Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson

Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson 
Series: In Focus #1
Published: March 17th, 2015
Publisher: Intermix
222 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary NA/LGBTQ
Acquired this book: From the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/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 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.

For years I’ve been looking for the perfect LGBTQ+ book. That one quintessential book that when people asked me for a recommendation, it would be the first one that came to mind (well, second…if I’m in a self-promo mood, my f/f NA would probably be my first rec, let’s face it *wink*). I’ve read a few decent LGBTQ books and a few really good ones, but none of them have felt like THAT book - the one that had everything I wanted: real emotion, humour, romance, sex, sweetness, adventure, and a happy ending. When I read the first half of Trust the Focus in one sitting (which may not seem like a big deal, but considering a) I was in a huge reading slump and nothing was holding my interest, and b) I’m a super slow reader, so it’s no small feat to read that much at one time), I was pretty sure I had finally found THAT book. By the time I finished reading it the next day, teary-eyed and with a huge smile on my face, I knew I’d finally, finally found that book. 

Trust the Focus is such an authentic book. There were so many times I found myself nodding along when Justin was thinking or talking about his fears regarding coming out, being out, dealing with the possible backlash from family and friends, and just his feelings for Landry in general. I connected with him almost instantly, and on so many levels. Having lost my own father, I appreciated his desire to take this grand adventure to honour his dad. The sentiment of it and his obvious love and respect for his dad was just beautiful. Road trips are one of my favourite things in the world, and I’ve always dreamed of taking one in an RV, so I felt like I was right there with Justin and Landry. Throw in the photography element and several other similarities between myself and both boys (including the fact that my last name is Landry) and I felt like this book was written for me.

There were so many beautiful, poignant moments throughout Trust the Focus. I ran the gamut of emotions while reading - I’d be giggling one minute, swooning the next, tearing up the next, needing a cold shower the next, and then I’d be back to laughing. It had such a great mix of everything. There were also moments that frustrated me and made me want to yell at Justin and/or Landry, but even those moments felt so genuine and real that it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. These characters were wonderfully, realistically flawed, and had so much depth and experienced so much growth. I enjoyed every moment of their story. Also, I won’t lie - I loved that there were actual sex scenes in this book. So many LGBTQ books have fade-to-black sex scenes or no sex at all; it doesn’t bother me if it feels like it fits with the story and the characters, but I often feel disappointed because I want more. There were no ‘behind closed doors’ sex scenes in Trust the Focus and I loved that honesty and bravery from Erickson for writing those (totally freaking hot) scenes.

I can’t say enough good things about Trust the Focus. These characters and their journey took hold of my heart from the very beginning and never let go. Justin and Landry will stick with me for a long time to come. I laughed with them, cried with them, swooned over them, and cheered them on. If you’re a fan of sweet, swoony, sexy, raw, emotional stories with depth, character growth, heart, and humour (plus an epic road trip!) you need to read Trust the Focus.
Have you read Trust the Focus? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Have you read Megan's Bowler University series (I read the first book, which was super cute, and I own the other two)? Have you found that 'perfect' LGBTQ book? Let's talk here or on Twitter!

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  1. This review excites me because I downloaded the book on the "Read Now" day and have been wanting to get to it. Now I'm even more anxious to dive in. <3

  2. I love when a book effects me this way. I'm so glad you found THAT book. :)

  3. I dont think the title of the book is catchy enough for me to want to read it.
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