Cover Image: Waste of Space

Waste of Space

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Member Reviews

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 be 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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This book was was thrilling, evocative, and very relevant. Even though it was not perfect, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a meaningful YA novel.
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I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, this does not change my review in any way.

This book reminded me a lot of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie, it was strange, weird, funny, light hearted and most definitely unique :). And I think that comparison really works from what I remember of The Hitchhikers Guide. 

Waste of Space was not at all what I was expecting. I thought this book was going to be from the characters points of views but the entire book is made up of (mostly) interviews, and transcripts from the show. We don't get to hear what's going on in the characters heads, which was fine at first because I REALLY like books set up like this because it's quick to read. In the end though, I was a bit disappointed by it because it would have been nice to hear what they were thinking...

The whole entire time I was reading this book, I was waiting for something to happen and... nothing did, other than the cast losing connection with the outside world. At the final 100 pages, I started to feel very disappointed at the lack of exciting events. I was expecting this to be thrilling and suspenseful, and instead, it was funny and really weird. Although the ending is really open and kind of hints at something that I found very interesting, but I wish we got to know more about :\.

So why did I give this book three stars?

I actually did really enjoy Waste of Space even if it was very different from what I was expecting.

The characters were unique, they were a bit over the top and kind of felt unrealistic, but I like that about them. They had huge personalities yet they felt like there was little depth to them not to sound rude. Only a few characters developed through the story which was the only thing that felt unnatural to me.

The writing was kind of adorable. I like how the story felt (for the most part) light and funny, like we weren't supposed to take it so seriously. I haven't read many books like that before, and I found it very enjoyable. It's a lot like Denton Little's Deathdate, and Total Drama Island.

Fable's Final Thoughts

While I did enjoy this book, it was much different from what I was expecting (obviously XD). Waste of Space is not written from the characters POVs, it's made up of transcripts and interviews. The characters were over the top, and the story was very enjoyable. My biggest problem with Waste of Space was the lack of exciting turn of events...
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I feel like I’m living in the future.  I’ve been reading a lot of books that don’t come out until the summer and while it has been pretty amazing, I think it might be time to live in the now…at least for the present.

Which means that this is might be the last advanced readers copy that I read for the next little bit.  My to-read pile is so out of control and I have so very many books that I need to read before I get to live in the future again.

Waste of Space is not set in the future, it is very much in the now.  A now where the reality shows need to be bigger and more outrageous than ever before.  And what could be bigger than sending 10 teens into space and filming them as they travel the vast and empty void?  But, as we all know, reality shows often contain very little reality and this one is much less real than usual.   The teens, however, do not know that instead of travelling to space they are instead sequestered on a sound-stage space ship located in the desert.  As they navigate carefully scripted disasters, things begin to go off the rails.  And then all communication with the “ship” is lost…and the cast members are left to try to figure out how to survive, what is really going on, and how to escape.

This book is an interesting mix of the shallowness of the entertainment industry, mixed with some slightly heavier emotions, which brings on this sort of surrealistic ending that feels somehow wrong and perfect at the same time.

Waste of Space will be published in July of 2017.  Until then…Catchphrase Forever!!
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Fast-paced and fun read.  Interesting premise, the storyline is light but not completely unrealistic.  Some characters are a little deeper than others, but keenly so.  The story is full of humor and spot-on pop culture references.  Would be a great recommendation for reluctant readers as well.
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A solid 3.5 stars for this book. It is written in a very unique format, through calls, Internet articles and conversations. I overall did enjoy this book but I can't seem to get into the story much. I find myself skipping some lines and not even bothered to read them so that's why I gave this one a 3.5. The characters are amazingly created, all very diverse, one of the things I like about this book. Maybe because there are too many characters to cover, I don't see each and everyone's backstory which is what I'm really expecting from the book. My favorite has to go to Nico, I can relate to him the most and the ending seems vague although I know the author wants us to imagine for ourselves but I think some of the things are not well wrapped up and explained.
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Gosh, I'm honestly a little bit at a loss on how exactly to review this book. 
It tries to be many things at once; a satire on society and reality television, a survival story involving adolescents, a study in excess and greed and disparity between social classes, and then some science-fiction thrown in.

Boilded down, Waste of Space is a teen Big Brother that supposedly takes places in space (spoiler alert: it doesn't actually).

Waste of Space follows Chazz Young, a hotshot producer at a cable network called DV8 that shows trashy but enjoyable reality TV (so something like Bravo essentially), who gets the idea to create a show about sending kids into space and filming it. But he's not actually going to send them into space obviously, just make them and anyone watching the show think that he is. Oh, and he's pretty much doing everything on the fly and just going with the flow. It's all very blasé in the writers room for this show.

He holds auditions in malls across America and manipulates kids into signing contracts. There's very minimal time between developing the show and it being on air. And once it's on air it's a huge, astronomical hit, but of course something is bound to go wrong, and it does, completely.
It's all fast paced, and it's actually fun to read. I enjoyed the introduction to the characters and the absolute mania of development more than the actual show and plot, which took up most of the book naturally. 

The book is written as a report, with an intern at DV8 compiling evidence in order to determine what actually happened during the duration of Waste Of Space's development, from the initial idea to the last aired episode. Waste Of Space is styled as a collection of audio and video transcripts, so if that's not your thing then you probably won't enjoy 500+ pages of it.
The story is split into four parts; Part One - Preproduction, Part Two - Production, Part Three - The Last Day, and Part Four - Post-Production. Again in all of these we have interviews, transcripts of live and recorded segments for the aired episodes, and transcripts of the live feeds.

At it's core, this is a story about exploration and exploitation. Everyone is exploited, and everyone learns something new about themselves and those around them. Characters who we think are one thing turn out to be another. It's a game, just like reality shows are. Chazz is toying with the audience, all of the teens are toying with each other, and the scientists are doing a little bit of playing themselves.

There were some surprises, some twists and turns, and this book definitely went places that I wasn't expecting. You go into this expecting the antagonist to be one person but it turns out to be someone completely different. There isn't one singular completely good guy, and no one singular completely good guy. Everyone in this book is flawed, even the slightly two-dimensional and underdeveloped characters.

This is a long book, with too many characters trying to do and be too many different things, but it's definitely a fun ride (pun intended).

The way the book ends is kind of hopeful in a completely terrifying way. The whole concept of this book is utterly terrifying, but the fact that one of the contestants is god knows where and we don't really see the aftermath of it is worrying. 
No way would a show like this be on the air now, no way, but even with the slight fantasy/sci-fi setting, it does raise a lot of relatable issues. 

If you want to read a book about a ton of teens being trapped together, then this is for you. 
If you are looking for a book about space exploration then this probably isn't it (although some of the teens do genuinely believe they're in space right until the very end).
If you're just looking for a fun read, then this might be it.
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This title falls under the growing amount of novels that have a great idea, but terrible execution. I have found in my library that books written in this form (texts, video blog descriptions, scripts, etc.) have not been popular among teens or adults. Even with all of our technology and the constant social media barrage, people are turned off by a book in this format. It creates distance from the characters, confusion with plot lines, and an unnatural feel to the story. This book in particular had many faults that made it almost unreadable. Starting a science fiction book in the current year, which will be the past when the book is released, creates an unrealistic feel immediately as this obviously has not happened and the world is not how it is in the novel. Our main character/host, Chazz, is unlikable and a constant annoyance to intelligent readers because of his arrogance and (lack of) intelligence. The show itself is ridiculous, hitting higher and higher on the unbelievable scale and causing eye roles at every turn. The show’s characters are way too stereotyped (even though it is explained that that is what the producers were going for). I’m sad to say that this quickly became a mash up of over the top, overly done, and unrealistic instances that did not amount to much.
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I loved Gina Damico's Croak series, and I liked Waste of Space as well. The satirically stupid characters will appeal to many teen readers, but what kept me going was: A) there's no way all these characters are really this stupid, and B) HOW is this disaster of a show going to go down in flames? I was not disappointed; although the first half of the show was a little tedious, the second half delivered!
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Gina Damico is an auto buy author for me. Every book I've read of hers is witty, dark, and just good. So, when I was approved for Waste of Space I damn her passed out because I can never have enough Damico in my life.

This time around, Damico full body tackles reality shows with biting satire, sinister plot twists, and incredible writing. Ten teenagers, a complete douchebag of a CEO, suspicious scientists, and all around insanity await in these pages. And by God if I wasn't glued to every page. Told through transcripts of phone calls, interviews, and the television show itself, occasionally annotated by an unpaid intern turned whistleblower.

I'll get into the nitty-gritty later when it's closer to the release date, but I can safely say Damico is one of my favorite authors of all time.
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I really wanted to love this book as the synopsis and previous reviews both caught my attention. It was definitely not the worst YA book I have read and I appreciated that it was meant to be a satire on the entertainment industry and reality tv. However, I agree with a previous review that mentions that this book might have been better as a movie as it was hard to go back and forth between the many different transcripts and understand who and what is going on. I really appreciated the fact that Damico tried to do something different, and while it didn't work for me, I'm sure others might find this book to be enjoyable to read.
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While the writing was funny, the story didn't really pull me in like I wanted it to. It wasn't quite as big as it promised, and the stakes weren't as high as they should have been. It was too contrived for me to really get into the characters.
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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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This contained all the elements of a brilliant can't-take-your-eyes-away reality show combined with the really fantastically woven drama of a well crafted rich leader.

I'm not usually too much of a sucker for reality television, but I felt that this utilized the best aspects of shows quite effectively in that it was absolutely terrible and I couldn't stop watching. The premise of the show was iffy at best, and the way that certain groups kept publishing articles about how it wasn't possible felt scarily reminiscent of the real world.

I loved the style in which this was told, and how the intern narrator gathered evidence from all over and compiled it into this. It added realism to the plot while making it more mysterious. I enjoyed reading the dialogue and felt like it was quite simple to follow though the style allowed us to see the events of the book from the perspective of practically everyone involved.

The casting of the characters, although it was completely random, was completely perfect and the author did a lovely job of picking a strong mix of personalities to compete. Just like a viewer, I loved some, hated some, and shipped others. Bacardi is a complete gem. And I love the dynamic between NASAW and the television production company.

Yet this book also isn't predictable as I thought it might be. There were quite a lot of things that surprised me, though everything indeed felt believable. The plot had me turning pages all the way through the very clever ending.

I think this book is best for high school aged readers, but most people who enjoy a good laugh should enjoy it.
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Waste of Space is a very interesting book, one that I have no doubt would be quite polarising among the YA audience. It’s wacky, it’s ridiculous, it’s surprising as hell, and even now I don’t feel like I have the vocabulary extensive enough to describe it the way I actually want to. Hell, I’m not even sure how I feel about it, weeks after finishing it.

This is an epistolary novel, written in the style of a report with transcripts of phone calls, TV episodes, and conversations, with small sections of narrative. The premise is intriguing: ten teenagers are being sent to a fake spaceship without them knowing that it’s fake, and their whole experience is televised for the nation to see. The narrator has written this report to expose the very unethical nature of the whole operation.

Waste of Space introduces you to several characters, but I never felt like any of them was a protagonist. There’s Chazz Young, the head of DV8, the channel broadcasting Waste of Space; there’s NASAW, a group of shady scientists collaborating with DV8 for funding; and there are the ten contestants: Nico, Titania, Hibiscus, Clayton, Jamarkus, Bacardi, Matt, Kaoru, et cetera.

I won’t bother telling you about them one by one since the list will be long, but they’ve got quite defined personalities. I wouldn’t say they’re that well-developed, though, because Waste of Space is not a book that tells you a lot about its characters. Reading it was exactly like reading a report — I felt incredibly distanced from the characters and the events.

There’s a lot to unpack in the story, but since I’m not entirely sure what it’s all about, I’ll just share with you the range of emojis that I felt:

- 😰  (Face with Sweat) at how crazy unethical everything was, how shady most of the adults are, how much I just want to take these kids away from this seriously disturbing operation.
- 😵❓ (Confused Face) at what’s going on because this book definitely kept me guessing the whole time.
- 😱  (Face Screaming in Fear) at how things turned out at the end. Is this real? What is reality? Who even knows.

If you're familiar with the TV show UnREAL, this book is somewhat similar to it in that the characters are equally unethical and willing to do whatever it takes to make great television. You know those link-bait titles that go “You won’t believe what happened to ABC in XYZ! The true story will surprise you!”? In Waste of Space, you actually won’t believe what happened to ABC at XYZ, and the true story will surprise you.

Waste of Space left me feeling intrigued, confused... bewildered. Bewildered, and yet amused. For most of my reading I was busy trying to figure out what the hell is actually going on. It’s not the most realistic of premises, but it is crazy and ridiculous and can be a lot of fun if you like that kind of thing. I’d recommend it to certain people... I’m just not quite sure who those people are.
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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. 

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. 

Overall, I'd give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
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Wow. This novel is hilarious and hits so many notes: mystery, Sci-Fi, outrageous comedy and teenage angst. 

I thought, early on, that I'd made a sound prediction of what the major twist was. I'm delighted to say that I had it wrong and the twist was twistier than I'd expected. I do love it when a book turns in an unforeseen direction. 

The style was a lot of fun, merging transcripts and emails and narrative. 

Due to drug and sex references, I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone younger than Year 10 (that's 15 years old in the UK).
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