21 January 2010

Review: Stoner & Spaz By: Ron Koertge

Title: Stoner & Spaz
Author: Ron Koertge
Publisher: Candlewick, 176 Pages (January 5, 2004)
From: Amazon

Synopsis: Colleen Minou is a hard-core stoner, a girl whose motto is, "I'll get high and do anything." Ben Bancroft is a movie-addicted preppie who suffers from cerebral palsy, "the resident spaz, invisible as the sign that says NO RUNNING, the one no one pays attention to." Together, they form the most unlikely couple since Dharma and Greg. He's Brooks Brothers, she's Salvation Army. He's never even smoked a cigarette, she's got 20 different chemicals running through her veins. But when these two lonely teens meet one night at Ben's favorite hang, the Rialto (a classic film theatre that "smells like butter from the Paleozoic"), sparks fly. At least for Ben they do. Maybe it's because Colleen's the first girl to ever really notice him, to have the nerve to tease him about his disability instead of pretend it's not there. For once, Ben is actually more interested in his real life than a movie. Colleen takes him clubbing, lights his first joint, even challenges him to direct his own movie. But when Ben, in turn, dares her to stay straight, Colleen admits that, despite his devotion, she still needs the drugs to "smooth out the edges." Is Ben capable of convincing her otherwise? If not, how will he ever be cured of his Colleen addiction?

Review: 3.5 Stars - This book wasn't what I was expecting, which I seem to be saying quite a bit these days. However, it's true again with this book. This quick read was another that I had finished in one sitting. The characters were polar opposites of each other.

Ben who was born with Cerebral Palsy pretty much keeps to himself. He believes he's a monster because of his disability and chooses to hang out for the most part alone. He's addicted to the way movies are filmed and likes to hang out in the back row of a rundown local movie theater - The Rialto.

Not expecting anything other then the usual, Ben heads over to see The Bride of Frankenstein and has a run in with the ever drugged up Colleen. She's the girl at school who everyone knows is usually high and has many of her own problems to deal with. Much to his distress, she follows Ben to the back row and falls asleep on his shoulder while the movie plays.

As the story goes on, we learn more about Ben and how he came to live with his Grandmother... why he chooses to stay in the shadows and spend his time alone. We learn how Colleen ended up on drugs and even at times get a chance to see the little glimpse of who she really is.

Ben also meets with a new neighbor who's had a chance to take film classes and sparks Ben’s interest even further into the movie industry and helps him learn how to make a movie of his own.

Throughout the movie Ben learns much from his fellow classmates, about Colleen and most importantly about himself. Will he or won't he save the girl from herself? Will he or won't he understand that he's not some monster from a movie? Two people who crossed paths at a time in their lives when they needed something most. Needed each other. To forever change who they are and who they will become.

There are some life lessons in this book that aren't hard to see. The writing was decent and the characters likable. This book was an okay/pretty good read that kept my attention to find out what would happen next. For those who have yet to read it, it wasn't bad, interesting to say the least. Enjoy!

FTC Disclaimer: I DID pay for this book and have NOT been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this review.

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2 comments:

  1. Great review! I had not heard of this one yet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! It was different to say the least. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete

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