December 20, 2012

Latest Read: In Honor

Here are the basics ...
Book: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Site: http://www.jessikirby.com/
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary

Summary: Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day of his funeral. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite singer and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly asks Honor to tell 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 runs into Rusty, Finn’s best friend. She hasn’t seen him in ages but Rusty is just as she remembers him: arrogant, stubborn and good-looking. The two of them set off together and 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? (Adapted goodreads.com
My thoughts…
The good: In Honor is Jessi Kirby's second novel and I kid you not, by page 3 I was already tearing up. She sets the stage and emotional state of Honor so perfectly. Here was a girl who had lost her older brother Finn. Someone who filled not only the role of sibling but also parent, friend, and hero. In a matter of a few words, her grief and love for him was so clear. It was hard not to get caught up in it.  So when she decided that the best way to honor his memory was to go on a road trip to attend Kyra Kelly's final concert, I was all for it. Yes, it's crazy but grief makes you do crazy things.  And even crazier? She decides to let Rusty, her brother's best friend, tag along with her when he shows up on her driveway drunk the morning she's about to leave. (Note: Some reviews I read prior to reading said Rusty was very much like Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights. This is not an exaggeration! He is exactly who I pictured while reading. For the record, I love Riggins.)

Honor is a down-to-earth girl from Texas and very easy to relate to. But she's also been sheltered most of her life and this trip is a chance to see what's out there. She comes across as someone comfortable with herself but who still has her awkward moments. The times she'd try to sass Rusty and then internally slap herself for sounding lame always made me chuckle. Who doesn't get like that around a hot guy? Rusty is a little tougher to figure out. On the outside, he seems like your typical college football playing guy, who probably messes around with a lot of girls, is too charming for his own good and parties all the time. Which okay, he kind of is. But there's more to him. He's loyal, has a good heart and is hurting just as much. They've known each other their entire lives but their link was always Finn. The two of them on a road trip alone provided for some very interesting moments to say the least. Will they or won't they? I know that's what I kept wondering (and hoping for) half the time. But ultimately, it's the conversations they have and the people they spend time with along the way that make this a great read.

(Some) reservations: Towards the latter half of the book, it goes in an unexpected direction. The truth of why Finn enlisted is revealed and I was really surprised. A somewhat disappointed surprised.  Maybe it should've been obvious to me but I didn't see it coming (nor did I fully understand the logic of Finn's decision). And in the moments leading to that reveal, it painted Honor in a light that felt off. I didn't think it lined up with the character I had been reading about for the majority of the book. Then, a lot is left unresolved between Honor and Rusty which is good or bad depending on what you want. I wanted much more and I especially wanted Rusty to say more.

Do I recommend?: I do! I really enjoy Jessi Kirby's writing and this was no exception. I loved Honor's whole journey and I think it's one that most people would appreciate.

Happy reading!

3 comments:

  1. I really loved Moonglass but In Honor missed the mark for me. I didn't feel as emotionally invested as I thought I would, and the ending felt too unresolved. There were some beautiful moments though: the stars, the scuba diving that I will always remember. Kirby IS a fantastic writer but I wish the structure would have been stronger and the plot more flushed out.

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    1. If I had to choose which book I liked more, I would say Moonglass as well. I thought In Honor started off amazingly! Like you said, there were so many beautiful moments. But then towards the end, I wasn't too crazy with how everything was wrapped up. We should discuss on gchat! haha.

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  2. I liked In Honor quite a lot, but that's probably because it's the first Jessi Kirby novel I've read. She's an incredible writer. I think I have to go and read Moonglass now...

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