Magan: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

book cover for in honor by jessi kirby, book cover with girl wearing a sundress and bootsIn Honor by Jessi Kirby (website | twitter)

Future Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher:ร‚ย Simon & Schuster
Pages: 288
Target Audience: Young Adult
Format: ARC Received at ALA Mid-Winter
How we found out about it: Ginger at GReads!

Summary: It’s always been Honor, her brother Finn, and Rusty, Finn’s best friend. Finn inexplicably joins the military, loses his friendship with Rusty, and nine months later, is killed in Iraq. Honor finds herself driving across the country after Finn’s funeral reunited with (a very drunk) Rusty, hoping to make good on Finn’s last words to her.

Oh my goodness, you guys! In Honor was one of the books I was most excited to have received at ALA Mid-Winter back in January. When the copy landed in my hands, I wanted to hide away in a corner to read it right then and there. I, hesitantly, waited until I returned home to read it. Ginger, Yani, and I all read it at the same time so we could discuss.

And what a book to discuss! The entire time I was reading, I was choking back tears or my heart was racing. Honor’s brother Finn gave her tickets to a concert in California. Even though the road trip to CA from TX seems fickle and nonsensical since she’s just attended his funeral, she feels like it’s something he would want her to do. She loads her bags in his Impala and is all set to go when Rusty, Finn’s best friend decides to go with her.

Finn and Rusty’s relationship was complicated. No one understood why Finn joined the military when he had a full, free ride to college where he would also play football. Since he joined the military, his relationship with Rusty was strained. Honor isn’t thrilled to have a travel companion, but after several unfortunate events occur, she realizes that maybe it’s for the best that he went. Finn would have enjoyed seeing them drive across the country together.

That drive – almost the very same one – from TX to CA was one that I’ve made. When I graduated college, Dustyn and I sold our house and most of our belongings and moved to sunny San Diego. That was one of the longest, most difficult drives I’ve ever experienced. Leaving our friends and family behind was not easy, and I cried many a tear as Texas faded in the rear-view mirror. Even though I wasn’t making my trip for the same reasons Honor was, I understood in a deep, personal way how she felt. With each mile, she was saying good-bye to her brother and the reality was setting in just a little bit more.

The excitement of the trip was all in the journey and the mishaps. In Honor’s pages were filled with so much authenticity and so many real moments. Ultimately the story is so much more than Honor trying to commemorate her brother. Along the way, she finds truth and strength. And there’s maybe a little bit of a love interest with Rusty. Maybe.

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13 thoughts on “Magan: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

  1. Anna says:

    Who wants to throw on a sundress, their cowboy books and go dancing at a country bar after reading this book? ME! Who’s with me??? Let’s go!

  2. Aneeqah says:

    I really wish I could have picked up a copy of this book at ALA Midwinter! Unfortunately, they were all out when I asked for a copy. =( But, I’m definitely going to be picking this up when it comes out! It looks like such a cute book, and really filled with depth. I love road-trip stories, those are so much fun. I can’t wait to be picking this up! Great review. =)

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

    • Magan says:

      Aneeqah, I seriously got lucky. I have no idea how I ended up with a copy. I went by their booth so many times scoping it out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha. WHEN you get a chance to read this, DO IT!

  3. Meg says:

    Oooh, I love road trip fiction — though the reality of a real road trip is usually not as exciting! This sounds like a great read. This is my first time seeing it, but definitely adding to my wishlist.

  4. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    How did I miss this review?! Gah. You put everything in to words so perfectly! Oh how I adore this book. I loved the correlation you made between Honor’s roadtrip and your own. There’s something quite therapeutic about venturing off, leaving your past behind, and embarking on a new future. Love. Love. Love.

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