Review: The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak - Brian KatcherPublisher: Katherine Tegen Books (May 19th 2015)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5-4 of 5 stars

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…


So this book, I really liked it but I also yelled at it. My inner geek loved all the references and comic-con-esque inspiration.

The Good: True to the blurb, it was a pretty hilarious he said/she said romance (adventure). I quite adored Zak. He’s sort of your typical gaming geek, he’s pretty laid back, and he just wants to be done the Quiz Bowl tournament so he can think about  his favourite con. But instead he somehow gets thrown into this wacky adventure and makes the best of it.

It was a pretty crazy and hilarious road that resulted in this:

“Hi Arnold. This is my friend Zak.”

He turns to me and studies my ragged, stained clothes. “Walking Dead?”

“No, Just tired, thanks.”

…which included but was not limited to: Almost getting beaten up by a viking, getting thrown into a epic battle, and the return of the viking that resulted in a Of Mice and Men quote.

The Bad: Ana. Ana, Ana. Ana. She was a stuck-up pain in my butt who incidentally had a stick up her butt. Yeah. I was pretty much annoyed with Ana’s hoity toity, superior than though attitude the entire book. How she managed to save herself at the end, I’m still not sure (I think it’s because the rest of the book was pretty good).

The Weird: For the most part, the story was pretty believable. And than it got to a point where I was like:

Anchorman - boy that escalated quicklyThe shenanigans were just outta control. It was like those movies where the situation was pretty serious (we’re talking, “hmmm, maybe the police should be involved”… or since it’s a comic con, a super hero, or at least a sidekick should be called level of serious), but since it’s a romantic comedy (thriller?!?!?), you assume no one will get hurt, there will be a happy ending, and therefore things are pretty funny (sorry for this really long sentence). That being said, I went with it and it was enjoyable.

Oh and the Romance: (which sort of took second lead) was pretty cute (even though I hated Ana for most of it), they still had some really cute moments.

He grins again with that same annoyingly optimistic attitude. “Call me Duke. Hey, um, Ana, maybe when all this blows over, you and I could…”

He then stops talking, though his mouth continues to move.


“I said maybe you’d like to…” he trails off.

“Gosh, Zak. I’d love to mumble mumble with you.”

He clears his throat, smiles, and starts again.

I liked that it wasn’t quite an insta-love and they actually had the chance to build up some sort of relationship. They were both struggling with some personal issues and this one night gave them an opportunity to open up and find some closure.

Overall, it was a pretty quick and fun read. Despite some of it’s set backs, the one night extravaganza was filled with lots of hilarious hijinks, silliness and adventures. And pop culture references! And a gaggle of pretty crazy secondary characters.

{* Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books & Edelweiss for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Find Brian Katcher:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:
Book Depository | Barnes & Nobles | Chapters Indigo |

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Replies to “Review: The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher”

  1. Out of control shenanigans and girl with a stick up her Although Zak does sound cute..I like a geek

    1. Definitely some out of control shenanigans! Zak was pretty cool 😉

  2. This book sounds totally cute and up my alley with the nerdy geek stuff and comic-con and everything! Thanks for the review Cyn, I’ll definitely keep an eye out for this one 🙂

    1. Totally cute! Just beware Ana! Hope you enjoy it!!

  3. I can relate to this! “So this book, I really liked it but I also yelled at it” as I felt the same before. Shenanigans and comic-con-esque sounds fun. A nice escape read which I need every now-and-then. Geekdom is good 🙂
    Great review, Cyn!

    1. Heeehe, Some books are just like that, aren’t they.
      It was definitely a nice, cute escape! Yay, geekdom!
      Thanks, Kim!

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