Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Publication Date: June 3rd 2014
Publisher: William-Morrow Impulse
Publisher: William-Morrow Impulse
Series: Bowler University #1
Source: Provided by author for review
Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?
Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends—both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.
Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…
But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.
"Welcome to Bowler University, here's your official BU rape whistle."
Something about this book reminds me of the best movie EVER, Pitch Perfect. Maybe it's the tagline "Welcome To Bowler University" I have seen floating around social media, getting the hype up about Make It Count but the further I read the more of a Pitch Perfect feel it had. Well, minus the singing. This book made me wish I had gone to a real college and made friendships and experienced growing up and discovering who I really am but then again I'm lazy as hell so...
There were so many elements at play in this story that made it a unique experience for me. The opposites attract bit, the nerdy guy, the ditzy girl and not to mention the roommates best friend dilemma. Kat Caruso appears to be a mildly popular girl who's had her share of male attention and comes across as a little bit of a ditz but under that delicate layer there is something else lurking beneath the surface. Kat has a problem focusing which in turn prevents her from learning and understanding things the way everyone else does. She's in the big leagues now and the days of heavy flirting with a high school boy to do her work are over so she needs a tutor. Some female heroines are hard for me to connect with but Kat was determined, headstrong and endearing. All character traits I enjoy and tend to bond with. After blowing through several who can't put up with her inability to pay attention she has one more chance with one last tutor. This aspect of Kat's life really hit home for me because when I was in school I used to get in trouble for "Spacing Out". I didn't have the same issues Kat had but my mother always got pulled aside by my teachers about my attention span. Alec Stone is Kat's last hope to pass her statistic class but this hot nerd gives her more reason to day dream.
Alec Stone doesn't sound like the name of a hot nerd with glasses and a Pompadour hair style. It sounds like a guy who wears leather and chains and smokes Camel cigarettes and rides a Harley. *shivers* Even though he doesn't smoke or ride a bad ass bike and actually drives a beat up junker, Alec Stone is still sexy as hell. Looks fade after a while but being smart never gets old and Alec is one smart dude. Strong silent types are my favorite book guys to read about because they have an intensity about them and when it finally gets out it's a beautiful thing to behold. Alec was the kind of guy you can't let get away because he's one of the good ones. After his high school girlfriend cheated on him he hasn't been in the market for anyone since and it would figure that he would start to fall for his best friends girl. Instead of blatantly making a move though Alec does the noble thing and stays away..... for a while anyway. I love getting into this kid's head because his back story was heartbreaking yet interesting. He lost his father at a young age and his mother raised him alone and the fact that he grew into such a great guy with a good head on his shoulders is a bit of a miracle.
So Alec tutors Kat, and There is an attraction there but Kat is dating Max, Alec's best friend so there's no way they can start something. Being a reader who doesn't really like triangles or cheating situations there are some instances where two characters just click for me and I can't help but root for them to be together however they can be. Granted there wasn't any cheating or much of a triangle going on because Kat isn't really interested in Max. He's more of a filler so it was cool. She's always picked guys who wouldn't try to dig deeper into her personality for fear that her flaws would show. While being tutored by Alec he notices she shows signs of dyslexia and ADD and tries to get her some help but bless his heart it sort of blows up in his face and has the adverse effect with Kat. She's always felt stupid because of her learning issues and Alec's meddling doesn't really make her feel brilliant so I understood her pulling back because of that. Alec's willingness to prove to Kat she was smart and the patience it took to help her find new ways to understand what she was learning was just another reason for me to love this guy. With the help of his Lesbian sidekick Danica, Alec is able to pull a rabbit out of his ass and work to gain Kat's trust back after his botched attempt at helping her.
Danica. The hot lesbian. The hot lesbian who wears wigs, crazy costumes and heavy makeup turned out to be one of my favorite characters. The super stylish character that reminds me of Effie Trinket in demeanor and apparel, She was snarky, sarcastic (which is probably the same thing, but, eat me Ok!) funny and sexy. I love when secondary characters grab my attention just as much as the MC's and make me love them too. I can tell there is way more to Danica's story and I can't wait to swim in her depths. (Ew. That sounded gross.) It struck me as funny that Danica gave Alec more manly advice than his actual male friends did. She's such a down to earth girl and seeing her and Kat become friends made me happy.
Max was one of those characters I knew had something hidden that I could feel the entire time I was reading. His general nonchalance about Kat not being intimate with him made me question him and at first I had thought he was possibly more on the rainbow side of the spectrum but the moment he started pitching a fit about Kat and Alec spending time together, the light clicked on. I had him pegged long before the secret surrounding his behavior was revealed.
Another character I enjoyed in what little capacity he was seen, is Cam Ruiz. The payer for the group Cam doesn't seem to have much going on below the surface of hot hookups and goodbyes. BUT! He too has more depth that I got a glimpse of in that, his main squeeze did him wrong but it was made worse by the fact that he was serving in the military when it happened. I love military hero's and I better get a book about this sexy Latino heartthrob!! He may be a man whore but I would NOT kick him out of bed if he brought me tacos and shit.
Make It Count is Erickson's debut into the book world and what a way to come out of the gate, guns blazing with ammo straps on her shoulders to blow your damn head off! A sexy group of college mini-adults growing and learning, falling in love, dealing with adult consequences and discovering the big world out there. When I reflect on how I felt while reading this book the one word that comes to mind is FUN. This was just a fun and sexy book that had me so deeply hooked into the story not to mention the writing was brilliantly in depth and made me feel like I became each character. The flow of the story was effortless that I haven't seen some established authors do so well. Make It Count is definitely a story I could read again and again...and... actually, want to right now just talking about it. I love that this book left me with a happy bubbly feeling that is still hanging on a week after reading it. If you are looking for a group of diverse characters with issues you can relate to and understand with mild drama that won't have you pulling your FUCKING hair out, then Make It Count won't disappoint you at all.
~ Things were complicated. Max was everything safe. The devil she knew. And now Alec sat across from her, quiet and studious, his eyes on her like he was trying to figure her out. She wished she could figure herself out. Alec was a six-foot pompadoured temptation. eARC 18%
~ His face hardened and his jaw ticked. He lunged forward, hands fisted on her bed on either side of her hips, his nose touching hers. "I know you squint your eyes when you're about to say something funny. I know you snort when you laugh, especially when you laugh at your own jokes. I know you go on crazy cute rants about your hair whispies and covered Segways. I know you're in college because you fiercely want to be your own person and decide your own future. And I know you are, without a doubt the hottest, most interesting girl I've ever met. I know you, Kat. Don't doubt that." eARC 35%
~ It was like she'd flown too close to the sun. And as the heat melted the wax of her wings, she plummeted to the cool depths of the earth. eARC 69%
About The Author:
MEGAN ERICKSON grew up in a family that averages 5’3” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf. She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.