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The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  4,952 ratings  ·  850 reviews
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.

It all begins when Ana Watson's little brother, Clayton, secretly ditches the quiz bowl semifinals to go to the Washingcon sci-fi co
ebook, 336 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  4,952 ratings  ·  850 reviews

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Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
There are moments when I feel really ancient. I think this is one of those moments. I really wanted to like this book but my inner spinster just took hold of me and deconstructed what appears to be a cute story into: characters that lacked depth, an improbable plot that is almost absurd, and a tone that feels more tween than YA.

Like any unlikely love story, both Ana and Zak come from completely different worlds. Zak is a slacker who is really smart but doesn't apply himself, almost to the point
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
More reviews and bookish fun over at The Social Potato!

Things to Expect from The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak:

1.) Two wonderfully-portrayed main characters. Ana and Zak both have very different and distinct personalities. Both were a bit hard to like at first (Ana was pretty stuck up, and Zak was an arrogant prick), but as they continued to learn more about each other and themselves, I realized that I've grown quite attached to them. Both went through a lot of character development, and
Aj the Ravenous Reader
3.5 stars

A fun hilarious read about a nerdy girl (Ana) and a geeky boy’s (Zak’s) 24-hour unexpected adventure that starts at a quiz bowl tournament, a sci-fi convention where the two barely survive a hilarious, crazy and almost deadly stuff in search of Ana’s little brother, Clayton. It felt like watching a rom-com movie and I enjoyed it.

The main characters are both very distinct. They’re both the same and different. Both geeks in their own right although one is a slacker and the other an ov
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

I was going to be generous and give this book 2.5 or 3 stars, but I’m afraid it just irritated me way too much for that.

Ana and Zak both annoyed me in this book, because they were freaking idiots! Who cuts and pastes information from Wikipedia and hands it in at school as an essay (complete with hyperlinks?). Zak. He is really that big of an idiot that he would not only chea
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is one of those laugh out loud, quirky contemporaries with fantastic underlying messages that every contemporary junkie needs to read. It’s definitely a book that I enjoyed, and apparently a spider agrees with me (it’s now dead though). Oh yes, I went to the bathroom the other day and when I came back to my desk, there was a huge ugly spider resting on my book. The horrors. I legit screamed and spent the next half an hour
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was so fun. Hermione and Shaggy from Scooby Doo let loose on ComicCon.
Whitney Atkinson
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I think the main reason why I'm disappointed with this book is that I misread the synopsis and it was different than what I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be about two nerdy people that fall in love, but in reality, Ana is an all A student who looks down upon Zak and the people at Washingcon for a lot of the book because she thinks she's better than them. That got really old really fast and made the mood of the book really annoying, which took about 150 pages to get past. ...more
Chelsey Connor
I really enjoyed this book. It's like those movies where nothing goes right but then there's a happy ending and everything turns out great. I'm glad Zak wasn't banned from his favourite place and I loved seeing the relationship grow between Ana and Zak. I just happened to be reading this book while there was a comic book convention going on in town and I really want to go next year now. ...more
Scott (on temporary hiatus)
4.5 stars

Ana + Zak + 24 hours + a wild sci-fi convention + an impossible manhunt + thousands of costumed nerds - an angry viking + lots of trouble / first impressions = anything they ever expected! -- the book's tagline

YA author Katcher takes a breather from the seriousness of his excellent previous work Almost Perfect with the more comedic The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak. This time it appears he took some inspiration from those many 80's and 90's teen comedy films, setting up an odd couple
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am still laughing.

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher was a hoot! The story is told in alternating first person points of view of Ana and Zak. Ana is your perfect A student. She's on the school quiz team and NEVER disobeys her parents. Ana is a bit stuck up at first, but as the story progresses, she becomes more and more likable and a bit badass, too. Zak is your typical gaming geek. Zak is endearing and right away I knew that I would enjoy reading his point of view.

Zak gets
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Visit Stay Bookish for more book reviews and to win a copy of The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak!

Actual rating: 3.5

I’ve been a fan of one day novels since I read Graffiti Moon, so I was incredibly excited to hear that The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak happens in 24 hours with the two leads attending a bizarre nerd convention. The premise highly appealed to me so I went in to the story expecting to enjoy myself. And that’s exactly what happened.

Ana and Zak’s social circles usually don’t mesh b
Okay, I am being harsh. I mean, I finished the book, which speaks to a certain level of enjoyment for me. But there were just too many strikes against it.

1. The male narrator accidentally assaults a girl. It really is an accident, but before he realizes she isn't who he thinks she is, he says, "Knock it off. You know what I want." No, no, no. That is awful. AWFUL. I almost gave up on the book there.
2. Lots of stereotypical comments from Ana about the convention goers. (Overweight, not good looki

Ignore my weirdness.
Kelly Gunderman
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, edelweiss, favorites
Check out this and other reviews on my blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

This book was such a delight. It was adorable. It was nerdy. It was one of those wonderful books that was a great example of how fun that young adult fiction can be.

And trust me, this book is a lot of fun.

I think I read this one in less than a day. I really couldn't put it down. I was so excited to see what was going to happen next that I just kept reading.

The book is told in the alternating voices of both Ana and Zak, and the
My thanks to Katherine Tegen Books

Point of View: Dual (Ana & Zak)
Writing: First Person | Present Tense
Setting: Washington/Seattle
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary

Oh my goodness! This book was amazing, hilarious, and intriguing. I just LOVED it!

The characters were all wonderfully developed. Every single one of them was interesting, some were weirder than the oth
Apr 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: no-thanks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Yes, this book has all the typical tropes: The Murphy's-Law freneticism of "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" and the angsty-drama (less the fatal disease) of "The Fault in Our Stars", and the pop-culture sensibilities of Ready Player One ...

But this book somehow elevevates itself above that, primarily due to the likability of both the main characters. Both Ana and Zak are well-defined, likable characters in their own right; each are believably dysfunctional, which makes me root for them even mo
Brooke ♥booklife4life♥
At A Glance

Young Adult; Contemporary
Love Triangle/Insta Love?: Nope.
Cliff Hanger: Nope
Rating: 4 Stars

Score Sheet
All out of ten

Plot: 8
Characters: 8
World Building: 8
Flow: 8
Series Congruity: n/a
Writing: 7
Ending: 8

Total: 8

In Depth

Best Part:
Nerd Factor!
Worst Part: Too short.
Overall Feels Felt: Get your nerd on; where he go?!; Aw :)


Continuing the Series:
Recommending: yes!

Short Review: This was a very cute little read. Wasn't too deep. I loved all the nerd shit goi
Lauren ✨ (TheBookishTwins)
I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.


First Impressions: There were some aspects I liked and some I didn't and some that were just plain...weird.

Review: When Zak is caught cheating on a paper he is roped into attending quiz bowl semi-finals headed by the perfectionist Ana Watson. By attending quiz bowl he is missing comic-con, something he has been invested in since he was ten. Zak can stop talking about comic-con and it drives Clayton, Ana's little brother, to sneak out
I was really angry over all the two star ratings when I started this book because it was just so cute! And then I kept reading... :( Wah
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was actually pretty good. To be honest, my thoughts on the book are probably affected by the fact that I’m super chilled out at the moment - I’m on holiday on the Isle of Wight and it’s raining and I’m spending literally every minute of the day tearing through books - but I think even under normal circumstances I’d enjoy it.

The two characters, Ana and Zak, attend the same high school, but don’t really have anything to do with each other. Ana is a straight-A control freak and
I was super excited to read this book, but it fell a little flat.

Ana and Zak were decent enough characters. He's definitely more fun than she is, but as always, I love getting dual POV. I was hoping for more of a connection between them. For me, the budding romance didn't quite click.

I liked how the camaraderie of the con attendees was portrayed. It really is like that. The ending got a little far fetched, but it almost felt like an ending you would see in The Hangover, so it sort of works. I
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5. Funny, charming, and full of more pop culture/sci fi references than you can shake a broadsword at. Full review at FYA: ...more
Bryan Cardenas
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars tbh.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: consider
Originally posted at:

I was flipping through my kindle and found The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak. I remember being pretty excited for this one way back when, but never actually got around to reading it. I mean, with a cute title and cover like that, the promise of a wild night set at a convention...what's not to want? Well, I finally did it folks. I dug into it, and wowie wow wow–why didn't I read this one before?! I love quirky contemporaries that pl
Julia Sarene
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-and-childrens
I'll go for 3,5 stars, though up till the last 1/4 it would have been a 4 or 5 star book.

I really liked both Ana and Zak and got hooked by their story right away. Ana is a seemingly perfect girl. Best in her class, doing extra stuff to look good on a college application, having a very strict home and a sister who is "gone".
Zak is a geek. He loves this fantasy convention he goes to every year, he doesn't take life very seriously, and he has his own burden - a new stepdad, who moved in just 2
Mimi Jazman
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The story starts when two high school seniors are put together in a team for a quiz competition. Ana is the 'perfect' student and also, the 'perfect' daughter. Zak, on the other hand, just don't care of whatever is happening in this world. All Zak could care about is a comic book convention because there is where he belongs. But, unfortunately, Zak has to save his grade and sacrifice the special event to join the quiz competition. Ana has never liked Zak for his careless attitude and even more m ...more
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars for stuff.

So this book, I really liked it but I also yelled at it. My inner geek loved all the references and comic-con-esque inspiration.

The Good: True to the blurb, it was a pretty hilarious he said/she said romance (adventure). I quite adored Zak. He's sort of your typical gaming geek, he's pretty laid back, and he just wants to be done the Quiz Bowl tournament so he can think about  his favourite con. But instead he somehow gets thrown into this wacky adventure and makes the best o
Rachel Neumeier
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very different from the previous book of Katcher’s that I’ve read (Almost Perfect) – this is a light, quick read; in fact, I read the whole thing in one sitting, which is very rare for me. I normally enjoy a book more if I stretch it out over at least two days, but in this case I honestly didn’t notice how fast I was whooshing through it until I was practically at the end and then I was too into it to put it aside.

I very much enjoyed Zak, who is a total geek – into gaming and conventions and stu
As someone who considers going to San Diego Comic Con as one of the major items on my bucket list, I was obviously extremely excited when I read the synopsis for The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak. Unfortunately, my excitement waded as I kept reading and the overall experience with the book was mostly "meh" rather than "awesome", which is what I expected it to be.

Ana and Zak are complete opposites in many ways, or at least that is how they see it. Zak is intelligent, but also bit a slacker, wh
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