizing. Dindy played a long game, her slow and steady maneuvering in the French countryside laying the groundwork for a whole new kind of large-scale approach to battle that would be useful decades later in wars in which armies no longer clashed on fields but fought with small teams of soldiers in alleyways and rocky mountain passages. She was audacious and daring, ready to carve a place for herself when none was offered, fighting for her seat at the table of SOE and OSS agents who distinguished themselves as leaders.” It also allows her to comment on both the challenges Hall faced and the opportunities provided by her status, money and race. With chapter titles like “Hell Hath No Fury”, “Girl Boss”, “It’s Raining Men”, and “Broads, Brothels and the Boches” and header quotes like, “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” - Maya Angelou, Demetrios grabs readers’ attention then continues to engage with writing littered with current cultural references from movies to social media. All, while guiding readers to understand the vast difference between the realities of 1950 and now. Demetrios’s conversational tone strikes the right chord for the audience she looks to engage: teens looking to harness their own inner Badass. “WHO DOES THAT? Who is like, Hey, I want to help, so I’m going to enlist in another country’s army and drive an ambulance on the front lines even though I have one leg, no medical training, and probably not a lot of experience driving an ambulance? Dindy. That’s who. The rest of us just give to UNICEF and call it a day.” While the extensive profanity makes this a 9-12 book rather than a middle school read, it doesn’t detract from the value of the history. It works to make Codename Badass more accessible to Demetrios’s intended audience. Fans of John Green’s Crash Course history series will find much to love here. Looking to expand your fiction / nonfiction pairings? Code Name Badass would make a beautiful nonfiction pair for Code Name Verity. I’ve been a fan of Heather Demetrios since I read I’ll Meet You There. Reading Codename Badass cements her as a “must read” author for me. I’ll preorder whatever she writes next.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    Who was the "Limping Lady of Lyon?" "The most dangerous Allied spy in France?" That would be Virginia Hall, a member of both the British SOE and the American OSS, not to mention being a volunteer in the French Army, and later the CIA. So who is Virginia Hall? Read Code Name Badass to find out. Heather Demetrios was wandering around the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. when she came upon a display of Virginia Hall memorabilia and was intrigued when she learned that Virgina Hall had mad Who was the "Limping Lady of Lyon?" "The most dangerous Allied spy in France?" That would be Virginia Hall, a member of both the British SOE and the American OSS, not to mention being a volunteer in the French Army, and later the CIA. So who is Virginia Hall? Read Code Name Badass to find out. Heather Demetrios was wandering around the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. when she came upon a display of Virginia Hall memorabilia and was intrigued when she learned that Virgina Hall had made the Gestapo's most wanted list while operating with an artificial leg! This was a story worth writing in grand style! Demetrios opens Code Name Badass with Virginia "Dindy" Hall in context, i.e. providing information on her early life, her love of the outdoors, and her cheese-making skills not to mention her language skills. She attended Harvard for a year, then transferred to Barnard College, and then studied abroad in Paris and Vienna. After college, Dindy got a job with the Foreign Service as a clerk in Warsaw, Izmar (in Turkey where she had a hunting accident that cost her a leg), and later in Venice and Estonia. In 1939, she left the State Department and moved to Paris. With the beginning of WWII, she joined the French Army as an ambulance driver. After the fall of France, Dindy made a strategic withdrawal to England, There she ended up in the Special Operations Executive and was back in France as an agent in Lyon. That lasted until 1942 when Vichy France was occupied by the Germans and she dashed over the Pyrenees on her artificial leg. In 1944, Dindy left the SOE and joined the Office of Strategic Services as an agent in France where her cheese making skills provided her cover while she recruited, organized, and armed Resistance forces. When the war ended, she was planning on infiltrating into Austria. After the war, Dindy joined the the Central Intelligence Agency in the covert action arm. She finally retired in 1966 and returned to the Maryland farm of her childhood with her husband whom she had met during her service in France. She died in 1982. In Code Name Badass, Heather Demetrios provides an interesting take on Virginia Hall and the role women played in the French Resistance during World War II. She documents the facts, provides the juicy details and worships how Dindy succeeded in fulfilling her missions despite all odds. Do not let the publisher fool you, this is a tale for all ages to enjoy!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily Donnellan

    I overall enjoyed this book. I liked learning about Virginia Hall and her work during WWII in France. I will admit though that I struggled not to DNF this in the beginning. The tone wasn't for me. I enjoy dense, factual, historical writing - the more heavily footnoted the better! This biography, I think in an effort to try and appeal to teens, included modern day slang that already isn't aging well, and a tone that was filppant at times when I wanted it to be serious. Although, there is a great I overall enjoyed this book. I liked learning about Virginia Hall and her work during WWII in France. I will admit though that I struggled not to DNF this in the beginning. The tone wasn't for me. I enjoy dense, factual, historical writing - the more heavily footnoted the better! This biography, I think in an effort to try and appeal to teens, included modern day slang that already isn't aging well, and a tone that was filppant at times when I wanted it to be serious. Although, there is a great line I'll paraphase; they shot him and he went straight to hell. The author was talking about a French Priest who sold people out to the Nazi's and all I could say in response to that summing up was amen. The dialouge took some getting used to but once I'd settled in I enjoyed Hall's story and Demetrios' feminist spirit. It was clear the passion the author had for her biography subject. I'm glad that she took the time to share this story. If you end up not enjoying this book don't make the mistake of thinking Demetrios' books aren't for you. Her book I'll Meet You There is one of my favorites and she's an auto-buy author for me. This one just didn't appeal hit the same spot.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Simone Pond

    Heather Demetrios is one of those writers that make reading fun! She is so passionate about her subjects and the story they create. In this case, the subject is a real-life woman who was part of the French Resistance during WW2. A female spy! If you're a fan of WW2 stories, then you'll want to check out this book and learn about the phenomenal women named Virginia Hall. Not only was she battling the Nazi occupation, she was fighting the patriarchy of employers who didn't fully believe in her abi Heather Demetrios is one of those writers that make reading fun! She is so passionate about her subjects and the story they create. In this case, the subject is a real-life woman who was part of the French Resistance during WW2. A female spy! If you're a fan of WW2 stories, then you'll want to check out this book and learn about the phenomenal women named Virginia Hall. Not only was she battling the Nazi occupation, she was fighting the patriarchy of employers who didn't fully believe in her abilities. And let me tell you, she had skills. Not only was she a woman during a much more difficult time to be a woman who wanted to work -- she was missing a leg. She hiked through the Pyrenees Mountains with an old-timey prosthetic leg. Mind blowing. This biography is an exciting and pleasant read, not dry in the slightest bit, because Heather knows how to infuse fun into her writing. Highly recommend!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anjali

    I would guess readers will be sharply divided on the readability of this book. Yes, Virginia Hall was a remarkable woman, all-around badass, and heroine of WWII. Virginia Hall, the person, gets 5 stars. This super-informal, conversational, swear-laden, highly-speculative-at-times biography of her was refreshing for the first 10 minutes of my listening experience and then quickly veered into a very painful listen. I probably just should have DNF'd it, but it wasn't too long and I was driving for I would guess readers will be sharply divided on the readability of this book. Yes, Virginia Hall was a remarkable woman, all-around badass, and heroine of WWII. Virginia Hall, the person, gets 5 stars. This super-informal, conversational, swear-laden, highly-speculative-at-times biography of her was refreshing for the first 10 minutes of my listening experience and then quickly veered into a very painful listen. I probably just should have DNF'd it, but it wasn't too long and I was driving for most of it, making it difficult to safely switch to another book. If you want your history/biography in the form of what you would imagine a tween text exchange to be, try this book, you might love it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alana

    Forget your boring high school history teacher, Demetrios’ sarcastic and humorous portrayal of Hall brought this amazing woman to life. I loved Demetrios’s conversational style and and the audiobook narrator, Nikki Massoud, nailed the story-telling and languages. I loved this fresh look at WWII—It’s an irreverent view on an era of history that we’ve heard much about. There is some adult language in the book so it might not be suitable for younger folks, but I think any woman, would find Hall an Forget your boring high school history teacher, Demetrios’ sarcastic and humorous portrayal of Hall brought this amazing woman to life. I loved Demetrios’s conversational style and and the audiobook narrator, Nikki Massoud, nailed the story-telling and languages. I loved this fresh look at WWII—It’s an irreverent view on an era of history that we’ve heard much about. There is some adult language in the book so it might not be suitable for younger folks, but I think any woman, would find Hall an inspiring and worthy role model. Thank you to @simon.audio for this review copy. The opinions are my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janelle E

    I usually steer away from reading historical biographies, because basically, they are a bit of a yawn. But this one caught my eye; I'd never seen one written about an allied female spy. From the first chapter, I was hooked because it's such a fun read. I wish more biographies were written using this fresh, conversational style as I'd read more of them. This is a well-researched book memorializing Virginia Hall and her extraordinary contributions to the war efforts. I usually steer away from reading historical biographies, because basically, they are a bit of a yawn. But this one caught my eye; I'd never seen one written about an allied female spy. From the first chapter, I was hooked because it's such a fun read. I wish more biographies were written using this fresh, conversational style as I'd read more of them. This is a well-researched book memorializing Virginia Hall and her extraordinary contributions to the war efforts.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I really enjoyed learning about this incredible woman in WW2 history that I had never heard of before. I wasn’t sure going in what a YA biography would be like, but it is exactly that: if your best friend in high school was giving you the gossipy scoop about a historical figure. I’m not sure that I am currently (a 25 year old with a doctorate that reads constantly) the target reader, but I know that I would have eaten this up in high school.

  21. 4 out of 5

    LillyBooks

    The tone of this book won’t be for everyone, as it’s very casual and conspiratorial, but I thought it was a riot. Despite the flippancy, it’s clear Demetrios deeply respects her subject, and she put a great deal of research into this book. I’m sad to say I didn’t know much about Virginia Hall prior to reading this book, but now I’m blown away by her accomplishments.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Sweeney

    Fascinating, little known story about Virginia Hall who spied for both the Brits and Americans during WWII. She spent much of the war in France organizing the resistance. Written in an entertaining, off the cuff style that makes her personality jump off the page.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    If you ever wondered if you could write a book and publish it, this book proves that even the worst writers can be published. An amazing historical subject who is butchered by the author. I would love to read a book that does Virginia justice.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul Nelson

    Unreadable. The author is apparently a 17-year-old on a Red Bull jag. Here's a typical utterance: "every dude who kept Dindy out of their ranks can all go suck it." Thee's a good story in there hidden by the author's delusions of her own cleverness. Unreadable. The author is apparently a 17-year-old on a Red Bull jag. Here's a typical utterance: "every dude who kept Dindy out of their ranks can all go suck it." Thee's a good story in there hidden by the author's delusions of her own cleverness.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I tried to read this but I really did not like the style. It’s YA but it seems insulting to teens to write with so much slang and in such a casual style. Too bad because the topic is interesting and Virginia Hall is a fascinating woman.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Peyton Stafford

    I have not read the book, but if Heather Demetrios wrote it, I know it's a five star. I have not read the book, but if Heather Demetrios wrote it, I know it's a five star.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Fernanda

    This book is fantastic! I have to confess I'm not super keen on biographies, nor am I a history buff of any kind, AND YET, I read Code Name: Badass in just a few days. Learning about this kickass woman has been a delightful and illuminating experience. Read it! Especially if you're intimidated by the idea of reading anything remotely academic/historical. You're in good hands! This book is fantastic! I have to confess I'm not super keen on biographies, nor am I a history buff of any kind, AND YET, I read Code Name: Badass in just a few days. Learning about this kickass woman has been a delightful and illuminating experience. Read it! Especially if you're intimidated by the idea of reading anything remotely academic/historical. You're in good hands!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Maroulis

    Fantastic voice. Even better story. Highly recommended for ALL high school students (and beyond).

  30. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Shepard

    gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss, kill nazis

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