Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Rating: Rating: ★★★★~★
Synopsis: 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’ll admit, I’m new to the whole Jessi Kirby lovefest that seems to be happening with the bloggers. I enjoyed Moonglass, still haven’t quite gotten to Golden, but I have to say: In Honor had me impressed.
Perhaps its the simplicity of the story or the extremely well fleshed out characters, but I found myself glued to this story. On the surface its a road trip story with a young girl wishing to honor her dying brother’s wishes, but deep down, it’s so much more than that. In Honor is a story of self-discovery and learning what it means to grow up when you lose someone important in your life. I felt like I really connected on a personal level with the story, as I’m currently going through with the death of a family member, but Honor is such a strong, touching character that I really loved watching her grow, make mistakes and then hike up her boots and try again.
There’s no coincidence that Honor’s name is metaphorical in this text. She is, in a unique way, a young lady who upholds truth and honor, and yet she struggles with what it means to do honorable things for the right reasons. I found the way Kirby handled the metaphor was quite interesting, and I loved how it was woven not just into Honor’s character, but the story on a whole.
And then there is Rusty. I hated Rusty at first, but all of a sudden his goofy, geeky ways, won me over. I’m pretty sure I fell for him after he gave Honor a lecture about why “Carry On My Wayward Son” is one of the best car driving songs in the world. Rusty has a lot of of wisdom, even if he hides it in his stupidity and shamelessness. His reveals at the end of the story gave me a lot of feels and it made me love him more for trying to help not just himself be a better person, but Honor as well.
I really didn’t care for the secondary characters in this novel. I felt like they were one note, one-dimensional people who didn’t entirely serve too much of a purpose. It’s also weird how MANY secondary characters there were considering it’s a road trip story, but I’ll be forgiving towards that considering how much I enjoyed the ride. Jessi Kirby knows how to tell a touching contemporary story about what it means to grow up with loss, and still have a sense of humor about it. I definitely recommend this book to those looking for a road trip without having to actually get in a car!
This was my third Jessi Kirby book (I started with Golden and followed that up with Moonglass) and I love the way each book hits me. This time… I was hit with a huge wave of homesickness. I recently visited the USA and while most of the time I’m very happy to be in Japan, I am reaching this point where I want to go back to the States and just… buy a damn muscle car, get my own house, and drive myself around without having to worry about following some stupid train schedule.
As much as I loved the story, and the messages in it, and the characters… I really just felt incredibly home sick. I missed being young, missed having a car, missed boys like Rusty and nights filled with too many shots and hang-overs the next day.
Every stop that Honor made hit me in some weird way. I’ve never even been to the south, I’ve never driven across America, but I was seized with this need to do it. Now I can only hope that when I do move back that my husband will go for an awesome car and a road trip.
As with all Kirby books, the writing was phenomenal. I love her prose and I just want to sink into it and bathe myself in the beautiful words. The emotion soaked text really moved me to tears a few times (much as Golden did… I cried over that too and it wasn’t even SAD) and I loved Honor and Rusty. I loved how fleeting their moments were together, while at the same time they were crushed with so much history.
And Honor, I loved her all the way down to her red cowboy boots. She’s probably my favorite Kirby heroine. I love that Kirby doesn’t write wilting flowers with no life experience. These girls are all tough, sassy, and I really enjoy that they can hold themselves together. Honor’s temper tantrum’s were pretty hilarious, but I also liked how she was able to let the grief over her brother in and how she was able to deal with it without becoming a clingy baby.
Now that I’ve read all of Kirby’s books I REALLY need her to write another ASAP!
Did you read IN HONOR? If you did what did you think? We’d love to talk about it in the comments! Also link us to your reviews! And don’t forget to check out last few Flings with:
Next week: SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT