27 October 2011

YA Book Review: Variant by Robison Wells

Release Date: 4 October 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads description:
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...

WOW.  Fresh, exciting, and completely unique, Variant is truly the type of book that will hook you on page one and then throw surprise after surprise at you.  There was so much intrigue in this book and it definitely kept me guessing from chapter to chapter, which I LOVE in a book.
When Benson Fisher arrives at his new school, he's looking for a new start--new opportunities, new friends, a new LIFE.  What he gets is a school without adults run by gangs of students locked in an eternal power-struggle. Not exactly what he had in mind when he applied for the scholarship! Benson is determined to escape the confines of the school, something no one has successfully done before.  What he discovers along the way--well, let's just say it's although unexpected and a bit terrifying.

Benson is a likeable character from the get-go.  He's got this fresh, positive attitude as he looks forward to starting school at Maxfield Academy that is almost instantly destroyed by what he discovers there. However, his determination to escape is never destroyed by the pressure of others and even after finding a girlfriend, he is focused on escaping.  I enjoyed his exploits throughout and his near constant planning for his eventual escape.  Each day and new experience seems to bring new insights into his escape plan.

The plot of this book is seriously awesome.  I loved the twists and turns that Robison Wells wove into the story.  You couldn't ever really guess what was going to happen next.  It had the perfect combination of mystery, action, and adventure that all leads to a mind-blowing ending.  Seriously, this ending will SHOCK you.  (And I'm going to warn you, it's quite the cliffhanger.)

Really, all I can say is that this is definitely a book to check out! It's a fabulous read for fans of YA action/adventure fans with a certain atmosphere that will appeal to YA dystopia fans as well.  Everything comes together smoothly to make this a quick-paced read that will appeal to even your most reluctant readers.

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