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The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by…

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak

by Brian Katcher

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11010167,772 (3.36)1



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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This was a real 'opposites attract' romance and it worked fairly well, although the plot became rather ridiculous once Ana and Zak reached the convention, and the ending was rather random. However, I did have a few chuckles throughout the story, especially when Zak was narrating. I found him more likeable of the two.

Overall, I found "The Impossible Theory of Ana and Zak" a fluffy, mediocre novel that was rather disappointing. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Feb 21, 2017 |
An enjoyable, nerdy, quick read. It reminded me of an innocent and quirky version of a teen movie. I liked that these characters were portrayed realistically in the sense that, yes they were geeks, and no, they did not also look/act like supermodels. Also loved all of the comic book and sci-fi/fantasy references. It gets a bit outlandish at time, but nothing that diminished my overall enjoyment. I needed a light, comedic read last night and that is exactly what The Improbably Theory of Ana and Zak delivered. ( )
  Kristymk18 | Feb 15, 2016 |
Fun and enjoyable with a side of serious would describe this novel.

The novel alternates between Ana and Zak’s points of view. Ana is very type A. She is overscheduled all in hopes of getting scholarships for college. She has no patience for laziness. Head of the quiz team, she has invited her brother to join as well now that he goes to the high school, too. Zak is pretty laid back. He’s unhappy about his stepfather and is surly when at home. Otherwise, he’s very popular with his friends.

When his faculty advisor tells him that he will fail his class for using Wikipedia on an assignment (constituting cheating), Zak accepts a deal. He will go on a weekend trip with the quiz team as a member. His teacher knows that he is smart and doesn’t live up to his potential. Therefore, he can delay graduation and go to summer school or he can spend one weekend on the quiz team. He obviously takes the deal only to learn that it’s the same weekend as Comic-Con, which he ALWAYS attends. Ana’s brother is fascinated on the bus trip with the stories from Comic-Con because Ana’s parents are very strict and have already kicked out the oldest of their children; he wants to have fun for a change. When he disappears, Ana enlists Zak’s help to find him. Zak is shocked because Ana has never been particularly nice to him even though he flirts with her. Upon arriving at Comic-con, chaos ensues. Everyone knows Zak, but Ana is determined to bully her way through causing havoc. Everything that happens is comedic. Poor Zak has everything happen to him, and it’s not his fault. Ana begins to see how interesting Zak truly is.

I enjoyed reading the novel because it revealed a great theme while having fun. The Comic-Con section was a little long, but not so much that I was annoyed, just ready for the next part of the story. You’ll feel sorry for Zak while smiling. I’ll be ordering this novel, so look for it to come in soon! ( )
  acargile | Jan 26, 2016 |
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A fun romance about geeky Zak and responsible Ana that all happens in one crazy night.

Opening Sentence: “Zak!”

The Review:

Ana is uptight, responsible, and lives in constant fear after her sister was kicked out years back for one wrong move. Her parents expect only the best from her, and her whole life she’s been the best child she could be, but their demands are sounding less and less reasonable. Zak, on the other hand, is a slacker; his goals are low and he’d rather spend his time watching TV and playing video games. When Zak’s horrible grades get him forced into a last-minute extra credit opportunity, he and Ana are put in the same hotel.

That night Ana’s brother Clayton runs away to Washingcon, where geeks of all kinds dwell in the thousands – only Zak’s expertise can help Ana to get her brother out of trouble before their parents find out. But before they know it, an uneasy alliance begins to morph into something more, as they seem to attract more and more trouble. They’re making enemies of all kinds trying to find Clayton, until what should be an easy task becomes a wild goose chase that might end with deadly consequences.

This book did not go where I expected it to. I didn’t think that Ana and Zak would be such different people, but they were basically polar opposites. Ana was responsible to an extreme and Zak was a slacker to the extreme. One crazy night together helped them both to balance out their priorities, and I really liked watching both characters evolve. Their story was cute, and I loved the unique setting it grew in. I’d never read a book quite like this one, completely immersed in fandoms and geekiness, and it was a lot of fun.

There were some alternate plotlines happening alongside the others. For one, there was this whole thing with Ana’s parents, and their complete authority over her. She was such a strong, confident, snarky character; it was hard watching her shiver in fright to her own parents. Like any story, there was two sides to that one, though, and I liked the depth it brought. Another story was Zak and his father. He died a couple years back, and Zak hides his pain with a carefree facade. Now that his mother is married to another guy, he feels almost like he’s been betrayed, and doesn’t want to make any effort to try to know Roger. Both of these other plots developed and I really like where they were taken.

Altogether, I really enjoyed this book. It was unique and unexpected. Never has there been such a fun and unprecedented setting, and the characters were very cool to read from. It made me laugh out loud a couple times there, so it had a humor aspect as well. The different point of views were never confusing and helped give clarity to both of the characters and their actions. I flew through this book pretty fast, so it’s a quick read, and I think that any lover of romance will enjoy this novel!

Notable Scene:

And I’ll go to college, and study every night, and get some kind of job that requires eighty hour weeks and lots of meetings. I’ll rarely see Nichole and Clayton. I’ll marry some good-looking, safe guy and have two kids. I’ll make my parents proud. I’ll never go to one of these stupid conventions again.

Never see Zak again. (…)

Because that’s the way life works, isn’t it? You can work hard and be miserable, or do nothing and be happy. I wish I’d realized that before I wasted all those years on the former.

FTC Advisory: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. ( )
  DarkFaerieTales | Nov 8, 2015 |
Ana is an honor student obsessed with being successful at everything academic, Clayton is her thirteen-year-old genius brother, the youngest student in their high school and Zak is gamer who is forced to join the quiz team by his teacher--but when Clayton sneaks off to a science fiction convention in Seattle while they are all there for a quiz bowl tournament, Ana is forced to rely on the unreliable Zak to find him. ( )
  ShellyPYA | Aug 10, 2015 |
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To my mother, Connie. Thanks for taking me to the library.
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"Zak! Hey, Zak, where are you?"
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Ana is an honor student obsessed with being successful at everything academic, Clayton is her thirteen-year-old genius brother, the youngest student in their high school and Zak is gamer who is forced to join the quiz team by his teacher--but when Clayton sneaks off to a science fiction convention in Seattle while they are all there for a quiz bowl tournament, Ana is forced to rely on the unreliable Zak to find him.

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