May 15, 2012

Review - In Honor by Jessi Kirby

In Honor by Jessi Kirby
May 8th, 2012 from Simon & Schuster

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? 

This book is everything you think it will be and more. Honor has suffered loss after loss. Her brother, only recently, and both of her parents when she was very young. The girl has seen her share of heartbreak. I sympathized with Honor in those first opening pages as she walks us through her brothers military funeral and as she reflects back to her parents tragic accident. She is a high school graduate and supposed to head off to he dream college and start her own life in just a matter of days. How can she do that when the people she loved the most aren't there?

When she decides to head out west to fulfill her brothers request - go meet a rock star and talk about him - she doesn't plan to bring her brothers old best friend who is basically a drunk. Honor and Rusty haven't exactly gotten along in the last few years. Rusty basically deserted Honor's brother when her brother joined the military, and has brushed off Honor ever since. Reluctantly, Honor let's Rusty join her, and the two butt heads at almost every rest stop from point A to point B. Honor almost immediately regrets her hasty decision. At first, it was hard to like Rusty. You know he is hurting and drinks to cope with the loss of his old friend. Still, his behavior towards Honor is despicable at times.

I love that somewhere in the middle, Honor's story turns into Honor and Rusty's story. We learn why he drinks, why he turned his back on Honor and her brother, and what is behind that wall of anger. I wasn't expecting to connect with Rusty, but I really did. It is easy to empathize with the girl who has lost her whole family, but Rusty was just as complicated and in the end, lovable. Rusty wasn't just a secondary character along for a free ride. His story line is important and beautiful all on its own.

In Honor will have you cherishing those little moments with family and reconsider the relationships you may take for granted. Wish I read this one when I was a teen. Big love!

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You can find Kirby at her website