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.Considering how much I adored Jessi Kirby's debut novel Moonglass, I was thoroughly intrigued to find that her next book, In Honor, would encapsulate the same heart-wrenching prose in the form of a road trip-centered contemporary.
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 protagonist Honor receives her deceased brother Finn's last letter, her life takes a spiraling turn. Instead of mourning with her Aunt Gina and then moving on to college, Honor reaches out to the two things most beloved by Finn--his Chevy Impala and Kyra Kelley, a music artist who shaped their childhood. She heads out to Kelley's last concert in California on a whim and completely alone--that is, until Finn's "former" best friend Rusty appears. Somehow, the pair end up making the journey together, and what a journey it turns out to be.
Honor's carefree spirit was incredibly appealing to me. I thought that she held herself together immensely well considering the circumstances, but not to the point of seeming flat or devoid of emotion. Rusty, on the other hand, got on my nerves a number of occasions. However, it was hard not to adore him during his intermittent charming moments. Rusty and Honor may not have always gotten along, but it was easy to see how much they relied on and ultimately needed each other.
Jessi Kirby has this amazing ability to throw curve balls at her readers, so to speak. You get through most of the book expecting a certain outcome, and even though that's not what happens, the ending is a sort of compromise that leaves you fairly satisfied. I'll admit that I was a little disappointed with the ending at first, but I eventually came to terms with it. As someone who adores unpredictability, this little tweak only served to enhance my long-run reading experience with both Moonglass and In Honor.
Most definitely looking forward to the next book from Kirby, Golden, which is tentatively set to release sometime next year.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars