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

The Improbably Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Geeky

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…
  Read that synopsis. Doesn't that scream geeky goodness and cutesey romance? Well, that's exactly the opposite of The Improbably Theory of Ana and Zak. I have SO much to say about this book.

  My biggest issue with this book was Ana. At first, I felt a bit of sympathy for her because her parents seemed so overbearing and demanding. That's gonna put anyone on edge, you know? But the way that Ana handled that stress straight up pissed me off. She let it turn herself into a monster who judged and belittled every. single. female in this book. It was tiring. Ana was supposed to be intelligent, but all I got from her was insecure and bitter. I'll let Ana speak for herself.

Ana meets a bald, female friend of Zak's. Here are a few of the gems relating to that.
"Cue ball snaps to attention."
"Baldy wasn't bad-looking, and yet she was all awitter over Zak."
"What the hell was up with this place? First Baldy, now this."

  Mind you that Ana never once considered that perhaps there was a medical reason why the girl was bald. Nope, she went straight to harsh and just pure mean judgement. But it doesn't stop there. Zak, the other main character, wasn't safe from her. Throughout the entire book, she put him down and discounted his feelings because he enjoyed the geekier side of life. At one point she wonders why such a geek like Zak can be liked by his fellow geeks.
  I know I'm all over the place, but I have to return to the issue of Ana judging and criticizing other women. I marked nearly every time she did it on my Kindle. I could post pages and pages of her horrible attitude. In one part the only description she uses for another girl is "fatso". There's one girl that she meets that she doesn't say anything about her looks (!), but in the next sentence she's pissed because the girl's laugh is irritating. I just can't you guys. There is NO REASON to judge other women like that. It's unfair, ugly, and unneeded. She's the epitome of an insecure person who has to bring everyone around her down for some sense of comfort in her own mediocrity. GO AWAY, ANA. No one likes you.

  Okay, enough ranting about Ana. Let's get to the rest of the book. The story could have been great. The premise of two teenagers running amok throughout a convention could have really shined. But towards the end, things spiral out of control. It goes from humorous, geeky fun to some weird and unbelievable wanna be thriller. The amount of Star Trek and LotR references couldn't save this book from itself.

  This is seriously my least favorite read of 2015. I don't even know a single person I'd recommend this book to. It was such a let down. I enjoy all manners of geekery. But I just don't enjoy women being criticized and judged endlessly. No thank you. Never again.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.


  1. From the blurb, this sounds like the cutest read! But the fact that the MC hates on other girls is making me hesitate a little. I keep seeing that in books and I'd rather read something with a strong friendship between girls, or with a girl who doesn't take her insecurities out on others.

  2. Wow- thanks for the heads up! I'd have picked this one up based on the blurb, but judgmental asshole MCs are a particular annoyance of mine (unless there's a very graceful redemption of character that happens).

    Being a former comic con junkie, I think I'd be touchy about the the author handles that. I HATE when an author posits geekiness as something 'uncool' (which it isn't, anymore, but it was when I was a kid) or deserving mockery. Like nails on chalkboard.

  3. I think I would hate this book so much xD I can't stand when a character is so annoying and the fact that she is judging all these people bothers me to no end. I am sure I wouldn't like this at all. I am going to pass this one up and I doubt I will miss out on it.

    Check out my recent post:


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