Friday, May 23, 2014

Make It Count (Bowler University #1) by Megan Erickson

Make it Count (Bowler University, #1)
Author: Megan Erickson
Publication: June 3, 2014
By: William Morrow PB
4 Stars
Amazon | 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 received this eARC from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Top Five Reasons You Should Read MAKE IT COUNT

1) The cover is super cute and a nice change from most NA covers that usually feature half nekid couples who are seconds away from sucking each others faces off. (Not that I am opposed to kissing, but still.)

2) The need for more diversity in books is something that has been widely discussed on social media recently and Kat, the MC in MAKE IT COUNT is not tall, blond, the size of my pinky or white. (There's nothing wrong with being a combination of those traits, but it's nice to see some variety.) The supporting cast is also made up of an eclectic mix of ethnicity and lifestyles too. DIVERSITY FTW!

3) Alec, Kat's love interest is a nerd. A hot nerd with a unique sense of style, but an unapologetic brainiac nonetheless. Score one for the smart dudes!

4) There be kissing. And dancing. And steamy tutoring sessions. Oh.My!

5) Kat has a learning disability, one that goes undiagnosed until she's on the brink of failing out of college. Megan Erickson does a great job of capturing the feelings, emotions and insecurities that go along with that.

6) Fast, flirty and fun, MAKE IT COUNT is the start of a new series that's sure to entertain while tugging at the heartstrings!

I know I said Top Five and I listed six, but I do what I want. Also, I'm bad at math. 

I don't make a habit of getting personal in my reviews but it's difficult not to with MAKE IT COUNT because I *got* Kat. Like, really, REALLY *got* her.

I have moderate dyslexia, just like Kat. I struggled all through school and was easily distracted by things other than what I was supposed to be working on. This got me in trouble quite a bit in elementary school. Many a teacher insisted that if I just "applied myself" I could make better grades. 
Be a better student.
Be smarter. 
The message I took away from that was? Not good enough.

Also like Kat, I wasn't diagnosed until I was a Junior at the University of Maryland at College Park and failing my third remedial math class.  

Yes, remedial math.  
With algebraic equations I couldn't understand and word problems like...

Question #1: "If Bill takes the train from Baltimore to California and makes 11 stops along the way, how long will it take him to get from Ohio to Utah and how much fuel will the train use going 45 miles per hour while Bill eats a PB&J sandwich at 4:00 in the morning?"

My answer: Airplanes are way faster than trains, Bill. Just sayin'. 
I used to try and deflect people's ignorant comments the way Kat does, but I was more of a fire breathing dragon than the flirty jokester.

Unlike Kat, I didn't have a hot nerd to tutor me. I had a nun. Who knew they existed outside of the Catholic school I spent eight years of my life in?

Through testing I discovered that the reason equations and I didn't add up was because my brain thinks it's cute to flip the last set of numbers/letters in the parenthesis. This makes correctly solving for x impossible. Every time. Now if I'm copying something down I have to check and recheck and check again to make sure I haven't messed the numbers up. It's a little OCD and a lot annoying.

Getting beyond the idea of feeling stupid hasn't been easy either. I still struggle. Concentrating on anything is near impossible not to mention frustrating if I'm anxious, overly tired, stressed or rocking a migraine. My reading skills are most affected then because my brain thinks it's cute to flip letters too. It's not.
And there are plenty of times when simple math stumps me. It shouldn't, but it does and there will always be people who make snide comments or look at me like I am the stupidest person on the planet, you know, besides my teenager, but I'm pretty sure that's in his job description. I can't control what other people do, only how I react to it, and my reaction at the moment is to say thank you. 

Thank you, Megan Erickson, for writing Kat the way you did, making it count and for getting it right. ;)



  1. I keep hearing good reviews about this and it makes me so happy!! I won a copy and I get it on release day, hurray!

    I can't imagine having migraines AND dyslexia - like migraines don't make it tough enough?

  2. The book sounds awesome and it's always fun to see a character written in such an authentic way. As adults, we struggle with issues that it's taken us a lifetime to identify and manage... it's almost difficult to go back and remember how it felt when you had no names for those issues, let alone how to cope. Is it any wonder that YA books are so appealing since every one of us has some reason for feeling *different.* We all are. It just takes years to figure out how/why/and appreciate that it's not the end of the world and we'll persevere. I wish there was a way to find that acceptance earlier in kids' lives, but it's a tough thing to teach.

    Although, maybe, no tougher than your math question . Great post, Jen!

  3. This is sounds great! I don't read a lot of NA but I'm liking what you are putting down here, Jen! And thanks for sharing a bit of yourself xoxo

  4. YES on the cover. If aliens came down and looked at the NA section, they'd think that no males between the ages of 19-24 wear shirts! IT'S OK TO WEAR A SHIRT.

    I'm glad that they did a good job of showing what people with LD go through. :)

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  5. Hugs to you, Jen! I think you are a total rockstar, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a loser. Thank you for sharing your struggles. We all have our own trouble areas, and it's always so wonderful to learn that we're not alone!