Published: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 4.5/5
Summary (from chapters.ca):
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?
A letter meant as a gift turns into a sudden and surprise adventure. When a loved one passes away, to what extent do you go to honour their last wishes?
As I write this review, my family is planning the funeral for my uncle who passed away on his 57th birthday, doing what he loved, golfing. I can't help but put myself in Honor's shoes and imagine a letter arriving in the mail... what would I do?
I fell in love with this story. Not only were the characters relateable but the range of emotions that each felt as they dealt with their grief was so well writen that you could feel it. Jessi Kirby hit the nail on the head when she chose to have the two main character, also the two individuals who felt the loss the most, go on a road trip. It really allowed the reader to feel as though they were a part of the story, riding along in the back seat of the 'Pala'.
Having lived in an 'Eastern' province of Canada as well as the West Coast of Canada, I know all too well the distance between. However, I have never driven cross-country and can't even imagine doing so. The heat, the rain, the flat landscape all became so real that it could have possibly swayed me... okay, I lie... planes all the way. If anything, Jessi Kirby allowed me to live the adventure without having to leave the comfort of my living room.
Overall, a wonderfully writen story that will hit home to so many readers. I hope that the story isn't over for Honor and Rusty as I would love to go on another of their adventures.