Waste of Space by Gina Damico

Official 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.

I 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.

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