Monday, March 9, 2015

Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson

Title: Trust the Focus (In Focus #1)
Author: Megan Erickson
Publisher: InterMix
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
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 form 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 sties 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.

It’s no secret that I love Megan Erickson and her books. Her Bowler University books were among my favourite reads last year. I was so excited when she first announced Trust the Focus, even knowing that it wouldn’t be for everyone because of the nature of the romance. But I loved it and it’s now my favourite Megan Erickson book.

Justin is ready put college behind him and hit the road with Landry, his best friend. Together, Justin and Landry are driving across America to the places his father found sacred. But the trip isn’t just about spending one last summer escaping before real life sets in. For Justin, this trip is about saying goodbye to his father, honouring him by recreating some of his photos. But this trip is also about Justin coming to terms with who he is, finally admitting to himself that he’s in love with his out and proud best friend. Admitting his feelings out loud could mean losing Landry. What if he doesn’t feel the same way? But the more time the two spends on the road, the more secrets are bound to come out and both Justin and Landry have both been holding back. 

If I thought I loved Megan Erickson’s books before, it’s nothing compared to how I feel about Trust the Focus. Guys, this book. There’s just so much I want to say but I just don’t know if I’m going to be able to say it all in a coherent, or even mildly coherent, way. But I’ll do my best. First things first, I know that this is a book that won’t appeal to everyone because it is a mature m/m romance. And the fact that some people won’t read it just because of that makes me incredibly sad because this is such a beautiful and touching story. Trust the Focus is a story about grief, it’s a story about finding yourself, it’s a story about acceptance, it’s a story about friends and about love and so much more. This story is just hard to put into words. I loved every aspect of it. Seeing Justin grieve for his father hurt my heart, as did seeing him struggle with accepting who he is. But then seeing the relationship he had with Landry, friendship or otherwise, just warmed my heart. Because that’s what this story was really about. It was about these two boys travelling together across the country and coming to terms with who they are as individuals, and what kind of future they might have together.

Justin and Landry are responsible for so many of the feelings I had while reading Trust the Focus. Just thinking about them and their story warms my heart and tears start threatening to fall. That’s how much these two boys affected me. It was just so great to read their story. Both boys were just so great. Right from the start, I loved Justin. I could see his pain and his struggle with accepting himself and all I really wanted to do was give him a hug because it felt like he could really use one. I just wanted everything to be okay for him. Actually, I wanted everything to be more than okay for him. And Landry just leapt off the page. The story might not have been from his perspective, but I felt like I got to know him just as much as I did Justin, thanks to the blog posts he wrote and the way Justin talked about him. But the best part about Justin and Landry was their relationship with each other. I loved their friendship, how in tune they were with the other and how much they wanted to be there for the other. And when that relationship started becoming more than friendship, I loved them even more. Seeing them go from best friends to something more was just incredibly heart warming. Sure, there were moments along the way that were absolutely heartbreaking, but by the time I finished reading, my heart was just filled with so much love for them. Just all the #JusLan feels.

I can’t help but want for everyone to read Trust the Focus. I just know this will be one of my favourite reads for 2015 and I intend to push it on everyone I know. In the last year, Megan Erickson has quickly become one of my favourite New Adult authors and I can’t wait to read whatever comes next from her. 

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