Review: "Trust the Focus" by Megan Erickson (In Focus #1)
Note: This ARC was provided by RockStar Lit PR in exchange for an honest review.
"I wouldn't change it, you know. The girls, the other boys, everything we experienced before this moment. Because that was all wrong. And I think we needed to feel what was wrong to know what's right."
Justin Akron and Landry Jacobs have been best friends since they first met in the sixth grade. They've been through a lot together, but over the past two years, Landry's changed. He's gotten tattoos and even has gauges in his ears. Justin misses the closeness they once shared, even if it does give the people around them ammunition to tease and gossip. So what if Landry's gay and Justin's straight. Except Justin isn't straight and he's had feelings for his best friend for years but has never been able to acknowledge them because he's always thought it was easier to pretend he was something he wasn't. Oh, how wrong he was.
When Justin's beloved father passes away and leaves him his Winnebago, Justin decides to do something that isn't part of his mother's grand plan for him or something that's expected of him. After college graduation, he and Landry go to twelve different places that held significance in his late father's life. As he indulges in his passion for photography, something else he got from his father, he's quietly trying to deal with his father's death, the demands his mother has made of him, his sexuality, and his feelings for his best friend. Will he ever be able to be honest with himself and everyone around him and just trust his focus?
Books often evoke one or more reactions out of readers, whether positive or not. The extra special ones are able to stir up emotions and leave an indelible mark because of the story and characters. The story is about a journey that the characters embark upon and whatever discoveries they make about themselves makes you feel privileged to have been a witness. Trust the Focus is one such book. Author Megan Erickson has taken one young man who's life has always felt as if it's on automatic and who must now decide if he's ready to compose how he truly pictures himself and created a beautiful, heartwarming tale.
Justin was a confused main character, one who felt lost and so unsure about a future that had a sense of security in ways that didn't really matter to him. He was always Landry's anchor but he needed his best friend just as much since he was the one who gave him the courage to see that he had options and alternatives. There's such genuine love and affection between the two of them and even during the two years wherein their friendship felt distant, they still needed that physical closeness as a reminder that there was at least one person who they knew would be there. True friendship like that is a precious gift. ♥
I appreciated the difficulty that Justin was going through as an individual and how the choices he's made have affected his friendship with Landry. His relationship with his mother was a tense one but I could fully understand why he felt the need to agree to doing what she wanted. She was coming from a good place, thinking that what she was doing was what was best for him. The resolution to Justin's issues may appear to be too simple, too idealistic, but getting to that point was not easy for him or the people he cared about the most. There was an honesty to the story and its characters that made me believe in and hope for them.
Photography has a special place in my heart so I quite liked how prominently it was featured in the text. Since this was an ARC, I couldn't help but wonder if the final publication would have actual photos included for each of the blog posts written. One can only hope, right? ^.^ The photos would be a definite bonus, but as it is, Trust the Focus is already a book I know I'll look back on and remember with a smile on my face and a squeeze to my heart. I highly recommend this new adult (NA) novel and I hope that you, at the very least, enjoy it as much as I did. This goes on my list of 2015 favorites and it gets five-plus stars. ♥
Release Date: 17 March 2015
Date read: 17 March 2015
Learn more about author Megan Erickson here.