In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Borrowed
A devastating loss leads to an unexpected road trip in this novel from the author of Moonglass, whose voice Sarah Dessen says “is fresh and wise, all at once.”
Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.
Honor 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 Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?
Jessi Kirby was a breakout last year among contemporary YA fans with Moonglass. Now I must say that she has done something that is hard to do: Followed it up with a book that is somehow even better than her first. I really enjoyed Moonglass, but I loved In Honor even more.
Somehow, the sadness of the story surprised me. I was thinking that the death of her brother had happened awhile before the story starts, but no, the book starts off with Honor at her brother’s funeral. It was so heartbreaking and I didn’t even know the characters yet. There’s something about Taps that just guts me. I don’t even have to hear it, apparently I can just read about it and be sad. In Honor had me emotional from page 1. I really liked that.
The story unfolds slowly as Honor and Rusty make their way across the desert so that Honor can fulfill her brother’s last wishes. Yes, this is a road trip book. Complete with classic rock–Tom Petty and Kansas! The story also has a depth that will surprise some readers. So much of it is about grief, but also about Honor growing up.
Rusty…sigh. You know he’s based off of Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights, right? And you know how much I love FNL and Tim Riggins, right? OMG, you guys. Tim Riggins…I might just repeat his name for the rest of the review…Rusty had the same bad boy/lady’s man attitude, he was a football star, and he liked to drink. Tim Riggins spot on. Really, he was amazing. I loved, loved, loved him. I’ll stop gushing now. All the little elements that reminded me of FNL only made the story better for me. (If you haven’t watched it yet, change that!)
There really isn’t a big romance story line, so don’t go into it expecting one. It doesn’t need romance to be good. I loved everything about In Honor. It’s filled with these beautiful moments of clarity for Honor, but it’s also so fun. It’s the perfect balance and I highly recommend it.