Variant by Robison Wells
Release Date: September 26th, 2011
HarperCollins, 373 Pages
Sub-genre: Science Fiction
Source: Advance Reader Copy
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Variant #1
Recommended for: fans of The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.
He was wrong.
Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.
Where breaking the rules equals death.
But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape–his only real hope for survival–may be impossible.
This is the story of Benson Fisher and how he settles into his new life at Maxfield Academy, where there are no teachers, no grades, and only 4 rules. The school is split into three different “gangs” and these gangs have come to an agreement that will keep them at peace..most of the time. And then Benson comes across the school’s real secret..so, what will he do with this information and what will the consequences of his actions be?
This book was a thriller right from the beginning. Within the first 15 pages or so, I was already asking myself TONS of questions about the school – about the kids – about EVERYTHING. I found myself just as scared/angry as Benson was about the whole situation. I think that’s one of the things that made this book so good for me – I really, truly connected with the characters. I felt like I was actually there, right along side Benson.
Variant was such a unique take on the idea of a Dystopian society and the ending left me begging for more. (I literally tweeted at Mr. Wells asking him if he had already written the second book.) I don’t know where this series is heading, but this guessing-game is very refreshing for me.
Every so often, a book comes along that I would recommend for anyone and everyone. This is one of those books. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t like this thrilling, action-packed story – including teenage boys, who are very hard to pick out a book for.
You’ll especially like this book if you enjoyed The Maze Runner by James Dashner.