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Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II Hardcover – August 9, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The repartee between Ben and Colleen -- funny, suggestive, and intense -- is spot-on, and readers will easily sympathize with both teens and their frustrating choices, while the adult characters and their problems are equally unique and well-developed. A rollercoaster of authentic emotions, Koertge's novel offers readers a fast, furious, and satisfyingly upbeat view of the world.
—Booklist (starred review)

Koertge writes crisp dialogue and ably captures both Ben's bewilderment as he moves from loser recluse to Mr. Popularity and his complex feelings toward A.J. and Colleen....Movie buffs will appreciate the references to films, a hallmark of Ben's first outing. Readers familiar with the first book will be glad to see Ben's return; newcomers will be glad they finally met him.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

About the Author

Ron Koertge is the author of many celebrated novels, including STONER & SPAZ, STRAYS, and THE BRIMSTONE JOURNALS, all American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults; Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, an American Library Association Top Ten Sports Books for Youth Selection; and The Arizona Kid, an American Library Association pick for "one of the ten funniest books of the year." A two-time winner of the PEN Literary Award for Children’s Literature, Ron Koertge lives in South Pasadena, California.
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Product Details

  • Series: Stoner & Spaz
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763650811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763650810
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #918,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The original "Stoner and Spaz" is one of my favorite pieces of young adult literature, and it ends with a slightly ambiguous, yet wholly hopeful conclusion that allows you to draw your own conclusion. Perhaps unfortunately, Stoner and Spaz II comes along and picks up right off to the end of that novel, bringing Colleen (the stoner) back for more, even though she seems to have run her course with Ben in the last novel.

Alas, Ben is just as addicted to her as she is to drugs. Just as in the last novel, the characters are decidedly non-stereotypical and intelligent, they're written with the perfect amount of wit and sarcasm. That continues here. In volume two, the primary story revolves around Ben getting an internet connection, and therefore getting in contact with Amy (a.k.a. AJ, the girl from the film festival), and a fairly predictable love triangle ensues.

Ben, Colleen and AJ have a few other adventures as well, including a search for Ben's mother, a movie-trivia gambling scene, and Colleen having to deal with being kicked out of her home. Some of these have the same natural flow as the last novel, but others are strangely written. The scenes with Ben's mother are particularly unusual, in that they simply appear and resolve themselves so quickly, and that the characters instantly recognize each other despite not having seen each other in 12 or so years.

All in all, Stoner and Spaz II is fairly worthy successor, but is it really all that necessary? Personally, I would have been happier had the series ended with the previous novel.

For parents: the sex in this novel is slightly more played up, and the minor glorification of drugs that was somewhat present in the last one is still present here, though there are more consequences here. I would still recommend this to anyone over the age of 15, and even to some more mature younger teens.
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I teetered between three and four stars because while I enjoyed the story, it seemed to run out of gas toward the end. The relationship between Colleen and Ben continues to have ups and downs, with Colleen trying to stay away from drugs and Ben steadfastly believing in her despite many disappointments. Koertge has the chemistry between the two protangonists down perfectly, in my opinion. I'd have liked to have sees something come of Ben's movie-making with the new camera but perhaps there will be another book? Overall, a very satisfying read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
also I really don't believe that a grandma that protective would just suddenly start to accept all of his new adventures. It seems that the author hints at this conflict as well as elements of the relationship with Colleen that might not be healthy, but glides away in favor of more Saturday-night fun(Which does actually seem fun, at least)
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By csperryess on January 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Koertge does a stunning job of portraying Ben and Colleen and their unlikely, but somehow believable relationship. The reader has no choice but to simultaneously love Colleen & want to thump her. I enjoyed this one, but as is usual with sequels, I must admit that I found the original Stoner & Spaz more compelling.
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