Monday, March 3, 2014

Review: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Published: May 8th 2012
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
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?
Last year was pretty good for Jessi Kirby as far as I could see, because so many of my blogging friends adored her novel Golden. I heard nothing short of amazing about that book and everyone was speechless over her well-crafted characters and character-driven plot. I had high expectations for this author’s work, I’m not going to lie. Luckily, it wasn’t disappointment what was waiting ahead of me.

“I can't promise the universe is gonna tell you what to do with your life up there. But if you can keep quiet and listen close enough, for long enough, it may whisper something you need to hear.”

Our main character is Honor who has just lost her brother. We meet her during the service and she is in no way in a good place. While I didn’t know her at all, and perhaps that was the reason I wasn’t as emotional as I could have been, her grief was still hard to read about. You see, Finn wasn’t just Honor’s brother, but her best friend, confidant and her only nuclear family member left. Soon she finds herself on a road trip to California to fulfill Finn’s one last wish and she does it in the company of Rusty—Finn’s ex best friend.

The novel is fairly short—with 235 pages it managed to make me laugh out loud so many times, even though the content was pretty devastating in many ways. Honor has to let go of her grief, become an independent person and is on the verge of starting her life fresh, but in order to do that, she has to close these wounds that hurt her so badly. Rusty is in the same position and together they discover the world like they have never seen it. Their adventures, memories and chemistry made this road trip fun to follow. Watching them re-kindle the friendship they once had was beautiful.

While you may think it seems likely for these two to hit the road to Romanceville, it wasn’t exactly so. Yes, they do have a spark between them, but the maybes of a romance don’t overshadow the true value of this story which is a truly inspirational adventure. There were so many times during the two nights that took me to read this book when I wanted to pack my bag, start the car, invite a few friends and start crafting our own little adventure.

My only criticism is that I wish the ending would have been more wrapped up and gave us a more clear idea where the future will take Honor and Rusty. I would like to think that what Honor said about Rusty going back to all of those things will take place, but you know what? I don’t mind if he doesn’t. So I guess I’m not all that sad about this ending? I don’t know. I’m getting a little confused over here myself. *HELP!!* I’m not a fan of open endings, but I guess it suited this particular story.

It’s the kind of book that foremost makes you think about life, friends, dreams, adventures—all kinds of stuff really. Makes you inspired! I didn’t perhaps fully form such big emotional connections with Honor and Rusty, but they did make me laugh out loud so many times and I’ll take away a bunch of good things from this novel. Jessi Kirby has found a secure place among some of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to check out her other two novels. Good thing I have Golden waiting on my shelf already in all its golden glory :)

Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★★

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  1. After all the praise Golden has been getting, I will be sure to pick this one up as well. I hate it when we don't get a proper conclusive ending! A pity, but at least the rest was worth it :D

    Lovely review! <33

  2. I remember having an ebook of this ages ago, reading the first few chapters, and then forgetting all about it. Not because it was bad or anything, I think I just got a new book I was really excited to read and then ended up forgetting about this. I'll have to dig through my files and pull out that ebook!

  3. I still haven't read Golden, we even made plans to buddy read it, but... :/ I am happy it was good - now I can relax and enjoy reading it. 4.4 rating, nice.
    Great review, Siiri.

  4. I put off reading this book despite having loved Golden because I heard about the open ending. I despise open endings as much as I hate love triangles.
    It seems like I'm truly missing out and the plot actually sounds quite wonderful. Plus, I adore road trip books ever since I read Saving June and I think I might actually the story disregarding the open ending.
    I'm glad you enjoyed this so much, Siiri. Do try Golden! It's absolutely wonderful.
    Lovely review,

  5. I too liked the inspirational journey and message in this one.

  6. I'm not really a huge fan of open endings either Siiri, but there are definitely times when I can admit they fit the story, and even though I want more clarity I can sort of accept that I'm not going to get it. Sort of ;-) I actually haven't read very man road trip stories, that's definitely something I'd like to try to break into this year and this seems like it might be the perfect book to read first! So glad that despite some heavier content, this book still made you laugh. Love stories like that:)

  7. I've heard such good things about this book and Golden. This has kind of intimidated me from reading it though. I hate being the person that doesn't like a book everyone loves. I do love the sound of road trip aspect :)

  8. This is a gorgeous review Siiri, I loved Golden, so have been meaning to read more books by Kirby in the longest time. Luckily for me, I also have a copy of this book, so definitely think I will need to start this book this month for sure, as I love my road trip books full with fun and adventure! Also I know I need to meet Rusty and Honor asap!

  9. I have a few of Kirby's books, and sadly haven't read them yet. I'm so glad this lived up to expectations! Open endings are very tough sometimes, realistic but often unsatisfying. Great review!

  10. Ooooh! I loved loved LOVED her Golden. I didn't know she had other books before that! Looks like I need to up my TBR list. She has really good prose and her writing is musical so I'll definitely get this one as soon as my schedule opens up a bit. Thanks for the review, Siiri!!

    Faye @ The Social Potato

  11. I really need to read this book at some point! I liked Golden, and quite a lot of people say that this book is really good too. It's nice to know that this book lived up to your expectations!
    Also, road trip novel? Heck yeah, I'm there :P

  12. Lovely review, I still haven't read Golden yet but I've heard good things (and I need to read it for a review soon). I kind of adore books about road trips too, because there's plenty of room for character developments. Lovely review!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  13. Lovely review, but I really dislike open endings as well. Only when they're done right, would I be satisfied!

    Joy @ Thoughts By J

  14. oh sounds like just the type of light hearted read I would enjoy :D

    Sorry you didn't form a very deep emotional attachment to Honor and Rusty but it sounds like it wasn't really needed with this book since it's on a lighter side :)

    Great review. Sorry for the delay in comments, I had a very long week :(

  15. Yay, so glad to hear you enjoyed this! I'm not normally a fan of open endings but I thought it was fitting here. And I can't wait to hear what you think of Golden. It's definitely my favorite of her books. Lovely review!

  16. I enjoyed this as well, Siiri, but like you I was less than thrilled with the open ending. I just had to write my own in my head. Here is is: they keep in contact and enjoy their HEA, married, kids, and the whole bit! Lol!

    I think most people enjoyed Golden better than this one, and I'd like to read it to see how it compares. Great review! :)

  17. I don't like open endings either, but I LOVE road trip stories. I wish I could pack up and go on a trip. Tho it's not so fun these days with kids. We drove to Georgia and back last summer and it was like a 17+ hour drive that was stressful with children who don't' like to sit for long periods of time…but I digress. I like that the romance was a subtle plot in the overall story and that this really worked for you! Great review.