Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 240 Pages (May 8th, 2012)
From: the Author & Publisher
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: 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?
Review: 4 Stars - In Honor, the sophomore title from author Jessi Kirby is an emotional journey of family, loss and personal growth.
The synopsis of this book tells us how Honor opens the last letter from her brother Finn. The last real letter he sent to her before being killed while serving in the military. It tells you about what she believes are Finns last wish for her, which spurns a quick trip from Texas to California with her brothers best friend Rusty.
What it doesn’t tell you as a reader that there’s more to this road trip, there’s more to these characters and there’s a lot more to the story than meets the eye.
Honor is at the end of her last summer before college. She’s changing and growing in so many ways, especially emotionally as tends to happen at that juncture of people’s lives. Or what most people do at least. However, with Honor and her story it’s a bit different. She has had to deal with a lot of loss in her life and without a doubt the loss of her brother hit her the hardest.
With so many emotions running through her, and questions about why her brother Finn enlisted and why Rusty – Finns long lost best friend – is on this journey with her, make Honor question more about life and what she believes more than ever before.
Finn is a character that we get to meet from the brief memories shared between Honor and Rusty and believe it or not, he’s a huge character in the book. It always amazes me when a character that’s not actually “present” in a book can make such a lasting impression on me, which is exactly what Finn did. For me he wasn’t there in the background, he felt like he was right along for the ride with Honor and Rusty as they made their way to California.
Honors inner dialogue was perfect in showing just how smart she is and how much she’s grown from the first page. And really Kirby does an amazing job at telling this story because I felt as if I had made more of a connection with these characters – I felt as if I had known them all of their lives. It’s not often that you can say that about a story and yet still thinking back now on the characters I do felt as if I had read more than just that short bit of their lives.
As for Rusty, he was arrogant and somewhat of a jackass, but I totally got it. I knew why he was this way and I think if you read it you would understand as well. I liked Honor and Rusty together and how they complemented each other in more than just their loss over Finn. You can see just how much these three people changed each other’s lives and how even after the passing of one, that they still continued to change the other two’s lives as well.
All in all, I really enjoyed this one. It was very emotional, yet never too sad. The way that Kirby has written her characters, the story and the grieving process for two totally different people was also incredibly well written. It’s without a doubt that Kirby knows how to write an entertaining story with strong, emotional and realistic characters. I will always be on the lookout for more from this shining author and will be excited and eager to see just what she writes next. I highly recommend both of her stand alone contemporary titles – Moonglass and In Honor. Don’t pass them by, enjoy!
FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.