Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 19th 2015
Genres: Geek, YA Romance, Young Adult
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.Amazon •
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…
Mature-Content Rating: Language, Mention of Drugs, Mild Drinking, Violence, Con Weirdness
“Our eyes lock, and just for a second, I realize there’s something more to Zak Duqquette than the guy who never stops laughing and never takes anything seriously. God knows why, but there’s real pain on his face. Just as I’m about to apologize…, it vanishes. The smiley, goofy expression returns, like a mask dropped over his real features.”
Zak “Duke” Duquette is the geek. He spends his free time in the library with his friends playing games in costume. He goes to conventions, his favorite being the comic con, Washingcon in Seattle. He has a multilayered personality; very happy-go-lucky on the outside but he carries a deep hurt that he hides through his laid-back persona. It’s really easy to get lost in Zak’s enthusiasm and want to just drop everything and run around with him (even if he does seem to attract unsavory characters). He has issues with his stepdad who always tries to get him to play sports but gets along well with his mother. Unfortunately for him, he’s blackmailed into the school quiz team by a teacher on the same night of Washingcon. The poor soul.
Ana is the overachieving nerd that always obeys her parents. She’s really an annoying character at first, but that’s what character development is for. Ana eventually immerses herself into Zak’s geek culture and gets a bit of a sassy attitude which makes her character way more likable.
Clayton is Ana’s younger brother, a genius at 13 years old, and undeniably a major brat. But a lovable brat. He sets Zak and Ana on the entire crusade through the convention to find him in the first place, and he doesn’t make it easy for the pair. It seems like he’s always just a few steps ahead.
For the story, just remember Murphy’s law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong; an angry viking stalking Zak, a drug dealer, a mob a zombies with destroyed playing cards, con security, and one very annoying (but helpful) Strawberry Shortcake cosplayer.
What’s best about this? Pop culture references!
Honestly, what geek would read this book and not point out each and every fandom they are a part of?
And have you seen Tumblr? Fandoms are scary, and Ana learns the hard way in the story just how obsessed people can be about their fandoms/games/OBSESSIONS. The poor girl didn’t have a chance.
Overall, The Improbably Theory of Ana and Zak is a great book for geeks and light romance readers.