Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson

Title: Trust the Focus
Author: Megan Erickson
My Rating: A

Genre: New Adult (m/m) 
Series: In Focus #1
Main Characters: Justin and Landry
Release Date: March 2015
Publisher: InterMix
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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 Review:
This is another one of those books that left me feeling happier and better simply from having read it. I highly recommend this one. I'm not usually a bit New Adult reader, but this one really touched me.

This book is truly Justin's story. Justin and Landry have been best friends forever and they both just graduated college. The last couple of years things haven't been quite right between them as they've grown apart, but this summer is their final chance to spend some real time together and honor Justin's dad who they both loved. Justin's father was a travel photographer and they are honoring his memory by setting out in his 1970's Winnebago and visiting his 12 favorite sites to spread his ashes. 

For Justin, this is his last ditch effort at freedom because when he comes back he has to settle into the role his mother has created for him in her political campaign. Traditionally, Justin isn't a person to buck his mother's edicts, but this trip is the exception. But the thing is, Justin has been living under his mother's thumb for too long and his whole life is a lie and not even his best friend knows the truth...he's gay with no options of ever being able to come out...at least, not if he wants to maintain peace with his mom.

aww, this book was so good. It's told entirely from Justin's point of view although we're allowed the tiniest snippets into Landry's brain through his blog posts which he writes throughout their journey. And while there is a real traveling journey happening, there's another type of journey happening in his heart and mind. Justin has never really accepted who he is or even faced up to what he wants out of life. Although that wasn't his intent, this summer's trip becomes the one where he finds himself and faces what he wants. And what he wants in one word is Landry. But it's not as easy as all that...because he's been lying. 

Landry has no idea that Justin is truly gay. No. Clue. And Landry has spent his entire life out and tormented for it. How can he not know this about his best friend? Why couldn't he tell him of all people? There are tons of emotions and feels throughout this book. But at the heart of it all are these two and despite everything, they are best friends and know one another better than anyone else. I love the friends to lovers trope simply because of that fact. But it works both ways. They know each other deeply, but they also know what works best to hurt the other person, too. Watching the interactions between these two is sometimes sweet, but many times painful as they lash out over the confusing emotions.

I loved both of these characters and their devotion to one another even when they were angry or hurt. That basis of love doesn't change even when things go really wrong. 

And in the background of the story we have the wonderful photography and the glimpses of the different gorgeous locations throughout the United States. I loved that aspect of it. As well as Sally, the Winnebago, which I fell in love with.

This is just the start of this series, which I'm so incredibly thrilled about. The book doesn't end in a cliffhanger, but I love that we'll get to see more of these two. Because this book is told from Justin's POV, there isn't much into Landry's psyche, but there are glimpses of a really rocky past for him. I want to see and know more and hope that's coming in the upcoming sequel/s. Regardless, I can't wait to read it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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