Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books
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?
I’d heard a little about this book before reading it, but I mostly decided to read this book on a whim, along with Kirby’s first book, Moonglass. It seemed like this book was going to be sad and romantic in equal parts (which is quite true, at least for the first part – I had to have a second book to read in between classes so that I didn’t have to worry about possibly tearing up while reading it). I ended up enjoying more than I thought I would.
Honor was a pretty interesting character, but Rusty was even more so. He didn’t seem like the kind of character I would like – very much a Southern guy who has equal parts Southern charm and Southern irritability (not really a thing, but it can be for me sometimes – I know, I’m weird). I found myself really interested in their relationship, even when Rusty was a jerk and Honor should have left him by the side of the road or something.
Sometimes (okay, most of the time) the secondary characters weren’t really developed and they rarely had large roles at all (I know, by definition, side characters aren’t going to have large parts, but these secondary characters seemed to show up for even shorter and quicker periods than the average secondary character). The ending was also kind of random. I don’t want to spoil anything, but if you’ve read it you probably know what I mean. The very end of the ending was also kind of ambiguous, if I remember correctly (it’s been a little while), and not necessarily the good kind of ambiguous, more the “wait, that’s it?” kind of ending.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book. I don’t know why I’m feeling so ramble-y and unable to fully express what I feel in a way that isn’t so ramble-y, but I did enjoy it, and look forward to anything Kirby writes in the future.