Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt For Young Readers for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: July 11th, 2017
Synopsis: 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 is one of the wackiest books I’ve read in a long time, but in a good way. I’m not a big fan of reality tv unless it’s a talent show, so as soon as I read the premise, I was immediately intrigued by how this satirical look at the industry would play out, and Damico more than delivered. Everything is over-the-top, from Chazz, the narcissistic, smarmy producer, to the blatant product advertising, to the outrageous stunts the cast is forced to take part in to make Waste of Space “must see tv”. But it’s not long before things begin to go seriously awry, and the only thing that is clear, is that everyone is lying: the producers, the scientists, and even some of the contestants. At first, the contestants seem to represent your stereotypical, one -dimensional reality stars, but as the story progresses you learn there’s much more to them than they seem.
The narrative style flashes back and forth between the characters in the form of video and phone transcripts and blog posts. I did find this a little jarring at times, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the story. There are so many twists here that it’s literally impossible to put all the pieces together until the surprisingly bittersweet ending.
Waste Of Space, is a fun and humorous read, that also has unexpected deeper moments. It’s decidedly different from everything else out there, and makes for a memorable read. Due to some sexual situations, I recommend this for older teens, who I think will get a real kick out of it.