Ana and Zak are polar opposites: she’s a brainy, straight-A student focused on meeting her parents’ expectations, and he’s a geeky slacker coasting through high school on his way to community college. An extra-credit assignment throws them together at a quiz bowl championship in Seattle, where they spend a hectic all-nighter on a rescue mission after Ana’s younger brother runs away to a science fiction convention. With Zak as her guide, Ana plunges into the world of Washingcon, filled with cosplaying nerds of every stripe, where they are targeted by an angry mob of card-game collectors, hunted by a Viking, and held captive by a drug dealer—all before dawn. Peppering his novel with references to delight die-hard SF fans and pop-culture aficionados alike, Katcher (Almost Perfect) pens a love letter to fanboys and fangirls everywhere. On the surface, the story is a lighthearted and entertaining romance, but serious undertones explore the fractured side of parent-child relationships and misfit characters desperate to find a tribe. A delightful romp for anyone still figuring out where they belong. Ages 14–up.
Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
Two teens discover that their improbable chemistry is just what it takes for a probable relationship. Still adjusting to a new stepdad, slacker Zak has anxiously been awaiting Washingcon, a science fiction, fantasy, and comic book convention in Seattle. But when his health teacher (and quiz bowl sponsor) notices that he plagiarized his health paper, she offers him two options: fail health and not graduate or serve as an alternate on the quiz bowl team for their big tournament. Who really fails health? So he begrudgingly chooses the latter, despite it being the same weekend as his con. Hyperfocused Ana, who must be perfect to show her parents she’s not like her older sister who dropped out of high school to have a baby, has her doubts about Zak. After Ana’s younger brother and fellow quiz bowl member, Clayton, sneaks out to attend Washingcon, Zak and Ana begin a humorously whirlwind night searching for him. Their alternating viewpoints narrate how they dodge and outwit parents, felons, and other outlandish con characters. While Clayton constantly eludes them, Zak and Ana do find a connection through mutual loss, courage to stand up for themselves, and first love. There’s even fun at a “mixed” [my quotes] marriage (between a Star Wars and a Star Trek enthusiast)! Fans of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist will find con-tentment here. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Thanks to my wonderful editors, THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK will also be released in Spanish (Spain and Latin America), Portuguese (Brazil), German and Turkish! Wow!
By fellow librarian John Clark. Read it here.
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak, Katherine Tegen Books, May 2015!
Just got the ARCS for my new book, The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak, and they look great! Big thanks to Claudia Gabel and Melissa Miller for all their work on this. Here’s the back cover blurb:
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 locate 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 began as the most insane nerdfighter manhunt transforms into so much more…
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is Brian Katcher’s hilarious he said/she said romance about two teens discovering themselves on an out-of-this-world accidental first date.
AVAILABLE MAY 19, 2015, FROM KATHERINE TEGEN BOOKS!
From the September, 2014 issue:
When the journalism assignment for his summer academic program at the Univer- sity of Missouri proves to be nothing more than a few fluff pieces, seventeen-year- old Sherman decides to do some snooping of his own in the library and discovers what appears to be a minor scandal and unsolved death from 1935 involving a now-disappeared minister. Sherman’s search for more information draws attention from a mysterious society, and he suddenly finds himself at knifepoint—twice—and being shot at. Determined to figure out who’s trying to kill him, Sherman finds a wrongfully institutionalized psychiatric patient who helps him decipher the links between a number of killings spanning from the 1830s through the 1970s that all center on one name—P. Saberhagen—and an enigmatic insignia. Aided by the student librarian Christine, nicknamed Charlie (who Sherman finds seriously cute), Sherman discovers that Saberhagen made a deal that grants his immortality, for a price . . . and he wants Sherman in on it, one way or another. Katcher, author of Almost Perfect (BCCB 1/10), captures the flawed but honest voice of a guy who’s driven to succeed in his career—and with a girl—and finds himself in over his head; plenty of pop culture references, hubris, and hormones add authenticity. The breathtaking pace is balanced with flashbacks to the minister and his posse’s parallel investigation of Saberhagen, and though the shift to supernatural (and even Christian mystic) elements in the thriller is a little abrupt, it’s not unpleasant. Romance? Check. Comedy? Sure. Overall, though, this is a grittier (and slimmer) contemporary version of Bray’s The Diviners (BCCB 10/12), giving it reluctant reader appeal for the Stephen King crowd.
That’s Voice of Youth Advocates will be printing this great review of Everyone Dies in the End in their June issue:
Seventeen-year-old Sherman Andrews is accepted into the Missouri Scholar’s Academy the summer before his senior year. Interested in journalism, he wants to become an award-winning investigative journalist within the next ten years. What better way to start this plan than by turning out an investigative gem for his summer project? He thus decides to delve into the historical documents in the basement of the Missouri Historical Society, and ably assisted by student librarian Charlie, he uncovers a dangerous secret that soon has them (and his Scooby Gang classmates) fighting for his life.
The novel opens with an attack on Reverend Gowen in Columbia, Missouri, on September 3, 1935. Written in italics, this narrative continues throughout the novel and is juxtaposed against Sherman’s investigation. In fact, it is Sherman’s investigation of this attack that draws the two narratives together and puts his life on the line when he comes up against a foe whose claim to demonic immortality makes him virtually unbeatable. Sherman’s interaction with the other students in his program should appeal to fans of school stories. His frantic struggle to survive against virtually unbeatable odds will have fans of urban fantasy and dark, dangerous mysteries on the edge of their seats. This is another extremely well written, satisfying young adult novel by the author of Playing with Matches (Random House, 2008/VOYA October 2008) and Almost Perfect.