August 16, 2012

Thanks for the Memories • In Honor

In Honor book cover
In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Won in a giveaway (Thanks Tara!) || Hardcover

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?

In Honor is Jessi Kirby's sophomore novel, but the first book I've read by her - and I was honestly blown away. There is nothing I love more than beautiful writing and well-done characters, and there is just the right amount of both these things in this novel. I fell in love with this incredible story, and I am afraid I won't be able to do it justice with my review, but I'll certainly try.

The best part of In Honor is the writing. Jessi Kirby did a fantastic job in this respect, especially when it came to her choice of words and turns of phrase. It is always a pleasure when books read beautifully - which really just means that the tone, the phrasing and the rhythm just work well. I read it at a slower pace than I would normally do, simply because I was squeezing every single bit of enjoyment and pleasure I could out of it. With her words, I could picture moments and setting vividly in my mind; with her words, I wanted to become a part of the story.

The one thing that appeals to me most about this story is the road trip that Honor and Rusty go on. I love road trips; if I had a car and I had a schedule that was less constrictive, I'd be taking road trips all the times. What makes this trip even sweeter is how Honor didn't plan for it at all, and didn't even intend for Rusty to come along. I loved the spontaneity and the rush from not knowing what would happen next.

I also loved the relationships highlighted in this book - specifically between Honor and her brother Finn, Rusty and Finn (though we don't hear too much about them) and Honor and Rusty. I love how each of these relationships receive their own share of attention - how Finn protects and cares about Honor and seeing her happy, how Honor looks up to Finn and relies on him, how Rusty and Finn are the best of friends, how Honor and Rusty are not friends, but eventually find their way back to that kind of relationship again (and maybe a little more, which I totally approve of). These characters are strongly defined by their relationships with one another, and this actually gives a fresh sort of insight into who they are.

But, apart from each other, these characters are real and quirky and flawed. Little things, like what the Impala was named or what songs they liked to listen to, these things showed off their individual personalities. And we see, throughout the course of the story, just what each of them (Honor & Rusty) are trying to overcome and struggling to accept. (Just to throw this out there - I wouldn't mind having a Rusty in my life!)

Though I enjoyed this book, I'm sure I could understand why some people would be on the fence about it The story is paced well to me, but it might be a bit slow to other people. Everything - emotional punches, unforgettable moments - happens in the span of a few days, but most of the things that happen are more internal experiences than actual action. If you're looking to have an emotional experience, In Honor is perfect for just that.

In Honor was an incredibly written book - and I'm happy that I finally got to experience for myself the absolute beauty of Jessi Kirby's writing. As I'm a fan of real characters and lovely writing, there is no doubt in my mind that I'll be reading anything Jessi Kirby writes in the future. If you're looking to experience an emotional journey alongside some amazing characters, In Honor is a great choice. (Plus, you know, road trip! And Rusty!)

This post is part of Travel Tales, co-hosted with Novel Sounds and Rather Be Reading.


  1. Oh I loved me some Rusty ;) haha Great review Alexa. In Honor was one of my most anticipated contemps to read this year. It definitely lived up to it & so much more! Jessi is an exceptional writer & I can't wait to read more from her.

  2. I absolutely love Jessi Kirby's books! Rusty (aka Tim Riggins in my mind) was such a great character and I loved the road trip aspect of the story. Loved your review and can't wait to see what you think of Moonglass :)

  3. Great review, Alexa! I can't wait to read this one. I love a good road trip book! And this one sounds like it's wonderfully written. :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Reading your review has absolutely made me want to re-read this again. I swear in 2013 I could purely have a year of re-reads because there's just been so much amazingness to come out! :)

  5. OH HOW I WANT TO READ THIS BOOK!! What a great review! I'm really loving the contemps with the subgenre for military. I've heard so many great things about this one but you make the writing sound amazing and I completely appreciate that in books - I love it when they sound beautiful as I read them. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE great characters.

    I REALLY need to get my hands on a copy of this one. Thanks for reminding me of it, Alexa. Wow. Great review.

  6. You hooked me as soon as you said, "The best part of In Honor is the writing." I have been sorely disappointed lately in that respect. The writing is the most important aspect of a book to me. Thanks for the review! :)


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)