Monday, June 25, 2012

Book Review: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

In Honor
Jessi Kirby
YA Contemporary
Published: May 2012

In Honor is the author's second novel, and her debut Moonglass was one of my favorite reads last year, and one of my top favorite contemporary Young Adult novels (meaning no mystical abilities, no vampires or changlings, just real people dealing with real issues).

Can I tell you how much I loved In Honor?!


The story begins with Honor (yup, that's her name) at the funeral for her brother Finn who was just killed in action in Iraq serving with the military. Honor and Finn were not only close, they depended heavily on each other after their parent's died when they were only in grade school. Raised by their aunt, Finn also took great responsibility for his younger sister Honor, although she wouldn't realize just how much until after he died.

Just days after a soldier arrived with the news, Honor recieves a letter from Finn with tickets to one of her favorite singers, with a quick p.s. at the end to tell the singer all about her cute brother. Although Honor is set to head to the University of Texas in Austin right after the funeral, she decides to take Finn's beloved classic Chevy Impala on a road trip from Texas to California for the concert, believing it's a way to honor her brother. Before she leaves, Finn's best friend Rusty, highly inebrieated after the funeral and encopmassing a very Tim Riggin's-like attitude, insists on going with her. Rusty has known Honor and her brother since they were little, but when Finn decided to enlist instead of going to the same college as Rusty on a football scholarship, Rusty distanced himself from both Finn and Honor.

Taylor Kitch as Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights
Over the course of the trip, Honor and Rusty grieve in their own ways, sometimes sharing a memory, crying or snapping at each other. The road trip aspect takes this book from Downer to Adventure, all while mixing in realistic introspection and heartfelt conversations between Honor and Rusty and the people they encounter along the way.

Like Moonglass, In Honor ties description of setting into the narrative; in Moonglass it was the ocean, beach and seaglass, while In Honor it's the desert, the sky and later the ocean. This is a beautiful story of loss and hope but told with that distinctive YA voice. If I could bottle this up and manufacture it, I would.


  1. I just laughed out loud and clapped my hands when Mr. Riggins showed up on my screen. Why? Because the ENTIRE time I was reading IN HONOR, I was picturing Taylor Kitsch/Tim Riggins (not a bad way to picture a character). Then I saw on another blog that Jessi Kirby is a major FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and Tim Riggins fan. Coincidence? I think not. And I'm all right with that. :) I really enjoyed this book too. But really? How hard is it to love a road trip book with a cute Texan love interest? I rest my case.

  2. I think the author mentioned on her own blog she had Tim Riggins in mind when she wrote him. I commented to her on twitter last year that in her first book Moonglass the father reminded me of Coach Taylor from FNL (even though he was a manager of a beach and the lifeguards instead of a football coach). :)

  3. This one is on my list to read this summer. I've got it on order from the library. Can't wait!

  4. This one sounds so good. Gah! I have too many books to read! :)

  5. Sounds like a great book! Man, I don't think I'll ever catch up with my reading when every time I visit a blog with a book review, I end up adding it to my TBR list. ;)

  6. Wow - what a great review. I haven't read this one yet, but now I will!

    This sounds a little like Amy and Roger's Epic Detour since they're both about road trips after the death of a loved one. Have you read that one?

    Thanks for following! New follower!

  7. Daisy: I picked up that book at the library (Amy & Roger's Epic Detour) and ended up putting it back b/c it seemed so much like this one. Maybe in awhile I'll read it.

  8. This sounds so freaking good and it seems like everyone LOVES it! I have to order this asap!!

  9. I loved Moonglass, too!! I haven't had a chance to read this one, yet, but hope to soon. Maybe I'll celebrate the 4th with it. Seems like a good summer read.


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