Make It Count (Bowler University #1), by Megan Erickson
Publish Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: paperback, purchased
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(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 think Megan Erickson has a thing for hot nerds. Make It Count is the second book of hers that I've read that features a lover instead of a fighter for a hero. I'm totally okay with that, because she's so good at it.
Kat isn't a big fan of herself. She always feels like she's a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. School doesn't come easy to her, but she has managed to get by until now. Until statistics class. And, now Kat needs help, which ends up coming in the form of her boyfriend Max's best friend Alec.
Alec is breaking the first best friend commandment - thou shalt not covet thy best friend's girlfriend. Alec is not a fan of how Max treats Kat - like her thoughts don't matter. Like she's vapid and scatterbrained. Like she's only good for one thing. And, that bothers Alec, because the encounters he's had with Kat have shown a different side of her that intrigues him and makes him laugh.
Alec unnerves Kat. She's not supposed to like him better than her boyfriend, but she does. And, no one is supposed to be able to see more of her than she's willing to show. And yet, he does. She doesn't like feeling stupid and weak, and when she's with Alec, she goes back and forth between feeling cherished and foolish. Alec definitely keeps Kat off-balance, which is something she never had with safe and predictable Max.
That scares Kat and causes her to run from Alec on more than one occasion. She has learned not to get too close to any guy, because there will come a time with all of them where they make her feel like crap, and if she's not close, it's easier for her to walk away. Alec not only gets close, but he genuinely cares what is going on with her and he makes an effort to know her. That makes Kat happy and terrified, because she's convinced that that time will come when Alec realizes he could do so much better than dumb old Kat.
I'm going to give away a little spoiler. I don't usually do that, but in this instance, if it were me reading this review, the question of whether Kat cheats on Max with Alec would be a tipping point for me. I hate cheating, and typically I avoid books that have it. The answer is no. And, thank goodness for that. I really think it would've colored my perception of both Kat and Alec to where I wouldn't have liked them nearly as much as what I did.
Instead, they both did the right thing when it counted. Kat broke things off with Max and Alec still said he couldn't be with her because of the bro code. Sorry - that's all the spoilers you get from me. Because I mean, obvi - there are other things that happen since Alec and Kat live happily ever after in the end. I had sorta figured out what most of those things were ahead of time, but it didn't make it any less impactful when all sorts of secrets kept by all sorts of people came to light at different parts in the book.
All you have to know is Alec is amazing. Kat is incredible. And together, they are the perfect couple.