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.


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

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41 Responses

  1. 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!! :)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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*

  6. 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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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. :)

  12. 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.

  13. 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! :)

  14. 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! :)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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!

  19. 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. :)

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