Make It Count

Megan Erickson
Make It Count
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Harper Collins Publishers
Release Date
June 2014
Book 1 of Bowler University
New Adult

Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hotline. 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 nerds could be 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 length. 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 that messy human emotions can't be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust that he may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Jun 15, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
190 people found the following review helpful
MAKE IT COUNT is one of those books that resonates with you and stays with you long after you have finished reading it. A true keeper, and a book I'm certain to reread time and again.

Kat Caruso's new tutor is Alec Stone, her boyfriend's best friend. She only had a few interactions with him before this, so it was disconcerting to realize she liked him and that he seems to get her, to see the real Kat Caruso beneath the defenses and coping mechanisms she employed. And when mutual attraction flares between them, Kat didn't know what to do...and she didn't know if she could trust Alec not to hurt her.

Finally, a new adult book I love! I had almost given up on the New Adult genre, as the books that came my way thus far left me disappointed and not interesting enough to hold my attention past the first few pages. But I'm glad I saw this book, and gladder still that I chose to read it from out of the hundreds of books waiting for me in my Kindle.

I find it hard to believe MAKE IT COUNT is Megan Erickson's debut book. I have to commend this talented author on the great plotting, unforgettable characters, her courage in tackling important issues, and superb storytelling wrapped up in humor and wit. I like that she takes the time to let the story unfold, and to show rather than tell, creating in the reader an indelible picture of Kat and Alec and the journey they went through to be a couple, both individually and together.

MAKE IT COUNT is a story of friendship. Kat and Alec were friends first, bonding over the tutoring, then discovering they like each other. The attraction between them was the icing on the cake. And boy, are they hot together! Especially when they danced...I thought for sure my Kindle will burst into flames. But I'm glad to say it's not all lust, as their relationship does develop in a way that is fresh and realistic. Unfortunately, Alec is best friends with Kat's boyfriend, with whom she was having problems. I like how the author handled their working through their feelings and the tricky situation "trapping" them. I like the realistic portrayal--that Alec and Kat don't live in a vacuum. They have a support system around them (family and friends and mentors), and they have their own friends they run to for comfort and advice.

MAKE IT COUNT tackles issues that are important to young adults--finding oneself, seeing oneself, accepting oneself and loving oneself. The characters both went through a time of personal growth, while they are apart from the other, while they think through who they really are, who they want to be. The author captured this confusion perfectly, and the process Kat went through to arrive at who she is at the end of the book. I find myself sympathizing with her, relating to her, and rooting for her.

MAKE IT COUNT totally smashes the theory that only rakish men (or bad boys) get to be the hero of a book. Nerds are sexy! It's the new pink! (Or black. Or whatever.) Alec Stone certainly is sexy. His sexiness is not just in his looks, but more in the way he sees Kat, the way he cares for her and supports her. And while Kat melts into a "pile of goo", I'm sure parts of my heart is melting, too. He can certainly tutor me any day. Sign me up!

Best of all, MAKE IT COUNT has heart. It's there in the issues the author tackled with tact and sensitivity. She didn't gloss over Kat's problems, or that identifying it is the end of that issue. No, she brought us deeper into Kat's world and made us see how Kat felt as she learned about her disability, as she accepted and coped with it. Her characters are also not cardboard characters, but persons with depth and substance, much like the book is.

Even the title is so apt. Actually, Alec said these three words as he thought of what he wanted to text Kat (after one of their arguments). Make the words count. Make the day count. Make each decision, each moment count.

I can't say enough good things about this book. If you haven't read any New Adult book, start here. You won't regret it. As for me, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Megan Erickson is an author to watch!
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