Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Author Spotlight: Waste of Space by Gina Damico - OUT TODAY!

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM
I grew up under four feet of snow in Syracuse, New York. I received a degree in theater and sociology from Boston College, where I was active with the Committee for Creative Enactments, a murder mystery improv comedy troupe that may or may not have sparked my interest in wildly improbably bloodshed. I have since worked as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker, and breadmonger. I live in Western Massachusetts with my husband, two cats, one dog, and and obscene amount of weird things purchased at yard sales. 

Title: Waste of Space
Genre: YA Comedy/Reality TV
Author: Gina Damico
Publisher: HMH
Publication: July 11th 2017
Cover Rating: 3/5

When Waste of Space first came across my radar I was thoroughly excited. I mean come on now.

It sounded like such an interesting plot and concept and I had never heard of any book like it. After reading it, I can honestly say, that I truly have never read or heard of a book like this. I just keep thinking of all the other space books or movies I have read/played, placing those characters in a reality TV situation and laughing my butt off. This book reads more like a parody/spoof and that is what made me enjoy the book as much as I did.

So, as I previously stated, the overall concept of this book sounded so interesting. Ten random teenagers, a plethora of deceit, a spaceplane held together with duct tape and millions of Americans watching. What could possibly go wrong?


Across America, DV8 held auditions in malls for teenagers to play a part in their stellar new space drama reality tv show, Waste of Space. Most of the kids are chosen and taken away on their own free will. A few others aren't so lucky and ended up on the show because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then we have one cast member who is there because he blackmailed his way in. These kids are thrown into a spaceplane and recorded 24/7 in hopes of them becoming reality tv gold. But, as with all reality tv, someone will be cut each week until there is only one winner left and that doesn't sit too well with some of the cast.

Aside from the space theme, the book is written in a mixed-media format that contains phone calls, transcribed episodes of the show, tweets and blog posts from fans that have all been adapted by an assistant/intern turned stenographer. These mixed-media formats are used because something bad happened on the show and we learn the entire story from these clips and tidbits that the intern compiled plus with a little bit of their personal commentary.

I would also like to mention that this is the first EVER review I have written that forced me to use GIF's and MEME's. Lord help me. But, I love space books. It wasn't always like this, though. I used to have this aversion to anything Sci-Fi related. I can't explain why, but I'm glad it's over.

Now, let's get into the characters. Oh. My. God. The sheer stupidity and utter arrogance that oozes out of Chazz's every pore is enough to drown half the population of planet Earth. He is the producer of the show. Then we have ten kids. I'm not going to get into all of their names and crap but they were all picked as part of this giant diversity soup. Nerd, rich guy, gay guy, Asian chick, orphaned guy and a party chick who closely resembles Brittany Spears right before she shaved her head. Then there are some weird space scientists, not NASA, and a bunch of other random people thrown in for good measure.

The second half of this book was a lot better for me. I actually enjoyed reading the raw thoughts of the intern that was transcribing the entire shitstorm. I feel like the interns part was super scary because without this intern doing the right thing, this crap never would have been revealed, especially with the level of corruption from the DV8 TV station.

I loved the authors writing style. She has a very unique voice and I love how quirky she seems. I cannot wait to read another book by her and I, in fact, just went out and bought her other book, Wax. I think Wax will be more up my alley. I also found out she has A LOT more books than I thought. I definitely think she has a book for everyone's tastes so please check her out, you will not be disappointed.

In the end, I found out that reality tv drama's are just not for me. Whether they are in TV or written form. I did end up enjoying this book enough and the second half was a lot better for me but I do not think I will be reading anymore reality type books. I think it also helped that the book played out as more of a spoof TV show than a reality show for me. I wouldn't mind seeing this book turned into a movie, tv show or maybe even a high school play.

Overall, I gave the book 3.5/5 stars.

1) If you could be any non-human creature, what would you be?
I'd want to be a bird, but that's such a cliched answer that I'll have to make it interesting. Plus I don't want to eat worms. So let's see....I'd be that seagull that I encountered at the beach last year, the one that stole my slice of pizza. That way I'd get to fly, I'd get to travel the world, I'd get to hang out by the ocean, and I'd still be able to steal pizza and junk food whenever I wanted. The best of all worlds.

2) What interests you most about space?
I guess it's the sheer awesomeness of it all, the limitless amount of unknowable things. It has a nifty way of making all of our puny human problems seem so small and surmountable by comparison. Also, I really really like hearing about all the amazing strides that astronomers and scientists are making in space exploration, like the Juno mission and all the bonkers new images that are coming back from Jupiter. That sort of thing feels like a miracle. It makes me cry.

3) Out of all of your books, which was your favorite one to write?
I could never pick a favorite, but I will say that creating the characters for WASTE OF SPACE was super fun. They're all so over-the-top and stereotypical and basically caricatures - as a reality show would require them to be - and so it was fun to kind of let go and not worry about making them realistic. At first, that is. As you get further into the book and learn more about their backstories, they become more well-rounded human beings with real human thoughts and emotions. But for a while there, it's just pure zaniness.

4) If you could only bring one thing with you to space, what would it be? 
An astronaut who knows what they're doing. I'm not qualified to be there by myself!

5) Are you currently working on any new books? 
At the moment I'm dabbling in a couple different projects, but I don't yet know which one will end up capturing my attention the most. Stay tuned...


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