Friday, March 20, 2015

Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson

The Basics:
Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson
Book One in the In Focus series
Contemporary Romance, LGBT
Published March 17, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

I liked the cover, and the blurb.

With his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon.

As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry.

But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion.

Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.

My thoughts:


Trust the Focus was a complete wow for me. This is an incredible coming-of-age tale that had me crying, had me laughing.... I shouted at both Justin and Landry more than once. I was so invested in the story - truly, this is an amazing book.

Justin's inner struggle - though at times dips into perhaps overly angsty - about how to deal with his attraction to Landry broke my heart. The question of whether Justin will come out and what that will mean for his life is really at the core of Trust the Focus. It's an issue with many facets - not only does Justin worry about his ultra-conservative mother's reaction, but also that of his best friend (and crush) Landry who has been out for ages, his former teammates on the emphatically heterosexual university baseball team and the world in general, which can be less accepting of homosexuality than it should.

On top of all this, Justin's also going on a road trip to celebrate his father's life, visiting sites featured in a calendar his father photographed, and spreading ashes along the way. That journey alone would be enough to make a person emotionally unstable, but when you mix in close quarters with the completely off-limits but oh so touchable Landry....  Yeah, poor Justin.

I couldn't tear myself away from this book - it was so emotionally powerful, I needed to reach the end and know how it would all work out for Justin. Both he and Landry stumbled at different points. I thought their reactions to various situations were quite believable, though at times so frustrating. I wanted them both to be more understanding of each other, more sympathetic to what the other was going through - but in a 'I'm so invested in what happens here, I can't take any more!' kind of way. Such a good book. Seriously, guys, go read it.

Bottom line:

If you've never read LGBT fiction, and been looking for a good book to start with, or if you like great contemporary romance, or if you like great road trips, or maybe you just like great books - read Trust the Focus.  Read it.  Yes, it's angsty at times, but it's also really, really good.

5 stars
For fans of contemporary romance, LGBT fiction, coming of age stories.

But don't just take my word for it! I grabbed a few links to other blog reviews of Trust the Focus:

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