(In Focus, #1)
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Intermix; 222 pages
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.
I really wish this story had been told in Landry's point of view. I understand why it wasn't & really, why it couldn't have been but oh my GOSH did I love him. He is that guy that you just want around all the time. He's out, he's proud and he appears to comfortable in his own skin. He's loyal to a fault, loves with his whole heart & soul, and his personality outshines anyone else in a room. Not to mention those piercing eyes, tight pants and cute ass.
Justin is a bit rough around the edges. He just recently lost his dad, has had a rather negative relationship with his mother and has been hiding who he truly is for as long as he can remember. He's been in love with his best friend since at least high school, if not earlier than that. I can't imagine what a gay person has to go through when it comes to coming out. You see so many stories about how parents disown their own children, or physically hurt them because of who they love and it's just sad. As a straight person, we don't ever have to explain ourselves for who love, why we love them and tell our parents that. Parents should accept their child for who they are because no matter if you like girls or boys, you're still the same person you've always been. Now I'm rambling about my feelings regarding how people view homosexuality. Justin though, is having to deal with all the downfalls of trying to accept who he is. He's hidden himself away for so long and when it's time to truly be who he is, he doesn't know how to do that. I wanted to ring his neck a few times but like I said, I couldn't full relate because I've never been there or even had to think about going there. I imagine if I did, his lashing out at the wrong people or his remarks are something I would expect.
One thing I loved about these two is the fact that they're both artists. While Justin has a rare, natural talent with a camera & capturing a photo in a way that most people couldn't; there's an art in that & only a few truly shine. Then there's Landry, whose drawings are beyond brilliant. Not to mention, he's also a boss at graphic design. There's just way too much talent sitting there between the two of them.
This book isn't just about two friends falling in love as more than just friends but it's also about acceptance, of not just each other but more importantly, yourself. It's about being able to let go and move on from a loss so deep. It's about finding out who you are and what you truly want. It's about growing up & having the courage to speak your mind. It's about so many things all at once and that's the beauty of it.
It's very steamy and it's written beautifully. This is probably my second favorite book written by Megan Erickson & I'm so so soooo glad I've read it. I even recommended this book to my gay co-worker, thinking he'd really enjoy reading this. Whether or not he actually reads it, that's another story.
All I can is no matter who you love, your own sex or the opposite, I support you. Love is love. Everyone deserves to have it. I'm super glad to see a story like this out there. I know m/m stores exist but most of what I've seen is erotica and I can't stomach reading any sort of erotica.
Thank you so much to Penguin/Interix for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Megan Erickson, for writing such a fantastic & unique book.