Monday, July 20, 2015

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

Title: The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak
Author: Brian Katcher
Publication: May 19th 2015, Katherine Tegen Books
Format: e-ARC, 336 pages 
Source: From the publisher (Thanks HarperCollins!)


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 acciantal 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…

Misfit Review:

Refreshing and a little maze of new knowledge on geekdom, The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is something that you should read. Here are more reasons why you should dive into it.

Ana and Zak is the story of the two protagonists, completely different people. The one is a responsible honor student; member of the quiz bowl team, the other is a professional slacker, bound by his love for video games, comic book characters, movie references and comic conventions. The two are brought together by an incident and they have to work together to keep each other alive at WashingCon...and somehow sane.

The novel is like a peek into what it’s like in comic conventions but done as an adventure. As someone who has never been to a comic convention before, it was certainly interesting to see it done in a novel. I have been a huge fan of San Diego Comic Con, watching Con videos and stuff, but the experience that the book brought about was interesting, from the cosplayers to the people involved. Pop culture references are mentioned constantly and things from Comic Cons that I’ve never been able to experience, ever, are highlighted.

The characters in the novel are adorable, refreshing and worked really well together. I would definitely say that Ana lifted the novel up to its potential, with her change of character throughout the novel. Zak, of course, provided the humor that the novel exuded naturally. Also, with the polarity of the characters, there are way too many facets to discover, with Ana and her issues to Zak and his life as a con regular.

While naturally adorable and eccentric at the same time, the novel also talks about family drama, that I have been reading a lot through a few novels in my TBR. It’s light though and not to tragic, but it will pull you in either way. Another thing, the romance is quite tame but definitely sends sparks up my heart. I was definitely squealing at some parts. I did not like Ana in these parts though. I think I liked her better as a badass rather than someone who acts on impulse because of feelings. Okay, I should blame this on her being secluded from the world. LOL

There were a lot of characters though, which was okay, but then, it made me kind of woozy just trying to remember some of them. But, then again, they are in a convention. Deal with the times, Jayvee! HAHAHA!

Brian Katcher’s debut novel truly delivers, and in a good way. He was able to make fun of a lot of the situations, providing an adventure throughout the whole thing, but could work in a mellow moment here and there.

Mindblowing might not be the word for The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak, but it is cute, funny and something you should read if you’re itching for a dose of pop culture in your life.

About The Author:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Brian Katcher was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1975. He attended the University of Missouri, Columbia, before dropping out of society and bumming around Mexico for three years. He’s worked as a fry cook, a market researcher, a welding machine operator, a telemarketer (only lasted one day), and a furniture mover. He lived on an Israeli military base one summer, and once smuggled food into Cuba. When he’s not writing, he works as a school librarian. He lives in central Missouri with his wife and daughter. He still hasn’t paid the parking ticket he got in West Virginia in 1997.

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