Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Source/Format: Library / Paperback, 256 pages
Opening Sentence: “The snap of the first shot breaks open the afternoon.”
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Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her.
Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn’s last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn . . . and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn–but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?
I don’t know how it happened, but it’s like I planned to start reading Jessi Kirby’s books from the most recent to the oldest. I didn’t actually plan it, but that’s how it’s working out. I read Golden and loved it and now I read In Honor and think I might have another auto-buy author on my list.
In Honor by Jessi Kirby was one of those books that immediately appealed to me. I totally respect sibling relationships (including my own), so I was particularly drawn to the story because the main character, Honor, lost her brother in the war. But then there was a road trip too! And a possibly swoon worthy boy! Why WOULDN’T I want to read In Honor? Right?
For the most part In Honor was everything I was hoping for. There was self-discovery and grief and fun and and and… There actually wasn’t the type of romance I was expecting. I’m not really sure what I was expecting before I started reading the book, because, in retrospect, I don’t think the dynamic between Honor and Rusty could have been any different than it was. There was a bit of tension between them (the good kind and definitely the bad kind too) and quite a lot of history. You could tell these people had known each other for a long time.
Honor is about to go into college; she wears dresses and cowboy boots (yes!) and is more naïve than she thinks she is. Honor’s flaws really highlighted how well Kirby is at writing people. Honor is sort of… self-centered, let’s say… but it was always so subtle as not to be a deal-breaker but it’s also obviously a character flaw. The same goes for Rusty. He was by no means the perfect gentleman or even person, but he had some great qualities and I loved him for it.
Road trip novels are always a lot of fun. I can’t say I’ve read a whole ton, but I really loved this one because it had a lot of nature mixed into it. It wasn’t all getting to places and other people. There was a lot of character introspection and learning to just be. So wonderful.
So what do you think? Are you going to give In Honor a try? I highly recommend it if you like contemporary, road trips, et cetera et cetera. This is basically a blanket recommendation.