Thursday, May 21, 2015

ARC Review: The Improbable Theory Of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

Song Of The Moment- I Just Wanna Run by Downtown Fiction

The Improbable Theory Of Ana and Zac
23015962by Brian Katcher
Release date: May 19th 2015
How I got it - Review copy from edelweiss
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads Link
Description -

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 received this book from the publisher through edelweiss to review honestly

My Rating:
3 Stars


This book started off really really good, it was fun and nerdy, and I really really liked it. But, then it got mildly(and then really) ridiculous.

I'm honestly very conflicted about this book. I really wanted to love it because it sounds like everything I want in a book(nerdy geeks, an event similar to comic con, and lots of nerdy chaos, plus a sweet romance), and at first I did love it and there were a lot of great aspects that I loved but in the end a lot of it was just too unrealistic and kind of ruined it for me.

The book starts off with Ana(who is a always follows the rules kind of girl) and Zak(who's a nerdy slacker kind of guy), they end up on quiz bowl team together along with Ana's brother. The quiz bowl tournament is the same weekend as Washingcon, a nerdy comic convention that Zak has been going to for years, this is the first time he's going to miss it. After hearing Zak go on and on about the con Ana's brother Clayton(whose 13)decides to sneak away to it. Ana and Zak follow along trying to find him and get back to the hotel where the quiz bowl is held before anyone realizes they're gone. 

I actually really enjoyed all of the characters. Ana and Zak both have their own family issues and I was happy that they weren't the typical ones, Ana's family situation was particularly interesting and I really enjoyed that aspect.

Zak is nerdy and funny and just basically everything I want in a guy(fictional or otherwise) so I, of course, really loved him. Ana seems kind of stuck up at first but her character is really well developed and grows to be badass and just all kinds of awesome as she comes into her own over the course of one night at the con. Clayton was an interesting character, though slightly confusing for how often, or not so often, he popped in and out of the story.

I also really loved their romance. Even though it only takes place over the course of one night I felt like it's one of those romances where as they're falling for each other you're falling for them too. And it always maintains that new romance feel so that it doesn't seem the littlest bit like insta love because they like each other but aren't in love yet. 

On to the harder things. I was expecting lots of nerdy fun with con as a backdrop and you get some of that but sometimes it edges too far over into ridiculousness. Now, I say this having been to San Diego Comic-Con twice, and while I'd never claim to be an expert, some of this stuff is simply just so unlikely it's nearly impossible. Everyone is running around in this book like there are no rules at the con. At one point there's a battle reenactment that I was assuming would some form of live action role playing but these people are actually beating each other and hurting each other! From what I know of cons this would not be allowed! It's just...ridiculous and some things are so wildly unbelievable. 

I really did liked this book and I wanted to love it but the ridiculous moments(which grew in number around the halfway point and on) kind of ruined it for me. It could have been awesome and nerdy and loads of fun but I kind of needed it to be more believable and realistic. By no means, was this a horrible book but it didn't quite live up to my expectations either.

Would I recommend this? Not sure.
To Who? No idea.
Would I read more from the author? Depends.


  1. I'm sorry this was a bit of a let down for you. I might've been interested in reading it because of the nerdiness and that cute cover, but after reading your review I feel like I'll just skip it. Great review though! :)

    1. Thank you. Yeah, I wanted to love this one so much but it just became way to ridiculous, like I get that it's fiction, but come on, at least make it believable, this is contemporary after all!

  2. This book seems like an "Okay?" kind of book to you. I'm sorry that you didn't really end up enjoying it as much as you expected to, Ana and Zak sound like really interesting characters though, haha. And I'm glad the romance came off as slightly better :) Too bad the ridiculous moments were awful! That's kind of sad to hear D: Great review, Shay!

    1. Yes, that's a great way of putting it, it's an OKAY book. =) They are really interesting characters though! That's part of what makes me so sad about not loving this book!

  3. I rated this a bit higher than you did (I gave it 3.5 stars), but our concerns were basically the same. Both Ana and Zak were initially unlikable for me, but I ended up getting really attached to them both, especially Zak. The romance was also really endearing, and it was believable despite the day-long course of the book. But a lot of the scenes towards the end were definitely ridiculous (and some were even superfluous). Awesome review, Shay!

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    1. Haha, seems like we had a lot of the same thoughts on this one! I too grew to love Ana and Zak, I just couldn't get over how ridiculous the book was!

  4. Aw man, I am sorry that such a promising premise was ruined for you! I agree though, no matter WHAT the event, no one is going to be allowed to beat the hell out of each other on the floor of the convention! Such a shame that it went in the ridiculous direction. It sounds like the characters were really strong though, so at least that's something! Great review!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    1. Exactly! I was expecting this to be realistic of what you'd actually find at a convention and beating each other up? Nope. Just no. I was expecting LARPing which would have been realistic, but these characters has real, sharp weapons they were using against each other! There are so many rules that don't even allow most of those kinds of real weapons into a convention! And yeah, the characters were really good which just made the ridiculous plot anger me even more.