The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak - Brian Katcher
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This review first appeared on One Curvy Blogger


When I realized The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak was not only written in dual first-person perspectives but also written in the present tense, I was suitably impressed. Dual points-of-view are pretty hit or miss with me, but I have always found present tense fiction to be extremely difficult to connect with and to write. You have to have a spectacular talent for writing to have me overlooking verb conjugation, and that is exactly what Katcher did.


Most of The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak took place in a 24-hour time line, so I was unsurprised by how fast a pace the book had. I’ve realized that I’m starting to like this type of book. Remember when I read Bright Before Sunrise? It had the same type of time frame and I really enjoyed it. This is definitely the type of book you find yourself speeding through, but loving every minute of it! I’m guessing it is also the perfect book to take a reader out of a reading funk. I haven’t had to test my theory (yet), but I wouldn’t drag my feet at re-reading The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak because I had a blast!

Let me just warn you guys that this isn’t the most realistic contemporary YA read. Two reasons:

1) If it was, the book wouldn’t be such a grand adventure.
2) Ana and Zak would probably be dead.

If you are like me and don’t care if the ending was entirely too hand delivered with a happily ever after or that they escaped serious injury more often than would ever happen in the real world, then you will probably enjoy this as much as I did.

Ana’s thirteen-year-old brother Clayton is on the lam in Seattle, Washington at Washingcon – the biggest science fiction convention in the area, Ana has a very limited time frame before she has to have him back to escape punishment, so she in dire need of help from Zak the-slacker-video-game-enthusiast to pull him out of the horde of freakishly dressed people and back to the hotel where the quiz bowl team is staying for the night.

Four Reasons I enjoyed these characters so much

1) They are your average high school students when it comes to looks. “Average” when it comes to appearance is not the usual for romance at any age level, so it was fun that the author gave to average high school students a chance at not only a romance but a kick-ass adventure, too!

2) They both have emotional wounds that are raw and oozing. I love that the author gives them a unique way of healing each other.
3) Both Ana the bitchy A-type overachiever and Zak, the geeky slacker, experience a ton of growth within the fast-pace of this novel, but at different speeds.
4) The best part is the happily ever after. I know I said it was too unrealistic for some (it was), but it made me awhh. It pretty much showed how much the two changed in such a short period, and I liked it. Plus, it was nice to see something actually go right for these two.

2 Reasons this book might irritate you (at first)

1) Ana is bitchy and whiny and is slow in the character growth department, but she does want to change – and eventually is redeemed, so she didn’t irritate me too much. But there were a couple intense moments where I wanted to punch her, so I felt I should warn you.
2) Zak was also whiny and had his moments of supreme jerkiness. Thankfully, he got over it and so did I.

***THE END***

All-in-all, The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak was both a surprising adventure and an adorable love story. I can’t wait to read more from Brian Katcher and am eternally grateful for the opportunity to read an ARC from the publisher.