ARC Review – The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

23015962Title: The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak

Author: Brian Katcher

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis: 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…

Huge thank you to Katherine Tegen Books and Edelweiss for this ARC!

River’s Review:

This book was so cute! If you’re into any kind of fandom, you will love this! I used to be the BIGGEST Star Wars fan and I’ve spent a lot of time in other fandoms (anime being the biggest) and I could totally relate to a lot of this! I’ve only been to one convention, but this was super easy to picture and just felt so right.

This book starts off with Zak noticing Ana. He’s interested, but she’s always too busy running around trying to be the best at everything. He sees her as a super overachiever. Ana see’s Zak as some dorky slacker who’s too busy having a good time to take anything serious. Then due to some unfortunate events Zak has to join Ana’s Quiz Bowl team and miss out on his favorite comic book convention.

On the way to the Quiz Bowl Zak mentions the con to Ana’s brother (he’s younger, but also in high school and on the team) and later that night the little brother sneaks out and heads to the con. This leads to a very pissed off Ana and a omgwhattodoooooo Zak. They take off, arguing the entire way, to find the brother. And over the course of the night Ana and Zak find out that they aren’t so different after all.

I normally dislike books that take place in 24 hours or less. Especially when romance is involved. Attraction doesn’t take time, but connection does. And I HATE it when they go from hate to love in less than 24 hours. This book didn’t do that. To start Zak already had a passing interest in Ana. And by the end of the book there is some romance brewing, but it’s not epic or anything. It’s just the start.

I loved all of the wacky things that kept happening at the con! There were two things that happened (at the con and then after they got back to the hotel) that just kinda seemed a bit much (which dropped it down half a star) but their adventure was enjoyable.

I really liked Zak. He was super relateable and I totally was friends with and dated guys like him in high school and college. Ana was okay. I felt bad for her and for the fear that she lived in of her super strict parents. But she was incredibly judgemental and there were times I wanted to shake her. She did grow though, as much as one can in a span of 24 hours, and open her mind up to new things. So that was a plus. And I liked the interactions with the parents (both Ana and Zak’s) at the end.

Overall this was a very fun, cute book, perfect for readers who have ever been involved with any kind of fandom (which is, I’m sure, all of us).

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