Author: Jessi Kirby
Published: May 2012 (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers)
Format: Physical copy from the library
Summary: 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?
My Review: In Honor was, without a doubt, one of my most awaited books of the summer. I waited on it for months, my expectations climbing higher and higher with every pre-publication (and post-publication, too, since it took my library FIVE BAZILLION YEARS to get it in) review I came across. I really loved the whole idea behind the book, and the cover was overflowing with cuteness.
In Honor had me crying in under twenty pages. Although I do tend to have ridiculously overactive flowerpot tendencies, I usually need to be at least attached to the characters in a book first before I start welling up. But I felt an almost immediate connection with Honor, and her situation was heartbreaking. However, this is not to say that the book was all depressing; that was not the case at all. Honor was dealing with a huge loss, but she was not defeated. There were also touches of humor throughout the book, not to mention the excellent romantic build-up between Honor and Rusty.
I love that this story took place over the course of a road trip. It made a great metaphor for the personal progress both Honor and Rusty were making in their grief and other things, as well as for the relationship between the two of them. They had known each other since childhood, as he was her older brother's best friend. But during this book, they grew to have the potential for more, and I loved the two of them because they felt real to me. One of my favorite parts of the book was where Rusty harassed Honor about how terrible her feet smelled after she took off her boots. This might seem like an odd choice, but I liked it because it was a sign of how well they knew each other, that they were comfortable enough to give each other a hard time. There was no infatuated disillusionment here.
I enjoyed Kirby's writing in In Honor; she had a great way with words, particularly when it came to describing things. She also had a unique approach wherein she actually changed to the present tense in two specific scenes. At first I thought it was a mistake, but it actually worked to heighten the things happening in those particular scenes. The only drawback was that it initially drew me out of the story because I was confused as to why the tense had changed.
There were some aspects of In Honor that were not what I expected. I was hesitant about this at first, but I think the book was stronger for it. To put it the way I did when talking to Racquel from The Book Barbies earlier today, it was something I appreciated the day AFTER I read the book. All in all, In Honor is a lot of things. Sugar-coated, it is not. But it is realistic, refreshing, and romantic. If you are looking for a great summer read with a road trip and the potential to make you shed a few tears, check this one out.
❝He always told me to look strong, even if I didn’t feel it, because sometimes that’s all you can do.❞
❝Denial’s a stubborn thing. And necessary, at first, so the world doesn’t come crashing down on you all at once.❞
❝...the thought of actually meeting her brought back my little fangirl urge to jump up and down and squeal about it.❞
❝And Rusty, he was always the kind of reckless you either admired or shook your head at.❞
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