By Jessi Kirby
Published May 8th, 2012 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
"Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.
Honor 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 Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?"
Rating: 3.5 stars
My first thought when I got this book was “Oh. It’s thinner than I thought it’d be.”
This pretty much sums up my overall response to this book: I wish there’d been MORE.
It’s not that I didn’t like this book because I did. It’s got a road trip, a swoon-worthy boy, good humor, and good relationship build-up… but I just feel like it could’ve been a lot better. I wish there could have been more depth, more character development, more romance… just more.
As a protagonist, Honor was great, maybe not always relatable, but definitely likeable. She goes through a lot in the story, what with coping with her brother’s death. She’s lost and confused and a tad angry. The whole road trip helped her come to terms and find herself again. She underwent some character growth, but I felt like throughout the entire book, all I really saw was one facet, two at most, of Honor, and I didn’t really know who she was beyond a grief-stricken and confused sister.
The romance in this book was more build-up than actual romance. Rusty was a great (pretty swoon-worthy) character—the more I read, the more I liked him. Believe me, when it comes to Rusty, first impressions are not very accurate; he’s full of surprises. However, while I felt like I got to know what kind of a person he was, I didn’t really get to know him. I wish I could've known more of what he was thinking.
Finn, Honor’s brother, while deceased and not actually physically present throughout the entire book, was a character I really wish I could’ve gotten to know more about. He’s the kind of guy that all girls wish they could meet and a character that I wish an author would write a prequel about.
The prose in this book was good, very descriptive at times, but it didn’t captivate me. I wasn’t hanging on to the author’s every word—sometimes my eyes would just skim a paragraph instead of reading and savoring every word. I was hoping that a story like this would invoke emotion in me--like say, turn me into a sobbing mess or something--and while it may have happened for some people, it unfortunately fell a bit flat for me.
All in all, this book was a good contemporary read. Maybe not great, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.