Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson

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.

4 out of 5 stars

I finished this book just over a week ago and thought for sure that as soon as the snow melted and my kids were back in school that I'd sit down and my thoughts on this book would flow.  Because I had all the thoughts and all the feelings and Justin and Landry thawed my frozen book heart.

Yeah...I'm staring at the screen again wishing I could just say "read this book" and you would say "okay" and then you would love it and everybody would be happy.   

It would certainly make writing reviews easier - especially in this case.  Because I have no idea where to start.

I love book boys.  Boys in books.  NA/YA/Adult...I fall for them every time.  Because they are perfect in their own fictional way -- and in this book, THERE ARE TWO OF THEM!!!!   

PLUS, it is a friends to more story which will never lead you wrong.

AND...there is a road trip.

It is like the perfect storm of my favorite things.  

All this even before emotions got involved -- and once the emotional floodgates were opened, I was a lost cause.  This book was everything I want to feel as a reader.  There was humor and snark and romance and unf and fear and loathing and dread and tears and anger and pure love and love and love and love.  I am so afraid that somebody will see this book and be turned off without giving it a chance solely because it is a M/M story -- but that isn't what this story is about.   Finding the inner strength to trust himself, getting beyond the fears, the "rules", the prejudices that have kept him from feeling whole -- THAT was the journey for Justin.

I have a twelve year old who is so worried about what others think that he is afraid to take chances.  There have been instances where I can SEE his desire to let loose and be silly, and yet he doesn't let go because he is afraid to do things "wrong".  And I'm talking about insignificant things -- diving from the blocks during swim team practice, dancing at cotillion, playing soccer.  He is so terrified of being ridiculed that he holds himself back.  Just watching him hold back on the small things makes me want to hug him and I constantly try and figure out ways to make him get past the perceived social constructs of 6th grade.   

I can't even fathom watching somebody I love struggle with the bigger things.  Just reading Justin's -- a FICTIONAL character's -- battle within himself just about broke me.  

Reading Landry's struggles with Justin's struggles -- are you following me, here -- they were almost worse.  His light dimmed with every hesitation and while I knew Justin had to get "there" on his own, I wanted to smack him and make him see what was happening around him.  


Trust the Focus isn't my first Megan Erickson read...but I think it may be my favorite.       

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