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…
Don't judge this book by it's cover because it's full of geeky-goodness and convention adventures. (and thankfully no math equations, haha) From the first or second chapter I got hooked, the point were I realized that this was going to be an awesome book was at a reference to Superman & Doc Savage (one that I probably wouldn't have understood a week before). Speaking of references, there are tons of video game, movie, and science fiction references all throughout this book. Is that the reason I loved it so much? Probably. That wasn't the only reason though, my enjoyment also had something to do with the funny characters and the crazy situations they got caught in, and the easy flow of the writing. There's also a certain vibe that the author catches, especially at the beginning of the book, when he's describing Washingcon. Even though I've never been to anything that I would equate with it (San Diego Comic-Con or Vidcon) I could pick up on all the emotions really easily. Maybe it's a fandom thing, I don't know. But it's equal parts a feeling of being a part of something and then just the ultra-cool feeling you get when you start fangirling or geeking out over one of your favorite movies, bands, books, video game, etc. etc.
As the plot goes, I thought it was nice enough, I often felt like things were a bit out of hand as the characters were running all over the place and kept getting into trouble. So whatever twists did come up were very surprising. Also, the author has a great way of toning down a really serious situation with some humor. The whole book was hilarious. There were some solemn moments as both Ana & Zak have some things they're struggling with, but overall I think it's a great, fun read. The ending was very satisfying, too.
The story is told between Ana and Zak's perspectives. In some books this can be confusing but I thought it worked great for this book. Ana was a little annoying at times but I came to interpret her snappiness and devil-may-care attitude as a part of her character. As it was she had a lot of stress in her life, I think it came out in her actions and words sometimes. Zak was great, he was the understated cool and surprisingly smart when you wouldn't expect him to be sort of guy. The best kind of nerd ;) My favorite character just might have been Clayton, Ana's brother who runs off and gets both of them into all sorts of messes while they're looking for him. He's funny and super-smart for his age, I thought he was adorable and loved the relationship that he had with Zak.
Overall, this was a funny, decently lighthearted book about a boy and a girl with a slight interest in each other end up searching all over a science fiction convention for the girl's brother. If you are in any way geeky or nerdy (I'm talking star trek, star wars, hunger games, and all that sort of stuff!), you will definitely enjoy that side of this book. And if you like a rather different sort of romance (not without it's sweet moments, Zak takes Ana exactly as she is, aww) and something that's easily addicting to read, look no further! I'm giving The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak 5 out of 5 flowers.
Sara Bennett, someone more likely to be found in bed, curled up with a good book, than out at a sports game or a gig (although she's pretty addicted to music too). Hoping for a better world, believing in her Savior, daydreaming of One Direction, hanging out with friends, or wherever she may be or might be doing....there's always a little voice inside wondering if it's almost time to return to the books sitting on her shelf. In short, an average young woman with a book in hand and a dream to write one day.