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Variant by Robison Wells

Variant (edition 2011)

by Robison Wells

Series: Variant (1)

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5386218,671 (3.78)12
Authors:Robison Wells
Info:HarperTeen (2011), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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Variant by Robison Wells



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Variant is the first of a two-book series about an orphan named Benson Fisher who applied to the private boarding school, Maxwell Academy, in order to escape the foster system where he had lived in 33 foster homes since he was five years old. Soon after entering school, however, Benson finds that Maxwell Academy is more like a prison. In most cases, students would love a boarding school where there are no teachers or adults. Instead, the students have formed gangs or "societies." that hold the contracts for all of the jobs that needed to be done to keep the school functioning. Students who earn detention never come back to school and other punishments include food being withheld and beatings by one of the gangs. Benson decides he will escape, but finds it more difficult than he expects. The students don't know who to trust which makes Benson's attempts at escape that much more difficult. This is a very interesting story with lots of twists and turns. I can't wait to read the second book Feedback. ( )
  Mrslabraden | May 31, 2016 |
This will be a quickie. When I first started listening, I was thoroughly confused. I didn't know what was going on. It kind of reminded me of that movie with Val Kilmer and they were in a building and it was all one big experiment. I don't remember the name of it, just that Val Kilmer and possibly LL Cool J were in it.

Anyways, as the book progressed I started getting super paranoid for Benson. Everyone in this place is nuts. There was a decent amount of action, and so many mind games I kept coming back for more. A few events completely took me by surprise. The biggest one being the ending. Holy wow! Cliffhanger galore! I need to pick up the sequel and see what happens next.

Definitely for those looking for something different, and a thriller. ( )
  BookishThings | Mar 23, 2016 |
This book was okay. It dragged a bit in the middle but I think the ending's cliffhanger will draw enough readers into reading the sequel. ( )
  EmilyRokicki | Feb 26, 2016 |
This isn't one of those scare-you-straight schools, is it? -Benson Fisher
At almost 18-years old, Benson Fisher just wanted a place he could belong and feel safe. After moving from foster family to foster family (33 since he entered the system at age 5), he really just wanted to stay in one place. So, when the opportunity came to apply for a scholarship at Maxfield Academy, Benson figured what did he have to lose. And when he was accepted, well, he was more than ready for a new start.

But, Maxfield Academy isn't exactly what it seems. The school is surrounded by a chain link fence and inside that a massive brick wall.There are no adults; the students run the day to day operations. Each new student joins a "gang". There are three: the Society (they handle security and administration & medical), Havoc (they handle food and groundskeeping) and the Variants (the V's) (they handle janitorial & maintenance). And there are four big rules: no sex, no refusing punishments, no violent fights & no trying to escape. The worst punishment is detention, but no one wants to talk about that.

LOVED this book. I can't recommended it enough. I love any dystopian fiction pretty much, so I guess I am sort of biased. But this book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I never wanted to put it down. I was reading with my 11-year old son, so I didn't have much of a choice or I probably would have finished in a couple of days. He loved it too (he is in 6th grade).

Twice this book had me saying WHAT???? I turned the pages back and reread to make sure I didn't miss something. Honestly, two big twists that I didn't even see coming. My only problem now is I'm dying to read the sequel but my son wants to read the next Janitors book first. So.... I will have to wait. But not for long.

Recommended to
Anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction. Or novels with unexpected twists. This one is on Florida's Sunshine State Young Readers Award nominee list for 6-8th graders. But trust me, adults will enjoy it too! Several 5th graders at my school are currently reading it and loving it too! ( )
  Jadedog13 | Feb 3, 2016 |
Interesting premise that seems dystopian, suspense, but has some nice elements of sci-fi as well. ( )
  StephLaymon | Jan 26, 2016 |
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To Erin, my best friend.
First words
This isn't one of those scare-you-straight schools, is it? I asked Ms. Vaughn, as we passed through the heavy chain-link gate.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
At Maxfield Academy, the choices are:


Benson must join one in order to survive.
But he is determined to escape.
And he can trust only himself.

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.

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After years in foster homes, seventeen-year-old Benson Fisher applies to New Mexico's Maxfield Academy in hopes of securing a brighter future, but instead he finds that the school is a prison and no one is what he or she seems.

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