Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Won (Paperback)
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?
When I set out to read In Honor, I was still riding the coat tails of Jessi Kirby’s amazing book, Golden. Once I finished Golden, I knew that I had to get my hands on more of Jessi Kirby’s work — In Honor looked like the perfect emotional roller coaster, all wrapped up in a road trip book.
I will admit, this book didn’t quite live up to Kirby’s latest book, but it was still a really good read. I loved what Honor set out to do immediately — to go meet Kyra Kelly and tell her about Finn, not so much his dying wish, but the last words he had ever written to Honor, complete with concert tickets to meet the singer. I expected the road trip part to be a lot more fun, or even a lot more deep than it was. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Honor and I really loved Rusty, and it was great to dig deep into their relationship with one another (Rusty being Finn’s best friend and now a drunk), but it just lacked a certain spark that was present in Golden.
Maybe it just serves me right to start a book when I’m completely smitten with another, but I could tell that this one wasn’t yet to be Kirby’s great work. It was still really, really good, with characters I could relate to, but it didn’t bring tears to my eyes like Golden did and I wanted that.
Maybe I’m being too hard on the book. It definitely was very emotional and I couldn’t imagine going through what Honor had to go through. I completely felt for her, as well as for Rusty, who I knew had something more to him than what Honor was seeing. I also loved the flashbacks to Finn and felt like I got to know him as the story went on. Not only that, but we get the beauty of Kirby’s writing that really sucks a reader in from the first page.
I am still completely in love with Jessi Kirby and her stories and even though this one didn’t quite live up to the calibre of her most recent work, I will definitely keep an eye out for her new books and even hope to check out Moonglass.