In Honor is a fun road trip story, that starts in a place of heartbreak. Honor's brother Finn, her only remaining immediate family member, is killed at war. With the wounds still extremely fresh, Honor sets out on a road trip to fulfill his last request of her. But what road trip would be complete without an extremely attractive, male side-kick? (I know I have one with me during every road trip I take.) Finn's best friend, Rusty, tags along on the trip. They have some serious issues with each other that they need to work through, which makes for some great tension. Road trips always make for a great background to a story. They're fun, and they leave hours and hours of bonding time for the main characters. They are the perfect environment for a relationship to grow.
The car is Finn's pride and joy, his 1967 Chevrolet Impala.
That's right, it's the same car driven all over the country by the beautiful Sam and Dean Winchester. I was thrilled to see the Supernatural inspiration, and to find out that Jessi Kirby is most certainly a fan of the show.
This is such a wonderful, emotional book, and I already can't wait to re-read it. It has all the elements of a great contemporary novel. It had me crying at parts, and smiling uncontrollably at others. While it would make sense for a book with this subject to be very heavy, Kirby manages to make it fun and uplifting, without sacrificing the emotional undertones.
I love the progression of the relationship between Honor and Rusty, it seems natural and not overdone. Both characters have lost the person who was closest to them. This shared grief, along with a long history together, serves to bring them together. It is obvious that they have feelings for each other, but they also have a lot of anger and unresolved problems that they need to work their way through first.
I also really enjoyed Honor as a character. She is likeable and very easy to relate to. Reading her point of view is like listening in on a friend's thoughts. You feel the awkward moments and insecurities she has, and hear the inner dialogue of conflicting emotions. It feels completely genuine. I find a lot of YA characters fit the cliche of closed off to the world around them, especially those who are going through hard times. Honor is a refreshingly warm person, who is kind to the people around her, and willing to let them in, but not to the point where she is annoyingly perfect. Plus, she's loads of fun with a little tequila in her.
Kirby's writing is beautiful. She is someone who has a real talent and knowledge for her craft. It's the combination of the quality of her writing and the nature of her stories that will keep me coming back for whatever she has to offer in the future. Her books have made it next to my Sarah Dessen collection on my shelf, and as a massively huge Sarah Dessen fan, that is saying a lot. It is very early in her career yet, as this is her second novel, so I really can't wait to see what else she has in the years to come. I can only imagine it will get better from here.
Review originally posted at Along for the Read : http://www.alongfortheread.com/2012/05/review-in-honor-by-jessi-kirby.html