Waste of Space
Cram ten hormonal teens into a spaceship and blast off: that’s the premise for the ill-conceived reality show Waste of Space. The kids who are cast know everything about drama—and nothing about the fact that the production is fake. Hidden in a desert warehouse, their spaceship replica is equipped with state-of-the-art special effects dreamed up by the scientists partnering with the shady cable network airing the show. And it’s a hit! Millions of viewers are transfixed. But then, suddenly, all communication is severed. Trapped and paranoid, the kids must figure out what to do when this reality show loses its grip on reality.

Waste of Space Details

TitleWaste of Space
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 11th, 2017
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers
Number of pages400 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction, Contemporary, Humor, Did Not Finish, Fiction, Abandoned, Young Adult Contemporary, Adventure, Young Adult Science Fiction

Waste of Space Review

  • Karen
    June 24, 2017
    Wow, what a ride! Waste of Space is a really fun read which spoofs the crazy reality shows. Set up much like Big Brother, 10 teens are chosen to head to space ALONE with no supervision while being filmed 24/7. A few of the characters are really outlandish, especially the creator of the show, who is also the TV host. BUT... Unknown to the cast and to the TV audience, the entire production is fake and the spaceship is actually sitting in the desert with a group of scientists and an elaborate speci Wow, what a ride! Waste of Space is a really fun read which spoofs the crazy reality shows. Set up much like Big Brother, 10 teens are chosen to head to space ALONE with no supervision while being filmed 24/7. A few of the characters are really outlandish, especially the creator of the show, who is also the TV host. BUT... Unknown to the cast and to the TV audience, the entire production is fake and the spaceship is actually sitting in the desert with a group of scientists and an elaborate special effects budget. The zany premise is what drew me to this book and I knew I had to read it. The book is told as a report using transcripts of the show and raw video footage which, once I got used to the format, worked well. All in all, I loved it, and found myself impatient to get back to it when real life got in the way. Once Saturday hit, I sat back and read to my heart's content until finished. Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Publishing for the great read!
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  • Manon
    July 2, 2017
    *4.25 Stars*I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Guess who's crying...... ----Waste of Space doesn’t happen in space. Nope. It’s the story of reality TV show where the contestants are supposed to think they’re in space and so are the TV spectators…It was told the way Illuminae was, basically… A succession of files and a dude commenting the videos…I was afraid starting it that it would be too similar to Illuminae but turns out, it wasn’t…I actually really loved thi *4.25 Stars*I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Guess who's crying...... ----Waste of Space doesn’t happen in space. Nope. It’s the story of reality TV show where the contestants are supposed to think they’re in space and so are the TV spectators…It was told the way Illuminae was, basically… A succession of files and a dude commenting the videos…I was afraid starting it that it would be too similar to Illuminae but turns out, it wasn’t…I actually really loved this. I connected instantly with some of the characters and some others grew on me. I was deeply invested and read it in about one sitting. I could not stop. I laughed, cried and everything in between…It’s also a satire on reality TV and TV production? It’s a subject that I’m interested in and I enjoyed that side greatly… It’s also a satire on bias and the classic character tropes.So, basically, I’m buying this when it comes out, and I’m planning on re-reading it.
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  • Stephanie
    January 28, 2017
    3.5 Stars. Overall, I found Waste of Space pretty enjoyable. I loved the satirical view of reality television. Though it did occasionally go a little far into cheesy territory, I thought it was really well done overall. If you're looking for a humorous, different kind of YA book, I definitely recommend this one. Catchphrase forever! Full review to come closer to release date.
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  • brekkersbutt
    January 3, 2017
    Omf this sounds so good??? Especially from this amazing author? Need this real bad
  • Erikka
    November 11, 2016
    I love Gina Damico. I say that in every review of every book, but I do. Her sense of humor, plot creation, lovable characters...she's just great. While this isn't her strongest book (some of the jokes and references are a bit on-the-nose), it still is a worthwhile read. I requested the ARC expecting another Gina Gem--and I got it. A fun ride, a slap in the face of reality TV, and some incredibly memorable characters.
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  • Mary (BookHounds)
    July 5, 2017
    MY THOUGHTSGina Damico is one author that I read EVERYTHING I can find by her, so WASTE OF SPACE is a must read for me.  In her latest, she takes 10 teens and places them in a reality show on a space ship. What can possibly go wrong?  Well, with Damico, almost everything and then some.  The teens all are chosen in a random, reality-show faithful casting much like a younger Big Brother mixed with Kardashian product placement.  Of course, with plans to broadcast 24-7, something goes awry when the MY THOUGHTSGina Damico is one author that I read EVERYTHING I can find by her, so WASTE OF SPACE is a must read for me.  In her latest, she takes 10 teens and places them in a reality show on a space ship. What can possibly go wrong?  Well, with Damico, almost everything and then some.  The teens all are chosen in a random, reality-show faithful casting much like a younger Big Brother mixed with Kardashian product placement.  Of course, with plans to broadcast 24-7, something goes awry when the teens don't seem to do anything interesting.Everything goes according to the plans of the producer who is a Ryan Seacrest type creature who tries to manipulate the teens into drama.  Some of the teens are pretty smart and are figuring out they are not really in space.  As the drama is artificially increased the rating take off but maintaining those ratings are cause for concern.  When the whole project goes dark, there are some major machinations at work.  The story is uniquely told by an intern who catalogs the inside scoop on this show which is now the subject of lawsuits.I found this book so much fun to read.  It is a wonderful take on reality shows but also brings out the best in teens.  I am not going to go into each character and plot detail because that would truly ruin the whole thing.  Just note once you start, you have to read this one straight through.
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  • Veronica
    May 14, 2017
    This book was unexpectedly good. After reading the back, I figured that it would be cheesy. And in a sense, it was, but it was written so well that it makes you want to keep reading. I really enjoyed the format in which the story was written: emails, dialogue, phone calls. It gives a nice change from regular writing. One of my favorite characters had to be Titania, she seemed so cool and slightly above it all. Her back story was really interesting and I loved how her backstory comes into play in This book was unexpectedly good. After reading the back, I figured that it would be cheesy. And in a sense, it was, but it was written so well that it makes you want to keep reading. I really enjoyed the format in which the story was written: emails, dialogue, phone calls. It gives a nice change from regular writing. One of my favorite characters had to be Titania, she seemed so cool and slightly above it all. Her back story was really interesting and I loved how her backstory comes into play in the end and how it affects her relationship with Nico. Also, I love how Bacardi's personality was a complete cover for the nerd inside. I feel like that's what a lot of girls feel like they have to do now, hide their knowledge and intellect with a pretty outside. It was nice to realize that she wasn't just a pretty face, she was pretty and dead smart. Now, my all time favorite character had to be Colonel Bacon, I mean, come on, just imagining a pig running around a space ship is hilarious to me. Overall, it was very well written and the plot twists and finale were perfect.
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  • Sam Kozbial
    June 14, 2017
    Rating: 3.5 StarsTake ten strangers, cram them into a faux spaceship (which they think is read), add some special effects, and a new reality show sensation is born. But there is more than meets the eye on Waste of Space. The producers are lying, the scientists are lying, and most of the contestant are lying. With this level of subterfuge, something interesting is bound to happen....and it does. I had a lot of fun reading this novel. I have always had a love/hate relationship with reality TV, and Rating: 3.5 StarsTake ten strangers, cram them into a faux spaceship (which they think is read), add some special effects, and a new reality show sensation is born. But there is more than meets the eye on Waste of Space. The producers are lying, the scientists are lying, and most of the contestant are lying. With this level of subterfuge, something interesting is bound to happen....and it does. I had a lot of fun reading this novel. I have always had a love/hate relationship with reality TV, and could not help but enjoy Damico satirical take on the genre. From the smarmy producer and seemingly stereotypical reality show characters to the outrageous stunts performed in order to produce "must see TV", I found myself grinning my way through this book. I loved getting to see this show from all angles. You had the producers pulling the strings, the scientists working other nefarious plan, and the contestants being oblivious to it all. These extra layers just added to the fun, and kept me wondering what was going to happen next. One thing that is not a secret, is that I love books that stray from the traditional narrative format. This one was sort of fun, in that it was a combination of video and phone transcripts with a few blog posts here and there. It was an interesting, but not random approach, as we, the reader, are well informed that this is being transcribed by a former network intern for a tell-all book. This worked well for me, especially since there are a lot of moving parts in this story. I also really enjoyed many of the characters. The contestants were meant to represent those one dimensional typical reality stars, and they sure seemed that way at first. But as the story played out, we got to learn that there was more to them then met the eye, and this sort of followed the trend in this book, which was filled with lots of fun surprises and twists. Overall, this book was humorous and lots of fun, so I didn't expect what happened at the end. I cannot reveal the very last page, but I can tell you that it gave me chills.
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  • Brenda Ayala
    June 19, 2017
    Waste of Space is a satire focusing on the ridiculousness of reality TV. As someone who despises reality TV, I was 100% on board with this sentiment. I don't watch Dancing with the Stars, The Apprentice, The Bachelor, Survivor, Real Housewives of [Blank]..... every once in a while I'll watch My 600 lb. Life or Hoarders if my mom has it on, but I will not seek it out. Reality TV is ridiculous.Waste of Space is ridiculous in all of the best ways. The show's creator is totally disconnected from rea Waste of Space is a satire focusing on the ridiculousness of reality TV. As someone who despises reality TV, I was 100% on board with this sentiment. I don't watch Dancing with the Stars, The Apprentice, The Bachelor, Survivor, Real Housewives of [Blank]..... every once in a while I'll watch My 600 lb. Life or Hoarders if my mom has it on, but I will not seek it out. Reality TV is ridiculous.Waste of Space is ridiculous in all of the best ways. The show's creator is totally disconnected from reality and has no respect for the law, basic human decency, or common sense. Every single one of the contestants are a little bit crazy, though I would definitely agree that some are more unhinged than others. Clayton and Louise were the obvious winners, though I would argue that Titania is a close second, just a late arrival to the party. The actual plot was completely ludicrous and I loved it. Matt and Kaoru were particularly funny for me, and I wished they had more screen time. Kaoru should've smacked Matt upside the head at least five different times. The rest of it was nuts; NASAW (not to be confused with NASA) decides to take matters into their own hands, the kids get cabin fever and start to be nutcases, someone pulls a gun....It's a wildly erratic plot that deviates three different ways from itself at any given point. The characters are brash and extremely one-dimensional. The entire premise makes no sense.Just like reality TV!
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  • Lauren
    July 4, 2017
    I adore Gina Damico. I am a HUGE fan of her Croak series and love her stories. Her writing and plot/character development is just so different from what other YA authors are doing. But, to be honest, her style will not be for everyone.Waste of Space was completely beguiling and zany. From the first page I COULD NOT put it down! The plot revolves around a creepy spoof/satire of the reality-tv scene complete with an idiotic, wealthy production guru. Any initial trite bits were made up for with cre I adore Gina Damico. I am a HUGE fan of her Croak series and love her stories. Her writing and plot/character development is just so different from what other YA authors are doing. But, to be honest, her style will not be for everyone.Waste of Space was completely beguiling and zany. From the first page I COULD NOT put it down! The plot revolves around a creepy spoof/satire of the reality-tv scene complete with an idiotic, wealthy production guru. Any initial trite bits were made up for with creativity and a bit of suspenseful mystery throughout. PLUS (and Damico does this so well) her characters appear ridiculous and one dimensional at first glance then quickly reveal how multi-layered and complex they are beneath the facades. Gina is just plain imaginative. I am always satisfied by her books.
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  • Breanna
    May 18, 2017
    THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and PaperbacksARC received through NetGalley.Waste of Space was a likeable enough novel. I think everyone who reads this can appreciated the author’s attempt to ridicule the entertainment/reality TV industry. The story is quite far-fetched and ridiculous, but it’s supposed to be satirical so you can’t take it too seriously for the most part. However, there were some parts that were a bit too cheesy/silly for my liking, which did affect my enjoyment of the book. It w THIS REVIEW & MORE → Paws and PaperbacksARC received through NetGalley.Waste of Space was a likeable enough novel. I think everyone who reads this can appreciated the author’s attempt to ridicule the entertainment/reality TV industry. The story is quite far-fetched and ridiculous, but it’s supposed to be satirical so you can’t take it too seriously for the most part. However, there were some parts that were a bit too cheesy/silly for my liking, which did affect my enjoyment of the book. It was also told in epistolary format (transcripts, interviews, etc.) which is not a style I enjoy reading. I have read a few other reviews saying that it would have been better as a comedy movie rather than a book, and I agree. Waste of Space was a quick, light, easy read that makes fun of the reality TV, and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t completely enjoy it either.
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  • Ashley Urquhart
    July 8, 2017
    DNF 99 pgs (24%) - It just felt overwhelmingly cheesy and unrealistic. I get that the book is supposed to be those things to an extent, but it just felt like too much. I didn't care about any of the characters because even 99 pages in, we hadn't really gotten to know any of them. The way the author tried to use different formats and mediums was interesting and a good concept, but I found the use of a no-name intern narrator to be a little strange. I usually love reality TV books, but I just coul DNF 99 pgs (24%) - It just felt overwhelmingly cheesy and unrealistic. I get that the book is supposed to be those things to an extent, but it just felt like too much. I didn't care about any of the characters because even 99 pages in, we hadn't really gotten to know any of them. The way the author tried to use different formats and mediums was interesting and a good concept, but I found the use of a no-name intern narrator to be a little strange. I usually love reality TV books, but I just couldn't with this one.
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  • Cynthia Means
    July 3, 2017
    I recieved an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This book had me laughing out loud at some points! I loved the call to different shows that was made throughout this book. I think that this is such a fun ride and I strongly suggest checking it out when in comes out on July 11th!
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  • clara
    May 18, 2017
    This was a really good book! I enjoyed the characters, plot, and overall idea of the story. It was a long book, but I didn't really think that any of them were fillers. It had a fantastic ending and plot twists, and I'm so ready for others to read it when it comes out in July!!
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  • Kat Ellis
    June 8, 2017
    A bunch of teens blasted into space as part of a reality TV show? There was no way I could not pick up this book after reading the premise! Waste of Space is such a weird, brilliant satire, and takes some pretty dark twists as the secrets behind the show are revealed through found footage, reports, and phone transcripts. It was very smart, funny, and unlike anything I've read before. I read Hellhole by Gina Damico a few weeks ago, and her style is easily recognisable in Waste of Space, even with A bunch of teens blasted into space as part of a reality TV show? There was no way I could not pick up this book after reading the premise! Waste of Space is such a weird, brilliant satire, and takes some pretty dark twists as the secrets behind the show are revealed through found footage, reports, and phone transcripts. It was very smart, funny, and unlike anything I've read before. I read Hellhole by Gina Damico a few weeks ago, and her style is easily recognisable in Waste of Space, even with the genre switch and different format of the novel. I will definitely be reading more of her backlist, and keeping an eye out for whatever comes next.*I received a copy of this book for review from Netgalley*
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  • Megan
    February 18, 2017
    This book wasn't for me. The humour was too zany, the characters drifted too far into caricature. Well, most of them. It seemed like the book couldn't decide if it wanted to be completely absurd satire, or to actually have serious and heartfelt. The result is a painfully stereotypically hillbilly character with a pet pig searching for his abducted tractor sharing page space with an introverted young man who's recently lost his parents and is struggling to connect with his older brother slash gua This book wasn't for me. The humour was too zany, the characters drifted too far into caricature. Well, most of them. It seemed like the book couldn't decide if it wanted to be completely absurd satire, or to actually have serious and heartfelt. The result is a painfully stereotypically hillbilly character with a pet pig searching for his abducted tractor sharing page space with an introverted young man who's recently lost his parents and is struggling to connect with his older brother slash guardian. It jars, badly. I think there are those out there who will enjoy the way this book joyously rips into reality TV, but as I said it just wasn't for me.
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  • Jen
    January 21, 2017
    Reality television, 10 teenagers, and an opportunity to go to space. In Waste of Space by Gina Damico, it seems as if this very premise is a chance of a lifetime and that nothing could go wrong...but it can.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.Ten teenagers are presented with the opportunity to travel to space for a reality television show, Waste of Space, vying for a grand prize of one million space dollars (...whatever that amounts to Reality television, 10 teenagers, and an opportunity to go to space. In Waste of Space by Gina Damico, it seems as if this very premise is a chance of a lifetime and that nothing could go wrong...but it can.To read this, and other book reviews, visit my website: http://makinggoodstories.wordpress.com/.Ten teenagers are presented with the opportunity to travel to space for a reality television show, Waste of Space, vying for a grand prize of one million space dollars (...whatever that amounts to in currency on Earth). The kids (or at least most of them) believe that they are actually in space while they are actually in the Arizona desert on a soundstage in a "space plane" built by both a special effects company and scientists of a lesser known governmental space agency. When communication to the kids suddenly is severed, the producers realize that the scientists have taken over and strange things begin to happen on the ship, making those who think they're on Earth question if they might somehow actually be in space.An incredibly quick-paced read, the story unfolds before us as a series of evidence compiled from phone calls, video recordings, emails, and aired and behind-the-scenes transcripts of footage. The writing is infused with plenty of humorous quips and references to both build upon and counter some of the ridiculous events of the story. Each of the characters did serve a specific purpose in the narrative but it seemed as if their primary role was fulfilling the quota of stereotyped reality show characters, which was ultimately understandable though groan-worthy in its own right. This was a light, entertaining read that poked fun at the reality television racket.
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  • Sabrina Roy
    January 31, 2017
    I received an ARC from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Overall this book was pretty good. I will say this would be more amusing as a movie than a book. But that being said I would still probably tell someone to read this. The characteristics of each character were very pronounced. There are only a few surprises that even I admit were nice twists. The ending was unexpected but expected at the same time. I think this book would have been good with a different ending b I received an ARC from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Overall this book was pretty good. I will say this would be more amusing as a movie than a book. But that being said I would still probably tell someone to read this. The characteristics of each character were very pronounced. There are only a few surprises that even I admit were nice twists. The ending was unexpected but expected at the same time. I think this book would have been good with a different ending buy this ending foods well. I will end it with saying I am a sticker for a happy ending for the good guys.
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  • Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
    December 2, 2016
    Who am I kidding with this "possibly" crap? It's Gina Damico. I'm there.
  • Kirsty Hanson
    June 30, 2017
    I'm a sucker for sci-fi books. I love space soooo much so when I read that this book was "set in space" AND was a reality TV show, I was all for it. However, reading the blurb didn't exactly give away what kind of read I was in for...Cram ten hormonal teens into a spaceship and blast off: that’s the premise for the ill-conceived reality show Waste of Space. The kids who are cast know everything about drama—and nothing about the fact that the production is fake. Hidden in a desert warehouse, thei I'm a sucker for sci-fi books. I love space soooo much so when I read that this book was "set in space" AND was a reality TV show, I was all for it. However, reading the blurb didn't exactly give away what kind of read I was in for...Cram ten hormonal teens into a spaceship and blast off: that’s the premise for the ill-conceived reality show Waste of Space. The kids who are cast know everything about drama—and nothing about the fact that the production is fake. Hidden in a desert warehouse, their spaceship replica is equipped with state-of-the-art special effects dreamed up by the scientists partnering with the shady cable network airing the show. And it’s a hit! Millions of viewers are transfixed. But then, suddenly, all communication is severed. Trapped and paranoid, the kids must figure out what to do when this reality show loses its grip on reality.So this book is very satirical. It makes jokes about the world of reality TV and how it works, it jokes about how reality TV game shows always adopt tokenism, so they always have the token black individual or gay individual... This book plays on the ideas that reality TV always has the stereotypical individuals. Some people may not see that this book is satire and think that the stereotypical characters of the book are offensive because they tick every box in the 'stereotype' list. BUT! That is not what Damico is doing here. She is taking the p*** out of reality shows, how they come up with their ideas, how they script the episodes and how they choose their cast. I thought it was very clever, but I didn't know that this was a satirical book. I went into it thinking that it was quite serious. So sometimes the satire got a bit too much for me, the jokes that Chazz Young made got a little too cheesy. But there's a strange underlying message: how far will producers and writers go to get those high rating and viewership? Well in Chazz Young's case: there isn't a 'too far'. He will do ANYTHING to get the ratings, even if it borders on barbaric. I was all for the NAWSAW company at first. They always told Young when his ideas were ridiculous and when he had gone too far, they alway tried to put him in his place (and failed), but towards the end of the book, I was like... WWHHHHAAATTTT??!! I did not see the plot twist involving NAWSAW coming and to be honest, that whole story arc came out of nowhere. I mean the whole ending was pretty cool and everything but I just didn't understand what had happened. Ok, well I knew what had happened, but nothing was explained, through any of the characters. Or is that just me missing something completely huge that was obvious to everyone else?  "I'd get up in the morning, and when I stretched out my arms, it felt like my fists were banging into an invisible barrier, a bubble around my bed. It was suffocating. I couldn't breathe."- Gina Damico, Waste of Space What I really liked about this book was that it was that the story was told in loads of different formats. There were video camera footage, transcripts of the episodes, transcripts of phone calls and other fascinating formats. It was very similar to that of Illuminae and Sleeping Giants. I love it when author adopt this story-telling method because it always adds another dimension (HA, see what I did there?) to the book and it always seems more interesting. Apart from the characters being stereotypes (the rich, obnoxious kid, the nerd, the quiet one, the odd one, the gay one, the clever one and then the party animal), I thought the characters were really well-rounded. Sometimes, you couldn't help but laugh at the stereotypes and how much Damico played on them, but other times, like the character of Bacardi, I was utterly surprised when I realised that I really loved this character. She was just absolutely amazing. I hated Clayton so much. Every time he opened his mouth, I just wanted to shut it. Every word that he spoke was just utter rubbish and he was so self-centered! I'd had enough of him the second he was introduced. I felt so sorry for Kayou as well! She's Japanese and she was only cast because she was from another country, but no one else could speak Japanese so she would be talking and no one could understand her! It was so sad, but some of the things that she said were just hilarious! Her sarcasm was unreal and I couldn't help but laugh out loud at certain things she said. Overall, this was a very enjoyable book. I'm not 100% sure if I would read it again, but if there ever was a sequel, I would definitely read that!Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest reviewReleased 11th July
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  • Schizanthus
    July 8, 2017
    As soon as I read the blurb for Waste of Space I knew I was in for a fun time and couldn't wait to start reading. I started smiling within the first few pages and I'm not sure I stopped until after I realised the book was over. Although my smiles at the beginning related to the absurdity of the situation the characters were unwittingly getting themselves into, the last smile was due to the satisfaction that came from imagining the beauty and perfection of that final image. Reality shows are such As soon as I read the blurb for Waste of Space I knew I was in for a fun time and couldn't wait to start reading. I started smiling within the first few pages and I'm not sure I stopped until after I realised the book was over. Although my smiles at the beginning related to the absurdity of the situation the characters were unwittingly getting themselves into, the last smile was due to the satisfaction that came from imagining the beauty and perfection of that final image. Reality shows are such guilty pleasures. I've felt squeamish during Survivor's food challenges, eaten chocolate while watching The Biggest Loser, experienced the horror akin to watching a car crash unfold every time something disgusting is found during a Hoarders episode and revelled in feeling boringly normal each time a new My Strange Addiction unfolds on my TV. I love that Gina Damico took a satirical spin on reality shows. I'm not usually a fan of books that feature transcripts as I generally find them quite incohesive but was pleasantly surprised with how well my attention was maintained throughout the transitions between transcripts of video footage and phone calls, and the intern's commentary. I haven't read one of Gina Damico's books before but found her writing to be very visual. With the descriptions of the people, locations and situations I could easily watch mini movies in my mind of all of the action. If The Asylum were to take it on I could see this book being made into a really fun B grade comedy/drama/action movie. I'd definitely watch it!Waste of Space took me longer to read than I'd expected because I kept stopping to go find someone to read a funny passage to, such as the explanation of what went wrong in the season four finale of Alaskan Sex Igloo. I loved the concepts of the other reality shows described in this book as well, including America's Next Top Murderer and The Real Housewives of Atlantis. I had to try to suppress a giggle when reading about these because I'm sure if they were real I'd be settling in to binge watch them as we speak.That said though, beneath all of the fun and some silliness there were some deeper truths to be found about conquering your fears, not judging a person solely by the image they portray on the surface, facing the painful events in your past and the impact they continue to have on you, and the value of trusted friends.I was intrigued by both Nico and Titania from when I first met them and looked forward to seeing how their characters unfolded throughout the book. Watching their characters interact with their fellow Spaceronauts and each other was entertaining and I liked discovering the defining moments in their pasts that eventually led them on board the Laika. As much as I liked both Nico and Titania, my favourite character ended up being Kaoru, the girl who consistently told it like it was ... albeit in Japanese which none of the other Spaceronauts understood. What I wanted to eat while reading this book:* Bacon (sorry, Colonel Bacon!).If I were to nitpick:* I was a bit annoyed by some crude scenes that I didn't think were necessary and added nothing to the plot or character development.* I kept waiting for the disclaimer saying this book was sponsored by IKEA.What I'll be doing once I finish writing this review:* Researching Gina Damico's other books to add to my ever growing to be read pile and working out which one I want to read first.Although I received a free advanced reading copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, I know I'm going to want to reread Waste of Space and highlight all of the passages that made me laugh so I can easily find them again when I feel the need to randomly quote them, so I'll be purchasing my own copy.Catchphrase forever!!!
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  • Nannette Demmler
    June 24, 2017
    Gina Damico’s books always make me laugh out loud and this one did as well. This is a biting satire on reality TV and how insane things can get in television. This is a different book than any others I’ve read by this author, but the things that I love, the wit and sarcasm are certainly there, as well as a story that is hard to put down.The story is being told by a disgruntled intern who worked on the project for the cable network DV8. She (I thought of her as female although we don’t really kno Gina Damico’s books always make me laugh out loud and this one did as well. This is a biting satire on reality TV and how insane things can get in television. This is a different book than any others I’ve read by this author, but the things that I love, the wit and sarcasm are certainly there, as well as a story that is hard to put down.The story is being told by a disgruntled intern who worked on the project for the cable network DV8. She (I thought of her as female although we don’t really know who the narrator is) recounts the ill fated reality show Waste of Space, through transcripts, e-mails, recorded phone calls and video recordings. There is much to tell, from the start of the producer and DV8 owner Chazz’s first meetings with the scientist of NASAW through to the somewhat surprise ending. The reader is often left wondering what is real and what isn’t through out the entire book, mostly because no one is quite what or who they seem to be. All of the cast members are quite different from each other and unfortunately fall into the categories most associated with reality TV. We have Nico, who is very shy and has a troubled past. Titania, who is also troubled but more of a leader than Nico. They are the real stars of the story and we see them the most in the transcripts. Bacardi is the freewheeling drunk who appears to be clueless most of the time. Jamarkus is the smart one, who also happens to be african american and gay. Clayton is the nephew of Chazz and is the one who loves to stir up stuff and is the character on the show that everyone loves to hate. These five are the ones who carry most of the dialog and action of the show. Louise is the youngest and has the most trouble relating to the others. She is also the only who never doubts that they are really in space. Snout is the country boy who really doesn’t have a clue as to what is going on usually. He was allowed to bring his pet pig Colonel Bacon on the ship, which adds another layer of comedy and incredulity to the show. Kaoru, who only speaks Japanese, Hibiscus the hippy and Matt round out the group of ten teens supposedly sent into space. We also hear a lot from Chazz Young, the producer and owner of DV8. I loved all of the characters, even the ones that were nasty such as Chazz and Clayton and I felt sorry for a few of them. Nico and Titania were the the ones who really steal the show and tug at your heartstrings with their stories. Bacardi ends up being a bit of a surprise and although I hated her through most of the book, I really came to appreciate her in the end.We also get glimpses of what the public is thinking of this show through blog postings and transcripts of news conferences. Through these we are meant to understand that the show is widely popular and that the majority of americans think that the kids are really in space! There is one group of naysayers who try to call DV8 out on their deception, but are always one step behind them and the scientists who end up deceiving everyone.A really great read that is funny and a great satire of reality TV. I found it hard to put down, and spent most of it chuckling to myself. When things start to go wrong for the show and the kids are trapped I did start to worry about how it was going to end. There is a bit of a surprise twist, but a good one I think, and one that adds to the mixed up reality that is a Waste of Space.
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  • Christina
    May 18, 2017
    This is a FUN book! It's a spoof of reality tv shows as well as a fun sci-fi romp. An unscrupulous tv production company producer and cheesy on-air host (think Ryan Seacrest but slimy) recruits several teens to be the cast of his new reality show, "Waste of Space," which is like "Big Brother" but set on a spaceship orbiting the Earth. The tv crew has partnered with a group of space scientists to try for an air of authenticity. The cast is blatantly chosen to fulfill reality show archetypes ("The This is a FUN book! It's a spoof of reality tv shows as well as a fun sci-fi romp. An unscrupulous tv production company producer and cheesy on-air host (think Ryan Seacrest but slimy) recruits several teens to be the cast of his new reality show, "Waste of Space," which is like "Big Brother" but set on a spaceship orbiting the Earth. The tv crew has partnered with a group of space scientists to try for an air of authenticity. The cast is blatantly chosen to fulfill reality show archetypes ("The Party Girl!" "The Rich Kid!" "The Nerd!" etc.) and create tension and "Drama"--this is a low-rent outfit, and part of the fun is seeing how low this tv guy will go in order to get good tv ratings! But by the end they prove to be much more than their stereotypes would have indicated; I liked how the characters were gradually revealed to be a little more well-rounded. Not all of them, though--the "Foreigner" character, who only speaks Japanese, seems to be there only for comic relief and we never get to know much about her. Here's the twist: the tv folks are faking the whole "spaceship" aspect, but they DON'T tell the kids that they're really on a secret soundstage in the desert! (You'd think they'd wonder why there is a hot tub and a "confessional closet" on a spaceship, but only the Japanese girl realizes this right away, and no one can understand her when she tells them!) The story is presented through transcripts of the show episodes and unaired raw footage, as well as transcripts of various phone conversations, all compiled by an intern on the show who wants 'the true story to be told.' The manufactured "Instigating Plot Points" that the producers cook up to create dramatic tensions--"A solar flare!" "An asteroid attack!"-- soon give way to ACTUAL conflicts, as the story accelerates into hilarious farce territory. I won't spoil the plot twists but I couldn't put the book down until I got to the end!I read an advance copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley (and the YALSA Teens Top Ten galley project).
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  • Alisha Marie
    July 8, 2017
    Admittedly, I wasn't expecting much from Waste of Space. Science Fiction books tend to be a bit of a hit or miss with me and that coupled with the fact that this has some critical reviews on Amazon made me think that this was going to be a waste of time. But I actually ended up really enjoying Waste of Space.The Good: I found Waste of Space to be pretty funny. I absolutely loved Chazz. Sure, he was a terrible human being and sometimes veered towards cartoony, but my God was he hilarious. The act Admittedly, I wasn't expecting much from Waste of Space. Science Fiction books tend to be a bit of a hit or miss with me and that coupled with the fact that this has some critical reviews on Amazon made me think that this was going to be a waste of time. But I actually ended up really enjoying Waste of Space.The Good: I found Waste of Space to be pretty funny. I absolutely loved Chazz. Sure, he was a terrible human being and sometimes veered towards cartoony, but my God was he hilarious. The actual YA characters also weren't too aggravating here. I really liked Nico, was in awe of Bacardi (and believe me, THAT was a surprise), and was endeared by Snout.More Good: Waste of Space is told in a epistolary format. This can also be a bit of a hit or miss with me (didn't like it in Illuminae and was a big reason why I DNF'ed it), but I really enjoyed it here. The way it's told made the 500 pages in my copy fly by. I seriously read this book in one sitting (and yes, I am now crazy hungry) and loved that it was such a page-turner.The Not So Great: Louise was incredibly annoying, but I think you were supposed to feel that way about her. Titania, I wasn't a huge fan of. I didn't dislike her, but she didn't really do anything for me. Considering that her arc in Waste of Space is probably one of the main ones, this posed a slight (minuscule) problem. Despite that, I did enjoy the ending to that arc. I also found the first half of Waste of Space to be much stronger than the second half where it started veering into incredibly ridiculous.Overall, I enjoyed Waste of Space. This is more of a 3 and a half stars book, but I'm upping it to four because it did make me laugh and I didn't want to put it down. Highly recommended. Just go into it knowing that it's zany and ridiculous.
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  • M. R. Laurens
    July 8, 2017
    4.5 starsI will admit that the premise for this book is laughable. But this book surprised me. It has so much more substance than I went into it expecting.It starts off how it sounds in the synopsis. An awful reality TV network with absolutely no sense of morals or reality, led by a power and praise hungry CEO come up with the idea to put a bunch of kids on a space ship and see what happens. It makes a mockery of reality tv and Hollywood in general with overdone characters. But it is entertainin 4.5 starsI will admit that the premise for this book is laughable. But this book surprised me. It has so much more substance than I went into it expecting.It starts off how it sounds in the synopsis. An awful reality TV network with absolutely no sense of morals or reality, led by a power and praise hungry CEO come up with the idea to put a bunch of kids on a space ship and see what happens. It makes a mockery of reality tv and Hollywood in general with overdone characters. But it is entertaining. It hooks you. Reading this book, the show is destined to be a train wreck and it is impossible to look away. Then you have the ten teens who all fit into reality TV token categories. The nerd, the jock, a couple of token people of color, the hippie, the loner, the hick, the rich jerk, and the drunk party girl. The way these characters are portrayed is very overdone and definitely borders if not is offensive at times. But the characters do undergo some really great development.I find it hard to write this review without giving too much away. But the story goes from something trite, something that is trying too hard to be funny and satirical to something with character development that shocks, intense can’t-put-down-the-book-because-what-is-happening action sequences, and an ending that goes beyond any expectations. If you can get past the slow and repetitive first act of this book, the rest is a joy to read and discover.Note: I received a review copy courtesy of Net-Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kitten Kisser
    June 13, 2017
    Waste of TimeTake my advice & skip this. Life is too short & there are far too many good books to be read. Don't waste your time on this utter garbage. The premise of this book sounds like it should be wildly entertaining. Nope. Sorry folks. It's stupid. Not funny stupid. Just dumb. I never laughed. All I really wanted to do was toss this in the burn pile, but I finished it all the way to the lack luster ending in order to write a fair review rather than a "I couldn't finish it." review. Waste of TimeTake my advice & skip this. Life is too short & there are far too many good books to be read. Don't waste your time on this utter garbage. The premise of this book sounds like it should be wildly entertaining. Nope. Sorry folks. It's stupid. Not funny stupid. Just dumb. I never laughed. All I really wanted to do was toss this in the burn pile, but I finished it all the way to the lack luster ending in order to write a fair review rather than a "I couldn't finish it." review. It starts off absolutely awful & only improves by the teeniest amount as I slogged through this mess. The author tries way too hard to be funny, so it's just stupid. The style of the novel prevents it from having any sort of flow. It is broken into different views & recordings. For the most part it is written similar to reading a screen play. Mind you I said, "similar." It may have been a two star book if it was written as a novel, but even with that improvement, nothing can really be done about the over the top stereotypical characters & overall idiocy. Mind you, I love comedy. I love to laugh, who doesn't? I'm not offended by raunchy or rude humor at the expense of others, but I am however appalled by fake humor, you know the people who try too hard to be funny? You either are or your not. This is not funny. It is not entertaining. It is garbage.This is now officially the worst book I've had the misfortune to read this year.
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  • Krystianna
    June 3, 2017
    I'm not really sure how I feel about that ending. I'm a little uneasy! Review to come soon.updated review //**Thank you so much to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!**-what i liked-The topic of this book. I mean, what's cooler than a TV reality show about teenagers getting sent off into space? Even better, what about if the entire outer space was actually just a set in a warehouse but nobody else new about it except for the I'm not really sure how I feel about that ending. I'm a little uneasy! Review to come soon.updated review //**Thank you so much to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!**-what i liked-The topic of this book. I mean, what's cooler than a TV reality show about teenagers getting sent off into space? Even better, what about if the entire outer space was actually just a set in a warehouse but nobody else new about it except for the production company?So. Much. Suspense. The whole time that I was reading I just had to know what was going to happen next. Was another person going to be kicked off the spaceship? Are aliens going to come? Is someone going to die? I just needed to know immediately!The characters. Honestly, Titania was my favorite character. She was very intelligent and had been through a lot of crap. I liked how bits of her story were thrown throughout the entire novel. I also loved how awesome the whole cast was. They were all so different and meshed just like the producers thought they would.The satirical nature of the novel. It was obviously meant to make fun of a lot of reality TV, and it sure did serve its purpose!The entire book was told like it was part of a case that was being recounted. It let the reader know that something bad definitely happened.-what i didn't like-I wish it was longer!!-overall-Despite the title of the reality TV show and the novel itself, this book is surely not a Waste of Space. Pick it up and give it a read-it definitely deserves a place on your shelf!
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  • Jen
    July 8, 2017
    ** I read an e-advance reader copy of this book obtained from Edelweiss+ **For the most part I enjoyed this book. The premise (fake reality show set in space starring teens who don't realize (at first) that everything is fake) was amazing. The characters were purposely over-done and met all the criteria for a reality show -- the one you love to hate; the ones you fall in love with and just want to see get together and be happy; the one who is a bit slow but is so helpful and so nice; the slightl ** I read an e-advance reader copy of this book obtained from Edelweiss+ **For the most part I enjoyed this book. The premise (fake reality show set in space starring teens who don't realize (at first) that everything is fake) was amazing. The characters were purposely over-done and met all the criteria for a reality show -- the one you love to hate; the ones you fall in love with and just want to see get together and be happy; the one who is a bit slow but is so helpful and so nice; the slightly crazy one who you definitely sympathize with; and the beautiful, annoying (and way too smart for her own good) one. Oh, and of course, the evil producer. There were times though that the over-done characterizations drew me out of the story and that is my one real complaint about this book. The parts that dealt with the teens on the ship were perfect but some of the scenes set outside, in the 'real' world just fell a bit flat. Still, overall the story was fun and it flowed well and the tension held up well (gila monster attack!). The ending was also definitely out-there and was, at least to me, unexpected (and fun!). I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes action/adventure or fantasy with a lot of fun & crazy hijinks!
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  • Heather A
    June 28, 2017
    I received a copy from Netgalley.This is the second book I’ve read recently with a satirical tone which seems to be poking fun at the absurdity of “reality” TV. In this reader’s opinion, this is the better book. It’s funnier, and there are an abundance of characters who needed to be punched on lots of different occasions, but it is utterly gripping. The premise of this one is pretty straight forward as explained in the synopsis. Ten random kids thrown together on what they think is a spaceship, I received a copy from Netgalley.This is the second book I’ve read recently with a satirical tone which seems to be poking fun at the absurdity of “reality” TV. In this reader’s opinion, this is the better book. It’s funnier, and there are an abundance of characters who needed to be punched on lots of different occasions, but it is utterly gripping. The premise of this one is pretty straight forward as explained in the synopsis. Ten random kids thrown together on what they think is a spaceship, and sent into space. Which is really a big ass soundstage in the Californian desert somewhere with a host of spectacular special effects, built by a team of scientists. Lead by an executive producer who’s a gigantic moron but clearly thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread. The casting is the worst type of stereotyping, and personalities will almost clearly clash, with maybe two or three characters who were actually likeable. It’s impossible to recap much without being spoilery. Of course with this sort of premise, it’s not long before things go hideously wrong. There is a slightly snarky tone to most of it, it’s told in a series of reports and interviews and such of what happened after it all went down. Nothing is as it seems, behind the scenes things unravel fantastically, and the viewing public are utterly fascinated. It’s the type of terrible TV show that you find yourself unable to stop watching no matter how obviously fake it is and how obviously bad it is. I did find some of the characters to be really surprising, showing a really surprising side to themselves. There were a fair number of them who were idiots. There was also some great twists to the plot as well. Nothing too deep. It was quite silly in parts, and quite funny. Very entertaining. Thank you Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for approving my request to view the title.
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  • Nichole Midgett
    June 12, 2017
    I received an ARC of this book thanks to a Goodreads giveaway and from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I've not read anything by this author before so I had no basis as to her writing style. The premise of the book was what caught my attention at first. I've not read anything like it and thought it would be interesting. The layout of the book took some getting used too as it is in transcript form. Story was well developed. Characters seemed to be pretty diverse both in outer and inner appearances. On I received an ARC of this book thanks to a Goodreads giveaway and from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I've not read anything by this author before so I had no basis as to her writing style. The premise of the book was what caught my attention at first. I've not read anything like it and thought it would be interesting. The layout of the book took some getting used too as it is in transcript form. Story was well developed. Characters seemed to be pretty diverse both in outer and inner appearances. Once I got into the book, it was hard to put down. I kept wondering how she was going to tie everything up at the end but it turned out pretty well done. The ending wasn't what I was expecting but it made sense. Overall, the only thing "wrong" with the book is the cover. I think a redesign should be done. It is just simple and trite for what happens in the book. This will be a quick summer read for anyone.
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