Trust the Focus (In Focus #1) by Megan Erickson @Tantoraudio

Trust the Focus (In Focus #1) by Megan Erickson @TantoraudioSeries: In Focus #1
on 2015-03-17
Pages: 222
AmazonNarrator: Marc Bachmann
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
From the author of Make it Count comes the first novel in the In Focus series… 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.Megan Erickson worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she's not tapping away on her laptop, she's probably listening to the characters in her head who won't stop talking.
three-half-stars

This was my first time listening to the narration of Marc Bachmann and I enjoyed it. His voice was smooth and enjoyable. It added to my enjoyment of this love story.

Justin and Landry have been best friends since elementary school, so who better to join Justin when he took a road trip to scatter his dad’s ashes? Right after their high school graduation, Justin and Landry load up into Justin’s RV and they head off for adventure which was supposed to help Justin gain some healing from the loss of his father. While being confined to such close quarters, Landry struggled with his feeling for his heterosexual best friend. Landry had always been aware of his sexuality and Justin was aware that Landry was gay but it never affected their relationship. But a revelation by Justin on their travels threatened to rip them apart.

I liked this story but I didn’t love it. I just felt that Justin didn’t deserve Landry. Justin wasn’t as honest with Landry and I believe he knew that Landry desired to feel like he wasn’t a freak. I understand some of Justin’s fear but if you can’t tell your best friend, whom can you tell? It took me a while to warm to them as a pair and even longer to fathom Justin’s choices. It bothered me that the breaking of words didn’t keep Justin from letting down Landry time and time again. Each time Landry forgave him and they would be reconciled to each other only to see Justin deny Landon again. It just seemed quite one sided for a while. I had a hard time liking Justin but I will admit that he grew as the story went on. I love stories of self-discovery and maturity by characters. I appreciate the author didn’t weigh the reader down with angst. In the end, I liked Justin and could finally embrace them as a couple. The journey was just as much about self-actualization as much scattering his father’s ashes. It was so cool that his father seemed to have seen it all and gave him comfort through words. Familial support is so vital when one is grappling with inner struggle. The mother was a welcomed surprise as her reaction was a balm to Justin. It added another layer of enjoyment to an already well written story. I have never read this author and I am pleased that it was as entertaining as fellow readers expressed to me.

I look forward to the next audiobook in this series as Justin and Landry continue on grow together.

*Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.
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About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

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