I’m not ashamed to admit that I love watching reality TV. I get totally sucked in and can’t look away from the drama and fabricated storylines. Waste of Space has all the best elements of reality tv–24 hour camera feeds, clashing personalities, potential romance, drama, and diversions from the truth about the show.
The reality show, that supposedly blasts teens into space with no adult supervision or training, is created by an outlandish, over-the-top network called DV8. The show “Waste of Space” is created in a world where many other outrageous reality tv shows are popular. The public instantly falls in love with the cast and never questions how teens with no space experience could be sent up there alone. The “spacetronauts” (because astronaut isn’t coined by DV8) become the must watch tv of the year. This is a world where ridiculous reality tv shows are popular and that’s a world I can believe in.
The cast is deliberately chosen by the network to represent diverse stereotypes. The contestants are aware of the molds they’re supposed to fit. Jamarkus knows he’s been cast as a “double diverse” agent–being African American and gay. He sidesteps the assumptions about him and keeps his eyes focused on the end goal–getting a scholarship to MIT. Karou, a teen who was just visiting from Japan and doesn’t even speak English is kidnapped and put into the show. She is the first to figure out that they’re not really in space. Unfortunately none of her co-spacetronauts can understand Japanese. DV8 uses diversity as a marketing ploy without actually understanding it though the teens quickly figure out how to play the system to get what they want.
The entire book is told through video transcripts, emails, recordings of phone calls, and cast video confessions. The formatting made it so easy to read and get every character’s perspective on this strange situation they’ve been put in. The format also lets readers see the entire conception, planning, and execution of the show from the developer’s POV.
Readers of Margaret Stohl’s Royce Rolls and fans of Big Brother will love this quirky 24/7 look at teens stuck together. Reluctant readers will enjoy this book because of the unique, attention grabbing plot and fun format. The array of characters on board, personalities behind the scenes, and plot twists make this a fast, unforgettable read!