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This  featured book has been added to my all-time “love this book list”
I was originally thinking about doing a full review for this book next month because I wanted to share how much I loved it with you–but then I was struck with a song as I finished the read. And I knew it was perfect for today’s

S&SI read Moonglass by Jessi Kirby last year on a whim. It happened to be on my library’s shelves, I happened to be pulled into the cover, and I happened to love it when I finished it. Needless to say, In Honor has been on my radar for a while now, but it’s one of those books that keep getting shoved to the outside edges because I’m always finding something new. But since I’m totally into contemporaries right now, I knew I had to find this book this summer.

I mean, as hard as the story is–high school graduate Honor has already lost her parents, and then suddenly she loses her older brother in Iraq–I knew that the rest of the story was going to be fabulous.

My heart was particularly drawn to the story because it involves military loss, but when I think about music, it was the whole Kyra Kelly quest–and of course the tension between Honor and Rusty–that totally helped today’s soundtrack be born.

s&s-honorAuthor: Jessi Kirby | Blog | Publication Date: May 8th, 2012 |
Publisher: Simon and Schuster | Source: Library |
My Interest: Contemporary, Military Loss, Road-trip|
Age Group | Genre: YA| Contemporary,  Romance, Grief | Series: No|
Pages: 235|

The Story

Honor receives her older brother’s last letter three days after he dies, but only opens it after his funeral. She’s shocked to find the contents contain tickets to Kyra Kelly’s (only her favorite pop star!, and her brother Finn’s major crush) last concert. Finn jokingly suggests Honor go to the concert and tell Kyra all about him. In her grief and loss, Honor decides to honor his quest. And in a turn of events, ends up road tripping across country with Finn’s best friend. Rusty isn’t the same as Honor remembers him–but somewhere along the way, perhaps because of their shared loss, the two end up sharing so much more.

As I mentioned earlier, I was particularly drawn to this story because it involves military loss. The military is part of my life, and though I haven’t lost anyone to war, there’s a part of me that understands Honor’s hurt and pain and confusion and situation.  Overall, I thought Kirby wrote a beautiful story. Honor is a kid in a sense, even though she’s a high school graduate. She’s lost because of all of the loss in her life–and the only thing she can seem to do is search for it. I absolutely love her road-trip quest for healing, and the fact that Rusty, an old friend, shows up and tags along not only gives the story more depth, but the little but of swoon-worthiness it needs.

The Song

I’m not really a country fan at all, but Taylor Swifts, “You Belong to Me” is often times played on the pop station. So I knew the song already–and when I read about Kyra Kelly, I immediately thought of her. Then of course there’s the whole tension between Honor and Rusty, and so as not to give anything away, I think Swift’s song really plays to their emotions.

Granted, unlike Swift and her boy (whoever it is) Rusty is obviously older than Honor…but there’s one spot of lyrics that just fit their tension perfectly:
If you could see / That I’m the one / Who understands you. / Been here all along. Seriously, Rusty was Finn’s friend, but the three of them were practically inseparable as kids. If only, if only the two of them would just quit fighting it!

Really though–I sort of almost didn’t pick this song simply because if I was paying attention to Finn’s rules, “no pop music in the Impala!” then this wouldn’t fly with any of the main characters. I should pick something more along the lines of Journey, or the Stones. But this song was simply perfect in my eyes.

In Honor is just such a perfect, summer road trip contemporary that focuses more on Honor’s (and Rusty’s) loss and grief than it does romance. Which at first I thought I was going to hate because I wanted the romance! But the swooning is there. The love is there, and it runs deep. It just sort of has to be coaxed to the surface.

Overall, In Honor is a fabulous, top-notch read in my eyes. It’s great for a summer day, or for someone dealing with the hardship of grief. But best of all, it reminds me again and again why I love books. Because no matter how hard something is in our lives–or how much we’re struggling to accept something– the power of story can help us heal.

The Suggestion

If you are a fan of contemporary, romance, swoon-worthy reads, read-trip stories, grief and loss,

Book Talk: So what do you think? Are you a Soundtracks & Stories kind of reader or am I some crazy person trying to piece together lyrics and novels? If you’ve read the book and know the song –or even if you’ve just now heard it–do you see how they fit together? Or at least how my mind fits them together?

Want to share your own Soundtrack & Stories? Email me at thehopefulheroine (at) gmail (dot) com or hit me up via Twitter @hopefulheroine

Hopeful reading!