Title: Make It Count
Series: Bowler University #1
Author: Megan Erickson
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
I actually read this for the first time ages ago and then treated myself to the rest of the series when I was able to. Having said that I went back to refresh my memory of the characters their interactions and relationships. You may already know I work in education and have recently undertaking a training course covering different learning styles and barriers to learning. It made me analyse the way I learn and I was shocked to discover I have a real problem focusing on tasks. I always joked I had ADD because of how easily distracted I am with everything apart from reading. It turns out I really do have an attention problem, the less I was able to focus the more anxious I got and the less I was able to focus. A vicious cycle. you may be wondering why I am rambling on about learning styles and ADD, I do have a point I promise. Megan Erickson brilliantly portrays the struggle a person, in this case Kat, has with traditional education. I could easily relate to Kat and the way her brain jumps from one thing to another
The story is told using third person narrative due to the myriad of tiny but completely relevant plot threads all twining together as the story progresses. The narrative alternates between Kat and Alec allowing insight into their inner thoughts and how easily words can be misinterpreted.
As I have already stated, Kat struggles in school but is determined to make something of herself when she could easily take the easy road by working for her parents. with undiagnosed dyslexia, Kat works extremely hard and views herself as stupid. She plays the part of airhead very well and tends to choose ‘meatheads’ for boyfriends so they don’t look below her beautiful surface. it is a way of protecting herself emotionally. My heart actually hurt for the way in which she views herself. I have a whole new appreciation for students with attention problems. I loved the strategies Kat has in place to help with her assignments and should really make a note of them for myself
Kat really doesn’t see herself clearly and is defining herself via her struggle with education. She is an amazing, caring, compassionate person. Kat is one of those people who would give you her last penny without thought, she goes above and beyond for her friends.
Alec is adorably rockabilly geeky, intelligent and fit thanks to running. Drawn to Kat on an elemental level yet conflicted due to her relationship with his best friend, Max. The chemistry between Alex and Kat is undeniable. You can see from very early on in the story they are meant to be together.
While the education debate and stigma of learning difficulties is tackled within the narrative. The theme of identity is covered and Megan Erickson does it so well. Looking at the drive to find the one person who sees us for who we truly are and loves that person unconditionally, I would go so far as to say the person who makes you a better person just by being with them. All while forging our own path even if it is found unexpectedly.
There is a lot going on in Make It Count laying the foundation for the series. Make It Count tackles a number of issues while maintaining the chemistry and romance within the plot.