The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher + Giveaway

the improbable theory of ana and zak

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher + Giveaway

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 19th 2015
Finished copy from Fully Booked
336 pages


The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is Stonewall Book Award-winning author Brian Katcher’s hilarious he said/she said romance about two teens recovering from heartbreak and discovering themselves on an out-of-this-world accidental first date.

It all begins when Ana Watson's little brother, Clayton, secretly ditches the quiz bowl semifinals to go to the Washingcon sci-fi convention on what should have been a normal, résumé-building school trip.

If slacker Zak Duquette hadn't talked up the geek fan fest so much, maybe Clayton wouldn't have broken nearly every school rule or jeopardized Ana’s last shot at freedom from her uptight parents.

Now, teaming up with Duquette is the only way for Ana to chase down Clayton in the sea of orcs, zombies, bikini-clad princesses, Trekkies, and Smurfs. After all, one does not simply walk into Washingcon.

But in spite of Zak's devil-may-care attitude, he has his own reasons for being as lost as Ana-and Ana may have more in common with him than she thinks. Ana and Zak certainly don’t expect the long crazy night, which begins as a nerdfighter manhunt, to transform into so much more…

I’ve been a fan of one day novels since I read Graffiti Moon, so I was incredibly excited to hear that The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak happens in 24 hours with the two leads attending a bizarre nerd convention. The premise highly appealed to me so I went in to the story expecting to enjoy myself. And that’s exactly what happened.

Ana and Zak’s social circles usually don’t mesh but when Zak is forced to join as an extra member for the quiz bowl team, which Ana leads, and then Ana’s brother goes missing after hearing some exciting stories about WashingCon, the event Zak was missing because of the quiz bowl tournament, the two are forced to work together.

“At a con there’s one hundred percent acceptance, no ifs, ands, or buts. This is the one place where anyone can go and not be judged.”

Zak, who’s presented as a slacker-nerd, was a pretty comic character. His personality greatly clashes with Ana, who’s terribly obedient and slightly uptight (but with good reason). It was nice to read these opposite main characters and I liked both of their POVs and character development, which I thought was very well-rounded.

The romance was very much an opposites attract trope and I think it worked really well. While Ana and Zak have their differences, these are resolved as the two get to know each other and realize a commonality in their troubled family situations. Also, the two had really amusing back-and-forth banter that just made me grin like an idiot and snort way too loud.

The plot, I think, is the most entertaining of all. It’s somewhat unbelievably ridiculous, the things that happen during the convention that Ana and Zak scour through as they try to find Ana’s brother, but if you go along with it, it has a certain charm that keeps you reading and turning pages. I also liked all the geeky pop culture references, despite not being a huge gamer unlike Zak.

“My theory is that things can’t possibly get any worse for us. We’re going to get through this.”

As lighthearted as this story was, there were still some important and very realistic themes. Ana and Zak both had something that held them down, wounds that still hurt them. Through their one day manhunt at WashingCon, both of them (and the reader) learn that sometimes life just sucks and we just have to face things head-on and have some fun as much as we can.

The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak was such an easy enjoyable read! No dull moments, just hilarious dialogue and the craziest scenarios that happen during a comic convention. It’s definitely exaggerated in some parts but this serves as great comedy. I can’t say that I absolutely loved it, but it was positively a satisfying, worth-reading book.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is available in Fully Booked.

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Hazel @ Stay Bookish

Hazel Ureta is an advocate of stories. She is the blogger and Editor-In-Chief of Stay Bookish because she loves talking about books. She enjoys reading Young Adult novels the most and writes them too.
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  1. Christina @ Fairy Skeletons on July 26, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Oooh! I hadn’t heard much about this book before, but it sounds delightfully strange and funny. I should look into this one. Thanks for the lovely review, Hazel!

  2. Glaiza Binayas on July 26, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I haven’t read a book from Brian Katcher and this book sounds interesting! Thank you for the review and giveaway, Hazel! ❤

  3. Zaira Fernando on July 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I love the title of this book and the cover is so cute! The fact that the story happens in a sci-fi convention makes me want to read it because it sounds so interesting. Great review!! :)

  4. Angeline @ Some Bookish Things on July 26, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    I absolutely loved Graffiti Moon (it’s one of my favourite books), and since you liked that and made the comparison with this I’m even more excited to read it! :)

  5. Emma on July 26, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    The cover is so cute and the book sounds so interesting! Also, I haven’t heard of Brian Katcher before, so it would be nice to become acquainted with him and his book.

  6. Kelly Mather on July 26, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    I have wanted to read this book for forever!!! I saw it in someone’s book haul and it sounded so cute!!!

  7. Jennilyn V. on July 27, 2015 at 2:41 am

    So interested in reading this because of the whirlwind one-day romance element. My all-time favorite romance movie, Before Sunrise, happened within a day also.

  8. Aishwarya S on July 27, 2015 at 8:00 am

    It sounds like a fun book! On my TBR list! Great review.

  9. Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things on July 27, 2015 at 9:11 am

    This book looks so cute! I’ve actually had my eye on it for a while, so I can’t wait to check it out! :D

  10. Ela Bianca on July 27, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I have been dying to get my hands on this book. The premise just sounds so cool, and the nerdiness in is just ridiculously good. <3

  11. Angel on July 27, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    This sounds sooo geeky!

  12. Francis Alvarez on July 27, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    It looks interesting and I want to read books that will make me laugh and smile. And since this is a one-day novel, which I read one before (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight) that I liked, so this one is a must-try!

  13. Ailla @ Le Bibliophile~ on July 28, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I remember seeing this somewhere on Goodreads and thinking that I just HAD too read this one. Fast forward to the present (where I still haven’t read this one), I still want to! How could I not? Adorable cover with an adorable plot? Definitely on my TBR :D *fingers crossed*

  14. H on July 29, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Sounds like an awesome book :)

  15. Bianca Asis on July 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    My geeky experience would be during my highschool vacation, I started marathon-ing the entire star wars and ended up sleeping during 6 AM. I was so pumped by the premise that I started marathon-ing Star Trek too. Until then, I have been sustaining myself with sci-fi movies with the consequence sleeping until the crack of dawn. I have also met a geeky guy, who happens to be my best friend- and boyfriend after 6 months! We’ll surely fangirl over this book since we’re a big fan of Graffiti Moon! <3

  16. Alena @ Anatomy of a Booknerd on July 29, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    This book has been on my TBR list since forever!! I’ve always find the synopsis appealing and quirky! Hoping with crossed fingers that I’d get this one! <3

  17. Nickole Jean on July 30, 2015 at 4:44 am

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book and I really want to read it :D

  18. Kristine Lopez on July 30, 2015 at 11:00 am

    This is in my TBR, and I really, really want to have a copy of this book. Thank you for the chance! x

  19. Ned on July 30, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    a geeky event that i went to that was unforgettable was the kmr in ph book signing because i met katie cotugno and her infectious laugh.

  20. Shelumiel @ Bookish and Awesome on July 30, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    A geeky story? Uh, yes please! One of the more recent nerdy thing I did was attending #KMRinPH wearing a Groot shirt, with a daily fake tattoo that reads “NerD,” and giving Robyn a word-cloud fanart of her two books. YAAAY NERDS AND GEEKS! Thank you for the giveaway, Hazel!

  21. Mel on July 30, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    I have been dying to read this so thanks for the review!!

  22. caren on August 2, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Been seeing this book on my social media accounts for a while. This is on my to be read list and thanks for the review, my excitement is so high now <3

  23. Jonape Cabug on August 3, 2015 at 7:57 am

    I know not to judge a book by its cover, but I totally judged this book by its cover! which is why I need to read it. :)

  24. kenny campos on August 4, 2015 at 10:27 am

    this book is really interesting and so is the cover :)

  25. Valeria Beccari on August 4, 2015 at 10:31 am

    This book seems fun! A really nice read, for what I can see c:

  26. Joana Bento on August 4, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I’d love to read this book because it seems like a great summer read!

  27. Kayl on August 5, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Haven’t held a quite fun and lighthearted books for a long time now.And by the review that you’ve gave about this books made me go gaga of abandoning thesis making for a while and check out this one!lol.

  28. JM Cabral on August 7, 2015 at 3:13 am

    I know nothing about this book, but glancing upon the word “geeky” on your blurb suddenly tickled my interest! I just added it to my Goodreads TBR! :)

  29. […] Draco. I mean, have you seen Neville in the last movie?  I nominate these fabulous bloggers: 1. Hazel @ Stay Bookish 2. Annie @ The Runaway Reader 3. Anjie @ Love Thy Shelf 4. Alicia @ Caffeine and Books 5. An […]

  30. Jen E @ mommablogsalot on August 7, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    I’ve never been to a convention, but I’m a nerd, married to a nerd, mother to nerds so this book sounds This sounds right up my alley!

  31. Ma Rose Ann on August 8, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Been wanting to have this book! I adore the title and cover. And of course, the geekyness!!!! Thank you for the chance!!! Good luck to everyone! :)

  32. Jessica Samuelsen on August 8, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Last night I was venting to my husband about things I have run across lately on the blogosphere… Then I had to pause and soak in the reality that I am such a NERD! HA HA! I love it.

  33. Linda on August 10, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks so much for the chance to enter this. I haven’t heard of it before and after reading this blog post I would love to read it.

  34. Lyka Cabais on August 10, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    My unforgettable geeky experience was that i won a book shimmy shirt @ kmrinph unexpectedly and wearing it often in school hahahhahaha im so proud. Lol hahaah hm I really want to have this book!!!! And when that happens my “to read” bookshelf on goodreads will decrease yay <3

  35. Jee Ann on August 13, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Awesome!!!! Nerd convention, oh! I’ve never been to an official one in the Phil, except for cosplays in malls and our school.

  36. Thet Gueco on August 13, 2015 at 8:19 am

    I’m actually hearing that book. Thanks for this!

  37. Inas on August 14, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    the cover looks so cute!

  38. Elisquared on August 19, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    So I go to DragonCon every year, and have been since around 2008. It’s one of the biggest SciFi/Fantasy conventions in the southeastern US and it is a TON of fun!

    However, my story is not a fun one, but an embarrassing one (sadly…). So if you’ve ever heard of the show Supernatural on The CW, then you’ve probably heard the name Castiel, who is played by Misha Collins. Well this particular DragonCon, Misha was there. So of course, being the huge fan I am, I HAD to get a picture taken.

    While waiting I was getting so nervous because I love him so much. So when it came time for us to pose, he asked how I wanted the picture taken, if I wanted a hug or what. AND ALL I SAID WAS “I’M SWEATY!” Yes that is ALL I said. And of course because he is such a nice guy, he didn’t even break stride and said, “Well then, we’ll do an arm around the shoulders.” And that’s my embarrassing story about my one time at DragonCon. I hope you enjoyed!

  39. Jam Macmac on August 21, 2015 at 5:34 am

    I’ve been seeing this on the frontshelvers of the fullybooked and the title got me. I wanna read it!!!

  40. Paula Alagao on August 23, 2015 at 9:04 am

    My first boyfriend is a geek and every day of those four years that we’ve been together was very geeky experience to me. I would love read this book! Thank you for this awesome give-away Hazel. :)

  41. Kate Kupenova on August 25, 2015 at 11:39 am

    The plot sounds interesting and the book cover is awesome :)

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