Rusty is the last person Honor wants to be with – he’s cocky and obnoxious, just like Honor remembers, and she hasn’t forgiven him for turning his back on Finn when Finn enlisted. But their road trip ends up revealing more than the desert landscape. While they cover the dusty miles in Finn’s beloved 1967 Chevy Impala, long-held resentments begin to fade, and Honor and Rusty struggle to come to terms with the loss they share.
As their memories of Finn merge to create a new portrait, Honor’s eyes are opened to a side of her brother she never knew – a side that shows her the true meaning of love and sacrifice.
First Sentence: The snap of the first shot breaks open the afternoon.
I struggle with reading contemporary books without any paranormal elements, with some very few exceptions (Anna and the French Kiss, My Life Next Door, and Pushing the Limits to name a few), and sadly, In Honor was no exception to that rule. In Honor caught my attention because of its eye-catching road trip cover and that losing-brother-due-to-war synopsis. In Honor had a great heart-tugging beginning, but fell flat until the last three-quarters of the book. And In Honor is a very short book (the copy I have has only 235 pages).
First things first, I just love Honor’s name. Seriously. Honor. I might just name my children that. Anyway, Honor is that one character that is trying to discover how to live without her brother in her life. I understand how devastated she felt after losing her brother and why she started on that crazy journey to California, although it really isn’t that crazy in my opinion.
And it’s sad I didn’t realize Rusty was based on Tim Riggins, this famous football player? (To anyone who finds it offense that I don’t know who Tim Riggins is, NYC is not exactly a place that’s obsessed with football and I do not watch Friday Light Nights, although it was on television for a long time, hogging up my favorite shows.) However, Rusty’s (or is it really Tim Riggins’) drinking problem was never really addressed and solved in In Honor, leaving us readers hanging.
Like I said earlier on in my review, there’s nothing really notable about In Honor until three-quarters of the book. The last three-quarters of the book was sad and bittersweet. We readers learned the real reason why Finn went to enlist in the army. I still can’t believe he did that for the reason given. Honor better cherish her brother forever.
(Warning: This paragraph contains major spoilers; skip this paragraph if you don’t want any spoilers for the book.) However, Finn’s decision to join the army didn’t make any sense to me. I understand he did it for the paycheck to get Honor into the expense college she wanted, but there are tons of other alternates he could have picked that wouldn’t endanger his life like that, like him and Honor getting a part-time job.
I was expecting In Honor‘s ending to end the way it did, but the way it was executed just surprised me – in a good way. It summed up the book perfectly, with the smallest hint of bittersweetneess, if that’s even a word.
Overall, In Honor could have been so much better in terms of the pacing and the story itself. As I was reading, I never had the feeling that Honor and Rusty were on a road trip, more like a long car drive, if you know what I mean. Still, I’ll recommend this book if you want a relaxed, short, bittersweet read.