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Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II (Stoner & Spaz #2)

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Beautiful but troubled Colleen Minou is the only girl who ever looked at Ben Bancroft as more than a spaz- more than just that kid with cerebral palsy. Yet the more time Ben spends with her, the more glaring their differences appear. Is what Ben feels for Colleen actual affection, or more like gratitude? Then there's Amy (aka A.J.), who is everything Colleen isn't, and eve...more
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Published August 1st 2011 by Candlewick Publishing
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More books that I read are part of a franchise, I mean series, these days than are not. When a book is good for me, I'm glad of that. Like most people, I want more of a good thing. Most people like chain restaurants and books where they know what they are getting for much the same reason.

This sequel is different, though, from those fast and furiously produced sequels/series because the first STONER & SPAZ came out in 2002. Almost ten years later, that YA audience is past college and into Pam...more
Jared T
The novel Now Playing Stoner and Spaz 2, by Ron Koertge, is probably the most interesting book I have ever read. Ben Bancroft, struggles to understand his relationship with a drug-addict girl named Colleen. At the same time, Ben is trying to find his mother and understand the reason why she left him.

When reading the novel, my favorite character was Ben. Ben is a lot different from other people. Ben is a kid that is not in a lot of sports or school activities. While understanding the life of Ben,...more
Ben Bancroft is still riding high after successfully completing a documentary for a film festival. His girlfriend Colleen is just high. Struggling with his feelings about Colleen and looking to the future, Ben begins to wonder what other people really see when they look at him. Do they see the withered arm and loping gait from cerebral palsy or do they see something else, something better?

As you can tell, I am catching up on some of my older reading. The first book, Stoner & Spaz was a book...more
Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II continues the tale of the fraught relationship between Ben Bancroft, the spaz, and Colleen Minou, the stoner. Ben wants to save Colleen from herself and her drug addiction and she is the only girl who he believes sees the real him and not his cerebral palsy. They became friends in the first novel after meeting at the movies. Ben is a budding film maker who has just had a successful showing of his first documentary at a local South Pasadena gallery, where he meet...more
First Impression:
I absolutely adored Stoner & Spaz and couldn't wait to get to know A.J. a little better, because as much as Colleen has shown Ben things he never thought he'd see, she is still quite a bit crazy (and full of drugs). I was glad I didn't have to wait after reading the first because I think these characters would stick with me forever and I wanted to know more of their story.

While Reading:
I have to say, this book is deeper than you'd think at first glance. Especially if you are...more
As with Stoner & Spaz, Koertge writes tight, fast, easy to read prose with an attractively well-realized protagonist in Ben - the wry high school student with CP who lives and longs to make movies. Stoner & Spaz II takes up right where the first novel broke off, with Ben longing to see Colleen again, even though she ditched him at the movie premiere. The two reconnect and break apart again and again in their difficult relationship. I think Koertge just couldn't bear to leave his creation...more
Renata Hundley
Nothing really exciting happens but the characters are great people and I loved them. In this sequel to Stoner & Spaz, Spaz and Colleen are older and more comfortable with themselves. Spaz accepts the shortcomings cerebral palsy brings and is no longer the kid people pick on in high school. The documentary he made in the first book has given him cred and his subjects enjoy their new celebrity most of the time. Colleen still has drug issues but she's working on a modified 12-step program that...more
2.5 stars

I read this book since it’s a sequel to Stoner and Spaz I read earlier this month. Although a good continuation, no surprising revelation occurs and you do not learn much more about any of the main characters. I felt the author was hoping that the “shock” of a stoner and disabled teen romance would be enough to keep readers entertained. The story played around with the idea that Ben was using Colleen. I felt all the characters used each other, Amy included, for their own personal good....more
One of the many reasons that Ron Koertge's a great author is that he knows how to end a book. His endings are never about putting a bow on a situation and making everything come together. They tend to be a bit messy and show that life is complicated and never has a perfect ending.

"Stoner and Spaz" is one of my favorite books and this sequel doesn't disappoint. Colleen and Ben are great characters full of life, energy, intelligence and rawness. Ben is a rich kid with Cerebral Palsy obsessed with...more
I admit it's been a while since I read Stoner and Spaz but I think I like the sequel better. It seems a lot less cliche and Ben has become a much more relateable character. In the first book I remember he was very defined by his disability and it seemed like I had read the plot before. Manic pixie dream girl with a an intelligent mind but a troubled past falls into an unlikely love. Now Playing Stoner and Spaz 2 still retained the same Ron Koertge humor and wit but gave the characters more depth...more
Hard to believe it's been 8 years since I read the first Stoner & Spaz. This one picks up pretty much where the first left off and I don't think it was quite as compelling. I always prefer the initial getting-to-know-you stuff over the what-comes-next. That said, this one saw a lot of resolution to both Ben's and Colleen's efforts to "grow up". Often moving, realistic- a few steps forward a few steps back in relationships and attitude toward life. I began to really appreciate Ben's grandmot...more
So, I didn't have any idea that this book was coming out until I spotted it at ALA. I remember enjoying the first one, about Ben (who has cerebral palsy) and Colleen (a druggie), so I snagged up this one. The book is a really fast read and interesting. But what it lacks, maybe because it's a sequel, is real character development. There is still some, but not as much as I would have liked. I still liked the book, but it felt a little unfinished to me. And, it just sort of ends. Which makes me won...more
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 seen something come of Ben's movie-making with the new camera but perhaps there will b...more
I had read the first book of this series a few years ago and recently found that it had a sequel. I finished this book in a couple of days so needless to say, it was good. Ben the main character and his girlfriend Colleen are one of the weirdest couples that I've read about in a book to date. Ben has love for Colleen at all times and always takes her back even when she messes up big time. Colleen is addicted to drugs and Ben is a boy with C.P. It was morose and very serious but in a funny, caref...more
Sandy D.
I loved this, maybe even more than the first one - though I went back & forth over 4 vs. 5 stars - it's really a 4.5. The evolution of the characters (which picks up a couple days after the first book left off) is realistic, the angst has been toned down a bit, and it was just a satisfying story, if not as in your face as the first book. Nothing much happens, but it's a good look at disabilities, teen sex, addiction, mental illness and class differences.
Debbie Hoskins
Easy to read book. It's been a while since I read Stoner & Spaz, but I think this second book is as good as the first. The plot is about the same, though this time Colleen is struggling with staying clean and sober. There's another girl who is interested in film and Ben. Colleen and Ben find Ben's mom. The complex characters and funny conversations raise Koertge's writing above normal teen fiction.
Loved it! It picked up right where the first one left off. I love the character change and interaction in Ben and Colleen. Love them together. The more puzzle pieces of Grandma I get, the more I want to find out about her, as well as Delia. And I think everyone needs a Marcie! I don't want to say to much and give away my favorite parts, but this is one series I'll be waiting for more from.
Polly ?
Not the type of book I usually read but I found my self really invested in the book. Great story and writing. I thought the book jacket was a odd summary of the book because I did not think the book focused on the choice between AJ and Collen, more on the discovery of the mother. Unfortunately I did not realize this was a squeal and will have to find the first book.
Unexpectedly (maybe) better than the first one. And that's saying something. Only complaint (And it's not really a complaint) is that I keep feeling slapped in the face when the book ends. It's a fine ending...just one of those 'huh?' type moments. I really could just keep reading about these two forever. It feels like there is just a ton of story left to tell. :)
Erin Sterling
Funny story about the unlikely romance between a boy with cerebal palsy (the narrator) who lives with his wealthy grandmother and a sassy girl trying to kick a drug habit who comes from a rough home environment. Good readalike for the John Greene type of books. Some sex (not graphic) and language (high school more than middle school read).
Sarah Jane
Compared to the first, this was very dry. Colleen is a little more cleaned up and there was very little time making movies or hanging with AJ. Little is resolved with the main conflicts that were in the first book and now in this book. I really hope there is another book. This one left me waiting for something to happen.
yes i love everything by ron koertge but this was kinda unremarkable for how awesome the first one was. not very memorable even though i only read it 3 months ago. I love hearing what happens to the characters next- but i prefer stories with more arc, more definiate beginning and ending.
"Now Playing" is a serviceable novel of the young adult realistic fiction variety. In it, star-crossed high-schoolers Colleen (Stoner) and Ben (Spaz) navigate the challenges of stripper moms, missing moms, drugs and fake friends. Along the way valuable lessons are learned.
Ehhhh. I really didn't like this at all, but I kept reading it to the end to see if anything redeeming would happen. Nope. It's really racist, the girlfriend totally belittles and mistreats our main character who is self-hating, and then somehow it's love. Ick.
I didn't finish it. Found it surprisingly contrived and I felt my interest slipping away until I finally let myself abandon it. Feels like a lifetime ago, but I really did like the first Stoner and Spaz book, but this one didn't do it for me.
I just read the first one last week, and I'm glad I didn't have to wait ten years for the sequel. I enjoyed this one as we get to see Colleen's character develop more fully; however I feel that Koertge left us hanging at the end.
Quick and easy read, but I felt the character of A.J. fell flat. No real competition for Colleen, and I thought that was kind of the point of the book (based on the cover flap). I will have to read the first one, now.
May 19, 2012 Cheney rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adult
Koertge writes to where you just fall right back into the story of Ben and Colleen. Love these two characters and I love the direction their lives head into. Grandma is pretty cool too. Quick, easy read.
The follow up to Stoner and Spaz. This is one of those sequels that you don't really need to read the first book, this one can stand alone. And possible go back to the first one. An okay read.
This sequel is written 10 years after the first book, and it's been about 7 or so since I read it. The story was a bit boring, and nothing happened. Unless you adore the plot of the first, skip.
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Ask Ron Koertge what he brings to the realm of young adult fiction, and the seasoned author responds matter-of-factly. "I write dialogue well, and I'm funny," he says--an assessment few would argue with. "I like iconoclasm and practice it in my fiction. I don't like pretense or hypocrisy. I'm almost always irreverent."

A faculty member for more than 35 years at Pasadena City College, where he has...more
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“The guys can't take their eyes off Colleen... one of them... probably sees her just like I do, she's the gatekeeper to another world.” 13 likes
“No wonder I want to be Robert Mitchum: big, strong, super-cool, with those Freon eyes of his. That's who I was pretending to be a minute ago - Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past. - Ben” 1 likes
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