Oct 10, 2011

Review: Variant by Robison Wells

4 peanut butter blossoms.

Cover Love:
Yes. It is ominous looking and not in focus. And it fits the book perfectly!

Why I Wanted to Read This:
I got this one from NetGalley and really just started it on kind of a whim. Here's the synopsis from 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.

I Kept Reading Because:
It was impossible to put down!

Romance?: Yes! Which is the catalyst for a lot of action.

What I Liked (& Didn't):
First of all, let me shake Mr. Wells hand. He does not pussy foot around. Benson is thrown right into what is going on in the school from about page 5. I love that. No build up, just BAM. It certainly hooked me!

This is a hard took to review because I do not want to give away anything that would spoil it for you. It is best to read all the twists on your own.

It feels like there are a lot of "bonuses" to this book, things that kept me interested or reminded me of other things I have read or seen. First of all, Lord of the Flies is certainly an influence for this book. And it is acknowledged in the book. Also, it takes place at a boarding school, which I always love. And there is a nod to another kind of creepy adult book written by Ira Levin, but you can search that out yourself because I don't want to give anything away!

I really liked Benson and was very impressed with his detecting skills. When he finally discovers what is really going on with the school he has a secret that he can't really say because no one would believe him. So the way he goes about revealing it is awesome.

The twists in this book come hard and fast and the ending is a huge cliffhanger. It makes me wish that all the books in the series are out and I was just discovering it, because I would be reading the second one right now if that was the case! I can't wait to find out more about who is actually running the school and it's ultimate purpose.

And without giving anything away, I have to say I am still suspicious of Becky and now worried about Benson as well!

To Sum Up: A trippy, twisty read (but one that didn't make me feel like showering ala The Marbury Lens--so much better than that) that older middle graders and young adults would love. I am getting a copy for my library for sure!

Book from NetGalley. Thanks HarperTeen!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I always love your reviews. :-)

    I have an interview with Sara Grant today--stop by.