Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

 Title: The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak

 Author: Brian Katcher

 Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

 Date Published: May 19, 2015

 Genre: Contemporary

 Pages: 336 (Hardcover)

 Age Range: 14+


     When Ana Watson's brother ditches a high school trip to run wild at Washingcon, type-A Ana knows that she must find him or risk her last shot at freedom from her extra-controlling parents.
In her desperation, she's forced to enlist the last person she'd ever want to spend time with—slacker Zak Duquette—to help find her brother before morning comes.
     But over the course of the night, while being chased by hordes of costumed Vikings and zombies, Ana and Zak begin to open up to each other. Soon, what starts as the most insane nerdfighter manhunt transforms into so much more. . . .


     First off, I really love the cover. It's super cute, and I love the pixelated characters. That being said, this book doesn't have much of anything to do with math, so the equations all over the cover are a little random and unnecessary. Much like I thought it would be after reading the flap, this book was a cute, mindless read- some fluff to read between heavier books.
     Ana and Zak are our two protagonists, and the story is told through dual POVs- something that really helped this book along. Ana is your average geeky, shy girl with wacko parents, and Zak, well I guess he's an average video game nerd. I've only read one other contemporary with a nerdy video game player (Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff) and those two male leads were very similar. I wish that these characters had been a little more unique, but I understand why they were so generic... Relatability. Ana's younger brother was such an un-fleshed out character that he simply felt like a plot device. The other characters that we meet at ComiCon are hilarious. I don't know if people are normally like that at those kinds of places, but I was in stitches!
     Some aspects of the book didn't feel realistic. Honestly, how much trouble can you get into at places like that? However, Ana and Zak's shenanigans had me shaking my head and chuckling. I was totally able to suspend my disbelief, and enjoy the story. Besides those wild encounters, the secrets that Ana and Zak also have some secrets that they are keeping from each other. Predictable secrets, and very average ones at that, but secrets nonetheless.
     I was pleasantly surprised by this book and its depths. Overall, the book is pretty average, but it's a good kind of average. It's more of a 3 1/2 star rating for me.


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