Book Review: In Honor by Jessi Kirby


A journey towards a last concert

No matter how we start, we can never plan what happens in between until the end. – Francine


Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page

Title: In Honor
Author: Jessi Kirby
Publication Date: March 8, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback
Acquisition: Bought

Purchase at: Amazon

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?


“The snap of the first shot breaks open the afternoon.”

In Honor starts out heavy as the funeral procession takes place in the first chapter. Honor is heavy with grief as she buries her brother, Finn, who was the last of her family. She never really understood why Finn even had to enlist in the army. When she reads her brother’s last letter to her – one sent days before his death – she finds two tickets to Kyra Kelley’s last concert, and the last words that her brother wrote to her were “tell her all about your handsome older brother.” So she made it her mission to do so, and somehow, Finn’s drunk best friend, Rusty, ends up with her on this trip. She sets out to travel from Texas to California in only a matter of days with her brother’s old car.

“There’s a big world out there and I’m seeing it now – the good and the bad. And you will too. Have a few adventures while you’re out there.” – Finn

Honor’s decision might be a little crazy, especially since she isn’t fully prepared for the trip and she should be heading to her university for orientation. But I liked her determination to do this one last thing for Finn. And what I liked more was seeing all the places she encountered and meeting all the people along the way. Honor gets sidetracked a lot, but there was much to gain in her experiences. And along the way, she reaches a level of acceptance and learns to go on. My favourite place was Sedona, Arizona. It’s supposedly a magical place in August with all the meteor showers at night.

“Denial’s a stubborn thing. And necessary at first, so the world doesn’t come crashing down on you all at once.”

Like Rusty, I came to hate Honor when I found out the truth of everything. It’s probably not entirely her fault, but how oblivious could she be about everything that’s going around her? I especially hated the rage fit she had that caused Rusty to get into trouble. Gah. That was awful! But I also cannot imagine the grief that she bore. She has, after all, lost all of her family. Her life was shattered, and sometimes we just have to do what we have to do to cope. I honestly wish everyone was just more honest with each other.

“Most people just don’t go that far, is all. Finn was different from most people.”

I love Finn! Even though I never really got to meet him in this book, the way Rusty and Honor talked about him shows how much of a great person he is. I am so so sad for him. Just writing this review is making me relive the pain in my chest that I felt for him. I think the loss is more unbearable when someone means so much to you.

Rusty was mostly a jerk to Honor and he drinks a little too much. I personally feel that one needs to warm up to him to be able to like him. He was popular and a football player in high school so he can be a little cocky. But soon enough, I got past that and started to like him. I know he was the main love interest, but I didn’t really fall in love with him. I think the reason mostly is because of Wyatt.

I fell in love with Wyatt even if Honor and I only knew him for one day (or in my case, a few pages). When Honor and Rusty stopped at New Mexico, Wyatt stumbled upon them. He was a little drunk, but he was also funny and adorable. I laughed so hard during their first encounter. He was cute and confident, but more than that, he had these moments with Honor where he would do and say the right things. It’s so sad that they had to part ways. I ship Wyatt and Honor. Or I can take him. That works too. 😛


OVERALL,  In Honor is a poignant tale of loss and grief, but it was also a humorous adventure towards acceptance. I definitely enjoyed reading about all the places they’ve been, and I loved the characters even though the two main ones could be a little distasteful. There were also a lot of unexpected things along the way, and it ended in a more hopeful tone rather than a certain one. It was a fun ride.




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  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.

8 thoughts on “Book Review: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

  1. The book looks intriguing and this might be a book that I will read in the future. It seems interesting, so I will keep this one in mind! Thanks for the great review, Francine 🙂

  2. This book had me at the synopsis, but your review makes me want it even more! Also, I’m finally adding you as a friend on Goodreads – can’t believe I haven’t done it sooner!

  3. Aw, I love these road trip books. I also like to read about how a protagonist struggles with and (hopefully) ultimately overcomes grief. Sounds like a real good read. 🙂

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