The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

Straight-A student Ana is always busy with extracurricular activities that she hopes will help her get a scholarship to a college of her choice, although, that’s if her overprotective parents even let her choose her own college. On the other hand, Zak doesn’t think much about his future since his dad died and mum remarried, preferring to slack off. That is, until he is forced to join the quiz-bowl team to make up for a failed Health assignment that could otherwise see him flunk his final year.

While Ana can’t stand Zak’s laid-back approach to life, she finds herself in need of his help when her brother sneaks out of the hotel the quiz-bowl team is staying in and heads to Washingcon, an annual comic convention that Zak usually attends. What ensues is a hectic first date of sorts, as they search for Ana’s brother, encountering some creepy and far-out characters that make their night a living hell.

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is a fun romance full of witty banter and crazy antics that, while at times a little far-fetched, will entertain readers who loved novels like Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. For ages 13 and up.

Katherine Dretzke is a bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.