For What It's Worth

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Make it Count (Bowler University, #1) by Megan Erickson



20705734Kat 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.

Goodreads | Source: Purchased

Review:
I’m not sure why I picked this book up considering it’s a New Adult and the plot involves a girl hooking up with her boyfriend’s best friend. Major eye roll. Then I re-read the summary – oh yeah! the hook-up is a nerd. My kryptonite is nice guys lol So I cautiously dipped my toes into the murky NA waters knowing there was going to be drama lama and potential cheating plot lines. And for the most part I really liked this story.

Erickson handles the romance, friendships and drama in an interesting way. Instead of over the top confrontations, and simplistic solutions, the characters deal with their issues head on and decide if their friendships are worth fighting for. Especially between Alec and Max.

I suppose Alec is a nerd in the strictest sense. He’s smart, doesn’t really date, wears glasses, and has a pompadour (that little visual wasn’t a good one for me lol) but to me he was just a nice guy who happened to be smart. He didn’t seem clumsy or awkward or anything traditionally nerd-ish. I loved him though. He’s a good friend and great boyfriend material.

Kat discovers, through tutoring from Alec, that she has Dyslexia. I really applaud how well the author handled this. I think this book can offer a lot of hope and inspiration to people who see themselves in Kat and the frustration she goes through until she is diagnosed.

The romance was so sweet. Kat and Alec know they are headed into dangerous territory with their attraction but after a little fumbling face it head on. I thought I would get irritated about the Alec/Max/Kat triangle but it was fine.

What I didn’t love so much were the last few chapters. Alec and Kat were so good together. Then Kat gets it in her head (with good reason) that Alec thinks of her as a project to fix because of her dyslexia. She wants him to see her as his girlfriend not as puzzle he needs to solve who then moves on to a smarter girl.

Kat and Alec say some dumb things in anger but Kat holds onto it so tightly for so long that I just ended up irritated. And all the cuteness of their friendship/romance was almost forgotten as it dragged on. I understood where she was coming from but she would talk to every single person about what Alec felt – except Alec. He’s smart but not psychic. He can’t know how you feel if you don’t tell him. Ahhh but young love!

Despite that one quibble I would recommend this one if you’re looking for a NA read that’s on the lighter side - it had a lot of humor despite the tougher topics - but features great relationship dynamics and a protagonist that is strong and independent.

22 comments:

  1. I can't say I wanna read NA...but, this one sounds more promising

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    1. I think NA is finally stepping away from the cookie cutter mold and just telling good stories about interesting people.

      I understand it's a certain age group but I kind of wish it wasn't considered a category.

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  2. Glad the romance was sweet though the best friends boyfriend makes me roll my eyes too

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    1. I am the LAST person to like that type of thing but Erickson did a great job with that storyline.

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  3. I'm so glad to hear that the melodrama over the relationships is at the minimum. I think sometimes we readers can be too hard on characters over their changing feelings. I think it's really natural at that age. But I do see your frustration over the last chapters. I'm glad it didn't completely ruin things for you!

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    1. We definitely can be hard on characters. In this case I was completely on board with her feelings and thought they were valid but she purposely avoided even talking to Alec to clear things up so that was frustrating compared to the first half where they were a support system for each other. I still liked this one a lot though.

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  4. I would have assumed the worst as well upon reading this book's blurb, so good on you for giving it a chance anyway. Nerdy guys do have a certain sex appeal to them. Other than the closing chapters, this sounds like one of the better NA novels out there. Nice!

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    1. The end was a tad annoying but not a deal breaker. I still really liked it.

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  5. I have a soft spot for nerds too!

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  6. I'm impressed that you did pick that one up with that blurb... (not that it sounds bad, just NA-ish) I do love the nerds, though. :)

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    1. It is NA-ish but more funny than angst - which is surprising considering that description.

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  7. Fist bump to a fellow nerd lover, lol!

    Glad you like this one. I have it but haven't gotten to it yet.

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  8. I am burned out again on NA as I have read two in the last two weeks that followed the same old same old with the broken people that fall in love. This one sounds a bit on the lighter side and despite the issues with the romance it looks quirky and cute. I might have to try it when I am up for another NA.

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    1. I read one and then take weeks off before reading another NA. They can be so darn repetitive. For the life of me I can't understand why they aren't more varied.

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  9. You are braver than I! I would have passed for the very reasons you took caution. Still, if you were wary and enjoyed it, I think I would try this one. I will beware of the frustration later on so perhaps it wouldn't bother me as much. Brilly review!

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    1. I think it was an impulse download so since I had already paid for it I had to give it a try. It really wasn't bad at all.

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  10. Hot nerds! I agree with you. But bah to the manufactured-sounding fight at the end.
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  11. It's a fine line making the conflict feel a good addition to the story to a frustrating situation. I'd be annoyed at Kat for talking to everyone except for Alec in the end as well. Great review, Karen. I'll keep this in mind when I'm in the mood for some NA. :)

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  12. This sounds pretty good. I haven't really read much NA, but I do think I'd have to mix it up with some lighter ones if I did really dig in. The ending sounds a bit annoying, but overall, it seems like the relationship is handled well.

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  13. this is the third review I've read for this! it does seem really sweet but ahh sorry you didn't like the last chapters. I like that it's a lighter NA though!

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