Trust the Focus (In Focus #1)

Trust the Focus - Megan Erickson

TW: homophobia, mention of past sexual assault, ableist slurs, misogynist slurs

 

3.5 stars

 

I'm a little torn on this one but in the end, there's more that I like than I don't like. 

 

Justin and Landry have just graduated college, and they're planning to spend the summer going to locations of Justin's father's last landscape calendar to scatter Justin's dad's ashes. These are young guys who often act their age, if not younger, and so there's lot of drama as they finally admit their feelings for each other. Justin's been in the closet because of his politically conservative mom and his own internal homophobia. For the most part, I liked the way this was handled, but it also at times felt like the author was checking off boxes: Misunderstanding? Check! Past trauma? Check! Multiple fights? Check! Disapproving parent? Check! It got to be a little much. I liked best the parts that focused on Justin's relationship with his dad, and how things are finally resolved with his mom. Landry's parents felt underdeveloped, but Justin's friends Mia and Tomas were great during their brief time on page.

 

But can we please, please, stop saying characters are virgins or haven't had "real" sex because they haven't had anal sex yet? Let's just agree to put that misconception to bed, pun intended.