Monday, February 13, 2012

In Honor by Jessi Kirby


In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Published: May 8, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Received: ARC from the publisher - thank you S&S!
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? {goodreads.com}

I first fell in love with Jessi Kirby's writing in her debut novel, Moonglass.  Her ability to create a story centered around a character's personal growth really hit home with me.  In both novels, grief plays a heavy role.  What I adore so much about Jessi Kirby's story-telling is that she does not focus on the death per-say, but rather the life that still needs to be lived. 

The main character Honor has just be given the news that her brother has been killed while serving the military in Iraq.  What we soon learn is that her brother is (was) the closest living relative to Honor.  The brother-sister duo have grown up relying on each other ever since their parents passed away when they were young children.  Honor has always looked up to her brother for guidance and reassurance.  She never quite understood his reasons for joining the military and leaving her behind.  In the wake of his death, Honor discovers a letter that he had written to her months before.  In this letter are tickets to a concert 3 states away and one last request of fulfilling a dream.  With her college plans about to unfold, Honor makes a split decision to road trip it to California, per her dead brother's request.  On the day her journey is to begin, she runs in to Rusty - her brother's best friend, who's been absent from their lives for quite some time.

As these two characters agree to drive out of Texas and in to the barren desert together, it's obvious this journey is much more than just complying with her brother's letter, and more about self discovery and moving on.  Immediately I was drawn in to the physical landscape of where this road took them.  Jessi Kirby does an amazing job of describing scenery in her stories, so much that I can feel the hot sun beating down on me, and the dry sand circling around in my hair.  There is a particular scene in this book that takes place at a majestic watering hole in the middle of the desert.  I was in awe of the beauty being described, but it was the emotion of that particular scene which left me breathless.  Hand over my heart, sighing a heavy sigh of, wow that is some damn good writing.

This review would not be complete without the mention of the unbearable, yet so so satisfying tension between Honor and Rusty.  It's obvious these two characters have a past as childhood friends.  Now that they've matured and have become seasoned souls, it's their experiences through laughter, wit, sarcasm, and the joint love for Honor's brother for which pull them together and facilitate this story forward.  As the final chapter ended my initial thought was: MORE! I want more!  When a book leaves you wanting more from the characters, the story, the adventure, that is always a good sign.  I adore Jessi Kirby, as she is now becoming one of my favorite YA contemporary writers.  I will pretty much read anything with her name on it :)

I realize I have written this review insanely early from it's publication date, but it's THAT good I had to share my thoughts immediately about it.  In the mean time, if you have not already, check out Jessi Kirby's debut novel, Moonglass.





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26 comments:

  1. I must check Jessi Kirby out. NOW. :D

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  2. YAY I loved this one too. Even more than Moonglass! She is also on my list of "read anything by" :)

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  3. I had no idea she wrote Moonglass! How exciting. c:
    I'm very anxious to read this. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a copy next month! I like how you described Jessi Kriby's story writing, stating that it isn't about grief but about the life that still needs to be lived. Very powerful.

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  4. Such a tease! I already wanted it and now I want it even MORE! Great review. :)

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  5. Great review! I've been interested in reading this for a while and now I can't wait until it's released :)

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  6. I LOVE your review!! You just got me that much more excited about reading this book. I adore Jessi's writing. So glad you loved it!

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  7. Oh wow...I've never heard of this one before, but it sounds really, really raw and real. Fab review, Ginger...I'm adding it to my TBR :)

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  8. There's a breathless scene?! Well hot damn. I cannot wait till this one arrives :)

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  9. In Honor looks so good! I can't wait to read it - your review makes it sound amazing :)

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  10. In Honor is one of my most anticipated reads this year! I love everything I know about it - and I can't wait to read it. (Besides, who didn't have a crush on an older siblings friend? I can live out my childhood "dream"! LOL!!)

    Thanks for the great review, Ginger!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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  11. Beautiful review, Ginger! I agree with everything you said about this book. That scene you mentioned - I was holding back the tears the best I could while I read. I just .. wow I'm speechless... I loved In Honor in a way so different from Moonglass. Jessi's writing is amazing.

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  12. Wow, I would LOVE to read this!!! I'll have to keep an eye out for it when it releases!

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  13. I read Moonglass a little while back.. I picked it up based on the review you had written about it... I ended up really loving it. I cannot wait to get my hands on this...

    I'm very close to my brother, we've been through alot together and I can't imagine losing him. I'm thinking this might make me cry a little, but that's okay.

    Wonderful review as always... :) They are always over flowing with your love of the book. I adore that!

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  14. Yes, Moonglass! I really enjoyed that one too. I didn't make the connection until I read your reveiw, but I'm glad you enjoyed this one too, and now it's on my list! Thanks!

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  15. I have put this and MOONGLASSS on my "to buy" list per your glowing review. You know how to make someone's mouth water for a book!

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  16. Ahh you've got me at childhood friends! Your review definitely made me want to read the book and feel all the emotions you did. I love it when an author has such a way with words that you can feel like you're in the surroundings. Can't wait until it comes out. Thanks for the review!

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  17. GAH! As if I didn't already want this book, now I'm dying to read it! :) Awesome review, Ginger!!

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  18. I really, really, really want to read this now. Your review makes it sound amazing! And I'm always up for a road trip book :)

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  19. Hand over heart sighing over the writing? YES PLEASE.

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  20. This book sounds great! Awesome review. :)

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  21. In Honor sounds really amazing and I can't wait to read it!
    I love road-trips and Texas =) I might be taking a road trip through Tx later this year!

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  22. I cannot WAIT to get this book from Anna tomorrow! I loved Moonglass as well and even with the Marines element (you know how I am) it sounds like a fantastic read.

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  23. I have heard REALLY good things about In Honor, and am glad to see that you liked it, too :-) I'll definitely grab a copy the next time I see it.

    Great review, G!

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  24. Oyyy I want this book so badly. Great review!

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  25. Ohhh I've been waiting for this book for so long! I keep reading people's reviews from ARCs and I just want it to be May already. Great review!

    Ashley @ Ashley Loves Books

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  26. I am SO reading this book. Thanks for the review!

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