It’s been a long while since I’ve written a book review for you all. Sorry, but NaNo is an all or nothing event, and reading is completely pushed to the side. Although I was able to sneak this one in last month!
Today’s book is Waste of Space by Gina Damico. It follows a reality television show that wants to take 10 teenagers and shoot them into space. Of course, as with any reality T.V. show, everything is fake. The kids do not know that though, and when communication is severed from the network, the kids have to come to grips with reality to make it out alive.
This is an interesting sci-fi book that provides a look into reality television through transcriptions marked up by an intern. It reels you in as you go through pre-production to post-production of this reality show that has America swooning over it. So let’s get to the review:
Things I Like:
I love the spots where the intern comments on the happenings. It is insightful, funny, and interesting. These sections also made a good split between different sections of the book. Without the input of the intern, it would have been harder to read this book because of the amount of clarity the intern brings.
This book has a crazy concept, with a crazy cast of characters. This stereotypical reality T.V. show plays into all of the stereotypes out there. They have the show’s producer that is all about the ratings, the party girl, the sci-fi fanatic, the shy guy, and the bad boy, just to name a few. Events throw the characters into different plotline all in the name of ratings. But as the book progresses things become crazier as people are pushed beyond their limits, and some can’t handle reality. This book is all over the place but in a good way.
To be honest, I hated the format at the beginning, but I’ll talk about that below. After getting through the first 50 plus pages, I finally was able to get into the style of the book. It is mostly written as a script from the T.V. show transcribed after the recording of the Waste of Space reality T.V. show. There are also a series of transcribed phone calls between Chaz, the network’s owner, and various characters, along with emails, and footage provided by Nico’s own camera. The format provides a well-rounded look into what was going on in the story.
Things I Don’t Like:
Hard to Focus
Ok, so as I just mentioned the format was a bit hard to get into. I didn’t realize this when I picked it up and bought it, but it is a lot like Illuminae (click for my review). I listened to the audiobook of Illuminae because I couldn’t get myself to read the weird formatted book. This book is definitely an easier book to read in terms of format, but the basis is the same. When I started reading it I did find it hard to read. It took me awhile to get into it, and for a short while, I was worried I would DNF my first book. But I pushed through and although it, at times, was hard to focus, I really enjoyed the book.
I don’t even know where to begin with that ending. It mostly made sense until a spoiler that I can’t get myself to spoil happens. I don’t know what the point of it was and it left me more confused than anything. If the author left it with a single wrap-up and reveal I think I would have really enjoyed the book more, but I was confused at the very end.
Overall, Waste of Space is an interesting look at the extremes of reality television. I really like the way that Damico uses the intern commentary to split up the sections, and the sections themselves. The crazy cast and plot line adds realistic qualities to the book, and I’m sure most people know that reality television is anything but reality. The transcribed format of this book is hard to get into at first, but once I got used to it it was a good read. The ending, though, left me confused and wanting to know more. I give Waste of Space. . .
What do you think about script formatted books? Do you like mysterious endings? Let me know in the comments below!
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