Variant by Robison Wells

I read the book Partials by Dan Wells a few weeks ago (which I will be reviewing soon!), and found out his brother is an author as well! It goes kinda along with my dystopian/sci-fi obsession, but doesn’t take place in the future, so it’s a mix of a bunch of things. I read the first few chapters of this as part of the free Hunger for Dystopian sampler on the Nook, which had samples from eight dystopian novels (four of which I had already read!) So, I put the others on my Nook wish list, and went after this one.

If you like: thrillers, romance, drama, escape, adult-free books, science fiction, mystery, and friendship, you will like this book.

Benson Fisher has lived a very lonely life: he has been passed from foster home to foster home, and doesn’t have any friends. When he sees an application to attend Maxfield Academy, he gladly fills it out and sends it in. He’s accepted to the school, but it’s nothing like he expected. Maxfield Academy is housed inside a barbed wire fence, and there is not a single adult around. The kids are the teachers, maintenance workers, and security guards. Those who break the rules receive strict punishments and are sent to “detention” and never seen or heard from again. Three gangs exist to keep their members safe and in line: the Society, Havoc, and Variant, or the V’s. Benson joins the V’s, and is desperate to escape from the school, but can’t find a way out. When he begins letting his guard down, he stumbles upon the school’s secret, and realizes that he can only hope to stay alive by escaping. But who will believe him?

This book was really good! Some parts got a little repetitive (example: Benson constantly talking about escape and nothing else for about half a chapter), but I could move past it and enjoy the rest of the book. I understood that Benson’s main goal was to escape (who’s wouldn’t be?!) but I felt like it would have been better to read more about him interacting with the other characters. There are also a TON of characters, which can get confusing sometimes, especially if you’re trying to keep straight who is in each gang and which characters are friends and which are foes of the V’s. But those details weren’t that big of a deal, and it doesn’t make the book totally suck eggs. I enjoyed it!

Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Science Fiction, Romance
Sequel?: Yes; Feedback will be available this October!

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