Book Review: VARIANT by Robison Wells

Variant (Variant #1)
Author: Robison Wells
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins / HarperTeen
Genre/Category: Young Adult, Sci-fi/Thriller, Dystopian

Summary on Goodreads:
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.

My Thoughts:
What will you do when you are sent to an enormous school with no teachers, no principals, no guards–no adults at all? A school surrounded by forest and walls and a 24/7 surveillance cameras? Where the students are not allowed to get out–breaking the rules means punishment, escape means detention, and detention means death? TRUST NO ONE.
Variant is a gripping story of alliance and survival.  It started with Benson (the protagonist) as he told the story in his POV—starting on the day he arrived at the Maxfield Academy. Though I am not much impressed with Benson’s character, I like him enough to accept and understand his behaviour. He’s not the super strong, super smart hero but I admire him for his motivation and courage to stand up against the injustice when the majority couldn’t.
Reading Variant reminded me of Unwind and The Maze Runner. It was suspenseful and thrilling at the same time. Though the story was a bit slow in the beginning, it was never boring. I started to really enjoy the book during the second half where the turn of events put me on the edge of my seat as I discovered secrets and the questions were slowly being answered.
The twists are surprising, even the characters are unpredictable. I liked how the author made me so curious about each them. I’m loving a character and then I hated him afterwards. There are some whom I loved and hated them in the end. You’ll never really know whom to trust when the first instinct of everyone is to survive no matter how.
It doesn’t have the typical romance flavor you’ll find in other books, but it didn’t lessen the excitement. From the beginning, I waited for the right girl to come out. The author kept me guessing! Just when I thought I figured it out already, the story proved me wrong! I am so anxious to know the real girl for Benson and I’m so excited to know what will happen next especially after the HUGE CLIFF HANGER ENDING! I was totally surprised! It made me even more excited to read the next book. I am almost sure that the story will just keeps getting better once it comes out. I can’t wait!

My Rating:

Thank you to NetGalley, HarperCollins / Harper Teen and Author Robison Wells for the copy of the book. 
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4 thoughts on “Book Review: VARIANT by Robison Wells

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