Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Variant by Robison Wells

October 31st, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: October 4, 2011

Publisher: HarperTeen

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from

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.

I enjoyed this book but I have say it definitely had more of a slant towards the teenage boys.  In fact, I had a similar reaction to The Maze Runner by James Dashner.  Both were interesting story lines, interesting twists but the male main character was hard for me to relate to.

First off the story line was fascinating.  The mystery is why is this group of teenagers thrown into a school with no adults and for the most part are apparently treated pretty well as long as you follow the rules.  Who brought them here and what is their true purpose?  It was interesting how the students divided themselves into different factions and actually worked out a system that kept most people quite satisfied.  There are a few twists that I honestly did not see coming and the book ends on a high note that leaves you anxious to get your hands on the next book.

And then there is Benson.  I honestly did not care much for him and I had to keep reminding myself that he is just a teenager and has been thrown into an unbelievable situation.  He’s kind of a jerk and doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut even when it’s for his own good.  I understand his frustration but sometimes you just want to smack him and tell him to stop and think for a moment every now and then.  I did find it interesting that he does get called out by some of the other characters about his self-centeredness and not really considering how his actions might affect those around him.

There are a few questions that I wish were answered or at least we got a little more information about in this book but I don’t want to spoil any surprises for anyone.  Let’s just say I am eager to learn more in the next book.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

3 Responses

  1. Rie Conley

    I have this one waiting to be read. I’ve been trying to branch out read books with male protags, but they have never been my favorites.

  2. Krazzyme

    the cliffhanger ending is one of the main reasons I’ll read the next one because otherwise you’re right it’s very hard to connect with the character!

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  3. Michelle

    YES! This is definitely a good book for boys. I liked it but didn’t love it as much as other sci-fi themed books I’ve read. I will say that Wells did a great job of including the big twist which I totally didn’t see coming.

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