In Honor by Jessi Kirby
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?
Jessi Kirby's debut, Moonglass, was one of my favorite books of 2011, so I was thrilled when I got an ARC of In Honor in the mail- and devoured it right away. I was crying within the first couple of pages and by the end of the book I had felt a roller coaster of emotions. In Honor was another wonderful contemporary novel by Jessi Kirby that tugged at my heartstrings, yet also made me laugh. I cannot recommend Jessi's books enough and I highly recommend picking this up come spring.
After learning that her brother died in Iraq, Honor decides to set off on a road trip to fulfill the request Finn made in his last letter, to tell celebrity Kyra Kelly that he loved her. This was so far from your typical "road trip book" and I adored that. Honor was a strong protagonist and I enjoyed getting to know her over the course of the story. She had felt so much loss in her life and my heart went out to her. Finn sounded like a great brother and it was nice to get to know his character through Honor's flashbacks and memories. Honor has to face a lot about herself and her brother on the road trip and by the end of the book she is almost a different person. It was great to be able to go on this journey with her and to see Honor try and come to terms with what happened. But she didn't have to do it alone.
Tagging alone on the road trip is Finn's best friend, Rusty. Rusty is just like Honor remembered him and she is having a hard time giving him a chance. Rusty was a very unique character and the perfect road trip partner for Honor. He was there for her when things got tough and while the trip wasn't always easy, they made a lot of memories.
The road trip was fun to experience, but it wasn't the main focus of the book. There were so many sub-plots going on that tied together perfectly and this is a book I won't soon forget.
Jessi Kirby is a great writer and In Honor only made me love her writing more. She created a wonderful set of characters and this book truly packed a punch. I had a hard time putting this down for a second and I am eager to talk about it with my friends after they've had a chance to read. Contemporary novels hold a special place in my heart and In Honor only further proved why this is true. Highly recomended!
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
May 8, 2012/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing/288 Pages/Young Adult
Other books by this author: Moonglass