Title: The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak
Author: Brian Katcher
Publication date: May 19th 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Number of pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary romance
Goodreads 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…
This book had me grinning just from reading the back cover. A manhunt in Comic-Con? Yes please. The story has quick wit and aching moments, while it tended to drag in some areas it made up for the nerdiness in others.
The narrative alternates between Ana and Zak (or Duke, as he prefers to be called) who both are on the same quiz bowl team. Zak is failing one of his classes, and his only hope of retribution is to joining the team last minute and tagging along to the finals in Seattle. Of course, this means missing his favorite comic book convention, which he is torn up about. Team leader Ana’s little brother Clayton hears of the convention and sneaks out to join it, prompting Ana and Zak to go after him. While Ana might know quiz bowl, Zak can speak fluent nerd (and Klingon), and takes the lead to guide them through the crazed chaos.
There were moments where this book had me laughing out loud. It did good for my little Trekkie heart. I think the plot dragged on a bit during the middle, but I think the author was using it as an excuse for more shenanigans and a deadly drug dealer to enter the mix. There were areas of monologue that could have been cut, but it showed good character development. This was an enjoyable read, and I would definitely recommend it to fellow nerdfighters!