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 father’s ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one he’d 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 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.
Goodreads | Source: ARC provided via Penguin/Netgalley in exchange for my honest review
Trust the Focus has two cute boys on a road trip in an old Winnebago, tattoos, twizzlers and the friends to more trope, written by one of my must read authors, Megan Erickson.
ROAD TRIP novel = win!
*packing my bags*
The close quarters, unrequited (or maybe not so unrequited) love, grief for Justin’s deceased father and a controlling, homophobic, politician mom all make for a very tense trip. Tempers and passions flare! Love it!
Erickson has a way of writing angst tempered with humor and compassion that make her books tense but exciting rather than depressing or annoying. Justin and Landry’s relationship is messy and complicated but also so, so sweet.
Trust the Focus isn’t just about the romance though. Like most great road trip stories, it’s about testing your boundaries and learning what you’re capable of without the confines of outside rules and influence. Or in Justin's case – the disapproving eye of his mother.
Justin has so much he needs to deal with. Saying goodbye to his father - the reason for the road trip – his feelings for Landry, his dreams for his future and then how to convey all of that to his conservative mother.
He gets it wrong a lot of the time. He’s prone to avoidance and angry outbursts when pushed or confused but Trust the Focus is about confronting all of those feelings. Justin learning to trust himself and go after what he really wants in life.
I loved that while Landry is 100% supportive of Justin, he isn't a doormat and has limits. He doesn’t let Justin get away with much and lets him work out his issues for himself. He’s not out to “fix” him with love - just provide a rock solid support system.
I think that my favorite part of Trust the Focus is that Justin came to his revelations on his own. It was a painful process but felt very authentic and made the outcome that much more rewarding.
I seriously wanted to hug this book when I was finished. It made me so happy!
I discovered Megan Erickson last year and since then have become a huge fan. Her books tend to be a little lighter but realistic, swoony and funny with just the right amount of angst.